Bing Crosby (May 3, 1903-October 14, 1977) was, without doubt, the most popular and influential multi-media star of the first half of the 20th century. For more than three decades, through radio, film, television and records, he reigned supreme. Thirty-seven years after his death, Crosby remains the most recorded performer in history with nearly 400 hit singles, an achievement no one — not Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley or the Beatles — has come close to matching. Crosby’s estate, HLC Properties, Ltd., granted American Masters unprecedented access to the entertainer’s personal and professional archives. Narrated by Stanley Tucci, the documentary features new interviews with all surviving members of Crosby’s immediate family — wife Kathryn, daughter Mary and sons Harry and Nathaniel — singers Tony Bennett and Michael Feinstein, biographer Gary Giddins, and others. The film reveals Crosby’s struggles with his first wife, Dixie Lee, and their sons Gary, Dennis, Phillip and Lindsay. Mary addresses accusations of abuse first published in Gary’s 1983 memoir, which tarnished their father’s legacy. Gary speaks candidly about both his and his mother’s alcoholism as well as his difficulties with his father in a never-before-seen 1987 interview. Directed by Emmy-winner Robert Trachtenberg (American Masters—Mel Brooks: Make a Noise), this new documentary explores the life and legend of this iconic performer, revealing a man far more complex than his public persona. 90 minutes.
Actress Sigourney Weaver hosts this new series showcasing the best of Off-Broadway. The plays run the emotional and thematic gamut: from Richard Nelson’s cycle The Apple Family Plays, presented by The Public Theater; Hamish Linklater’s The Vandal, presented by The Flea Theater; Denis O’Hare and Lisa Peterson’s An Iliad, presented by New York Theatre Workshop; Brian Richard Mori’s Hellman v. McCarthy, presented by Abingdon Theatre Company; and an encore presentation of The Flea’s Looking at Christmas by Steven Banks.
A compilation of the most compelling, emotional and even humorous stories about bird behavior, intelligence and flight from the Nature archives. Introduced by Nature’s executive producer Fred Kaufman, this special presentation draws from 16 notable films including the Emmy-award winning “My Life as a Turkey” and “An Original DUCKumentary.” Also represented are sequences from “Hummingbirds: Magic in the Air,” “Birds of the Gods,” “Raptor Force,” “Moment of Impact,” “A Murder of Crows,” “Love in the Animal Kingdom,” “Deep Jungle” and more.
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