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Stephen Fry in America
Stephen Fry in America
Actor: Stephen Fry
Director: John Paul Davidson;Michael Waldman
Genres: Special Interests
NR     2010     6hr 0min


     
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Movie Details

Actor: Stephen Fry
Director: John Paul Davidson;Michael Waldman
Genres: Special Interests
Sub-Genres: Travel
Studio: Bfs Entertainment
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen
DVD Release Date: 07/27/2010
Release Year: 2010
Run Time: 6hr 0min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 2
SwapaDVD Credits: 2
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 6
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

The most engaging travelogue of America I remember seeing!
Steven I. Ramm | Phila, PA USA | 07/09/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I have just spent the last six hours watch a very personable (and quite funny) British television personality show me parts of America that I never knew existed. It sometime takes a person from overseas to show us things about ourselves and our culture (and our beautiful natural resources!) that we are too close to see.

Stephen Fry explains, in the first few minutes of this FABULOUS six-part BBC series, that he was almost born in Princeton, NJ where his father lived for a while. He's always had a fascination with the US and so in 2008 he brought a real British taxicab here and drove to every one of the 50 states. (Well, that's what he says he did. In reality he covered 51, because the District of Columbia - where he stopped - is not a "state", and he had to leave the taxi in Washington State and fly to both Alaska and Hawaii.. But who's griping? Not me! I don't know how long it took to film this journey but it was obviously 6 months or more. And I give lots of credit to the photographer and Directors John Paul Davidson and Michael Waldman, who are there capturing the beauty - as well as some eccentrics.

The show aired on the BBC and was aimed at UK audiences so you'll hear a few curse words once in a while. And the section on Nevada visits the famous "Mustang Ranch" (where prostitution is legal) and parents may not want to share those moments with young children. But the rest makes great family viewing.

The six hour-long episodes cover a different region. Fry starts in Maine and heads south. From the Deep South he heads to the Mississippi River and follows it all the way from Louisiana (visit to New Orleans after Katrina and to Angola State Penitentiary) to Michigan (Detroit auto industry). Then, the great Mountain States, The Southwest and finally, The Pacific. He visits famous tourist places of course but he gets to places you'd never see on your own. In Knoxville, TN there is a real "body farm". In Miami he visits a Senior Housing compound where he meets "senior male escorts". (The ratio is 10 women to one man!. He visits Kent State and discusses the massacre there, and in Chicago he gets a tour with blues man Buddy Guy.. The "Mountains and Plains" section includes a great interview with Ted Turner - who is America's largest private land owner - on one of his ranches and Fry joins him for a buffalo dinner. I really could go on and on about the highlights but that will destroy the fun! Okay, a few states are just "drive thru" moments and Fry confuses the State of Delaware with the Delaware River between New Jersey and Pennsylvania when he crosses on the Cape May (NJ) to Lewes (Del) ferry and says that George Washington "crossed the Delaware here in 1776".

Within minutes of the start you can't help but like Fry and bond with him. At the beginning of Episode Three we find him wearing an arm cast (!) but he never explains why its there and by the next few states, it's gone. And he does ask insightful questions of the people he visits.

I can't recommend this set highly enough! I've even found a few new states I want to visit. This was a massive project to produce and I, for one, am glad that Fry allows all of us to join him on his journey!

Steve Ramm
"Anything Phonographic"
"
The Right Vehicle For Stephen Fry
carol irvin | United States | 07/13/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This couldn't be a more perfect vehicle for showcasing the talents of the multifaceted Stephen Fry. Fry is such a fascinating person in his own right that his playing fictional characters often deprives the audience of his best asset, his real self. That is on showcase here as Fry takes on a journey through the United States in a British taxicab. His choices for stopping points are all his own and showcase his own wide ranging interests. Unlike most documentary fare, this plays as if you are along on a personal odyssey with Stephen Fry and, as his friend, he is relating conversationally to you his thoughts and ideas about America as you travel to and around various points. His choices for stopping points are all as unique as himself. I wish Fry would do more of this kind of show rather than playing fictional characters such as Peter Kingdom and a PR man (as he did in another BBC series). He was best in fictional roles as Jeeves and Oscar Wilde but those kinds of parts come once in a blue moon. I can't recommend this show strongly enough."
An Entertaining and Interesting Look at America
Amos Lassen | Little Rock, Arkansas | 08/12/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)

""Stephen Fry in America"

An Entertaining and Interesting Look at America

Amos Lassen

The underlying basis of "Stephen Fry in America" is the fact that Fry's father almost took a teaching post in New Jersey when Fry was not even thought of yet. So, guided by an enthusiasm for his subject (and his stomach), Fry goes to discover a nation of treasures. Making his way right across the United States in six episodes, Fry gives us a quite unique tour of that shows its diverse culture, exceptional characters, immense contradictions and incredible attractions.
Fry maintains the right balance between the entertaining and the informative and impressively manages to represent the melting pot nature of America. Though, as Stephen frequently remarks, everything feels "very American" but yet for every mainstream cliché (roadside diners, full-gusto American football games and wild west fantasizing) our man finds a minority story such as those of homeless people in St. Louis, the Navajo peoples who still live in pueblo dwellings and the hippy family holed up in a former missile bunker in Kansas. Fry is a likeable travel companion and refreshingly rarely succumbs to cynicism. He is a gracious guest who genuinely enjoys the company of his hosts and takes interest in their real experiences.
America is so big and so diverse that it is impossible to sum it up in a six-episode series. The idea of getting to the heart of each of the fifty states' idiosyncrasies and individual identity is an ambitious goal anyway, so of course there are several regions that don't really get a satisfactory look-in. In Colorado, for example, we only see Fry at Aspen drinking hot chocolate and Ohio receives nothing more than a brief reflection on the Kent State University by running through an archive photo-montage.

There are some interesting extras--alongside the full-length episodes, the double DVD set includes a few select sequences that didn't make the main broadcast; the most extensive being a conversation with a role-playing pilgrim at Plymouth Rock where the Mayflower landed centuries ago. There's little else beyond these six outtakes which is a bit of a let-down and it would no doubt have also been helpful to have a handy scene-selection menu to enable quick browsing. Overall, it's a solid example of the BBC documentary standard and a fine addition to the celebrity travelogue genre. It's captivating, compelling and slightly eccentric, as only Stephen Fry could give us.
Mr., Fry skewers Americans as only an Englishman can. With wonderful photography and a manner that is disarming, we see Middle America as never before and I loved the dance for the elderly Jewish retirees in Miami. Again this is America that we do not know or do know but will not admit to it,




"
A wonderful experience
Mr. John W. Noble | Canberra, Australia | 09/23/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I can't recommend this wonderful travel series through the US enough. What a fantastic and touching journey Mr Fry takes us on through one of the world's most exciting and interesring countries. His access to some truly amazing people and places is a joy to behold. Fantastic television that only a Brit of the talent of Stephen Fry could pull off. Come down to Australia now Stephen - have we got some stories for you!"