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National Geographic - Inside Grand Central
National Geographic - Inside Grand Central
Genres: Television, Educational, Documentary
NR     2006     1hr 29min

Get an inside look, as never before seen, at the hidden secrets, engineering marvels and colorful history of this iconic landmark. From the producers of Inside the U.S. Secret Service, journey into the heart of New York Ci...  more »


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Movie Details

Genres: Television, Educational, Documentary
Sub-Genres: Television, Educational, Documentary
Studio: National Geographic Video
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 03/07/2006
Original Release Date: 01/01/2005
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2005
Release Year: 2006
Run Time: 1hr 29min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 3
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

A wonderful look at an incomparable national landmark
Kyle Tolle | Phoenix, Arizona USA | 08/25/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Grand Central Station, on its own, can probably be summed up into a couple of words: simply amazing. As the world's largest railroad terminal, some of its known facts are incredible. About 700,000 commuters a day (250 million per year) utilize 538 different trains spread out over 48 acres of real estate that enclose this massive structure. The main concourse encompasses 80,000 square feet of space with 60 foot windows and a roof reaching 125 feet.

Sometimes referred to as a `city within a city', Grand Central has its own fire and police departments, the nation's largest lost and found, huge power and operations facilities hidden in secret locations, and many of the conveniences that you would expect to find in a modern suburban mall.

When it comes to a comprehensive history, there is full coverage of that here by National Geographic. Beginning with railroad magnate Cornelius Vanderbilt's masterful idea to build Grand Central Depot (as it was known then), segments cover the massive construction efforts, the transformation from steam engines to electrical trains, and the glamorous and famous 20th Century Limited line that was then comparable to the Orient Express.

In later chapters, the automobile and jet age are explored in how they threatened the livelihood of railway transportation due to their newfound popularity. Along with this is a look at the demise of Penn Station and how Grand Central Station almost suffered a similar fate until it was eventually saved from destruction by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Rounding out this program, it details how a complete restoration was performed on the aging terminal and explores the modern security measures in place to safeguard the facility against terrorism and other threats.

National Geographic has produced a fascinating and exhaustive documentary here that shines all the way through. As a longtime fan of their productions, I would venture to say that this is one of the best works I've seen by them. The narration, interviews, camera work, and evolving historical timeline are excellent from start to finish and I highly recommend this fine feature to everyone.
Grand Central... no place like it...
C. Loftin | 05/07/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"My mother was from the Bronx; I grew up on the south-shore of Long Island; returned to NYC many times over the past 5 decades; wound down my international career living within NY walking distance from Grand Central. Over the course of my lifetime I always appreciated the Terminal for its complexity and convenience, but not until I bought this as a gift for my son who is now a graduate student at NYU, did I appreciate it for it's secrets and beauty. If, like me, you love NYC and solutions for moving the masses efficiently and reliably, you really need to see this."
A National Landmark
Samantha Kelley | USA | 04/26/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"A complete look at this national landmark, Inside Grand Central is a loving look at a piece of America's culture. The station was built in the era of railroads when automobiles were new and airplanes were just being invented. It was massive and expensive; it also made boatloads of money for the Vanderbilts. Through the years, the popularity of trains began to decline, and by the 1960s and 70s, Grand Central Station was more frequently used as a refuge for the homeless than a transportation depot. It was supposed to be torn down like its rival station Penn Station. Fortunately, an uprising kept this from happening.

A documentary for many interests, this National Geographic presentation examines many aspects of the station from the history, the restoration, it technological advancements, how it runs, its security against terrorism, and future plans. None of these topics are covered as thoroughly as they could be, but as a general interest documentary, this one is excellent. It really shows why it was so important that Grand Central was saved from demolition."