Ansel Adams: A Documentary Film

Ansel Adams: A Documentary Film by PBS and American Experience



PBS & American Experience presents Ansel Adams: A Documentary Film, written and directed by Ric Burns and co-produced by Sierra Club Productions and Steeplechase Films. For the centennial of the artist's birth, Burns has created an elegant, moving, and lyrical portrait of this quintessentially American photographer. The documentary weaves together archival footage, photographic images, dramatic readings of the artist's own writing, and interviews with leading photographers, historians, curators, naturalists, as well as Adams's family, friends, and colleagues, to tell the story of a man who was at once a visionary photographer, a pioneer in photographic technique, and an ardent crusader for the cause of environmentalism.

In making the biographical film, Burns blazed trails of his own through the Sierra to capture the essence of Adams's unique relationship with his subject matter. "To get to the heart of what so inspired Ansel Adams, we literally followed in his footsteps," said Burns. "We lugged our cameras up sheer rock faces and hiked the winding trails that led Ansel to his photographic revelations. And they led us to Ansel." Burns' dramatic footage -- fluidly juxtaposed with the photographer's extraordinary work -- places Adams's photos in their natural context for the first time on television.

Film Info

  • Actors: Barbara Feldon, Josh Hamilton, David Ogden Stiers, Eli Wallach
  • Directors: Ric Burns
  • Format: Color, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Studio: PBS
  • DVD Release Date: September 28, 2004
  • Run Time: 100 minutes