American Masters Season 27
S27 E01Feb 22, 2013
Sister Rosetta Tharpe: The Godmother of Rock & Roll Feb 22, 2013 Despite not being a household name today, Sister Rosetta Tharpe is one of the most influential artists of the 20th century. Her flamboyance, skill, and showmanship on the newly electrified guitar played a vital role in the conception of Rock & Roll as a genre of music. Featuring archival performances and using new interviews with fellow musicians, producers, friends, and colleagues, this film tells the story of a talented and determined woman that introduces spiritual passion of her gospel music background into Rock & Roll. Learn more about Sister Rosetta Tharpe, her life story, and lasting artistic legacy.
S27 E02Mar 29, 2013
Philip Roth: Unmasked Mar 29, 2013 American Masters explores the life and career of Pulitzer Prize- and National Book Award-winning novelist Philip Roth, often referred to as the greatest living American writer. Reclusive and diffident, Roth grants very few interviews, but for the first time, allowed a journalist to spend 10 days interviewing him on camera. The result is Philip Roth: Unmasked, a 90-minute documentary that features Roth freely discussing very intimate aspects of his life and art as he has never done before. The film has its world theatrical premiere March 13-19 for one week only at Film Forum in New York City and premieres nationally Friday, March 29 on PBS (check local listings) in honor of Roth's 80th birthday.
S27 E03May 20, 2013
Mel Brooks: Make a Noise May 20, 2013 In 60-years in show business, he has earned more awards than any other living entertainer. A comedy giant of our time, Melvin Kaminsky developed his aggressively funny personality on the streets of Brooklyn, and the Catskill Mountains, before landing a writers job on the legendary "Your Show of Shows". The first "2000 Year Old Man" album, recorded with Carl Reiner in the early '60s, unleashed his wacky mind on the world. His brazen satirical film "The Producers" won the 1968 Oscar for best screenplay and such cult classics as "Blazing Saddles", "Young Frankenstein", and "High Anxiety" followed. Brooks has never participated in a biography before and requested that his friends not talk about him - until now - making this film a genuine first.
S27 E04Sep 10, 2013
Billie Jean King Sep 10, 2013 For the first time, American Masters profiles a sports figure: Billie Jean King, a determined woman who has been a major force in changing and democratizing the cultural landscape. American Masters Billie Jean King premieres nationally Tuesday, September 10, 2013 at 8 p.m. on PBS (check local listings) to commemorate the 40th anniversaries of the Billie Jean King v. Bobby Riggs "The Battle of the Sexes" match on Sept. 20, 1973, and the founding of the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) by King on June 20 of that year. This new documentary traces the incredible life of the single most important female athlete of the 20th century as her 70th birthday nears. American Masters looks back to the 12-year-old Long Beach, California, girl who played tennis on public courts, observed disparity and, as she soared athletically, never stopped trying to remedy inequality. During her professional tennis career, King won 39 Grand Slam titles, helped form the Virginia Slims Series (pre-cursor to WTA Tour), founded the Women's Sports Foundation and Women's Sports magazine, and co-founded World TeamTennis (WTT). Her competitiveness on the circuit was matched by her efforts on behalf of women and the LGBT community, and her commitment to prove there is strength in diversity. In American Masters Billie Jean King, King presents her own story with perspective from fellow tennis stars that played alongside her or were influenced by her, among them Margaret Court, Chris Evert, Ilana Kloss (King's partner), Maria Sharapova, Serena and Venus Williams, Caroline Wozniacki, and members of the Virginia Slims Circuit "Original 9," including Peaches Bartkowicz, Rosie Casals, Julie Heldman, Nancy Richey, and Valerie Ziegenfuss. The film also features new interviews with a diverse cast of characters from King's unparalleled life: former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, friend and fellow activist Sir Elton John, feminist icon Gloria Steinem, Bobby Riggs' son Larry and "Battle of the Sexes" trainer Lornie Kuhle, King's brother Randy Moffitt and ex-husband Larry King, and Valerie Jarrett, Senior Adviser to President Obama, who chose King as the first female athlete to be awarded with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. King is also a member of the President's Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition. Through these interviews and archival footage, the film illustrates the life of a woman whose journey became not just a battle for personal glory but a sociopolitical battle for equality for all.
S27 E05Nov 5, 2013
Jimi Hendrix: Hear My Train a Comin' Nov 5, 2013 the Definitive documentary about the extraordinary life of the greatest guitarist of all time, features new performance footage, home movies and an archive of unearthed primary documents.
S27 E06Dec 28, 2013
Marvin Hamlisch: What He Did For Love Dec 28, 2013 A profile of composer Marvin Hamlisch (1944-2012), featuring remarks from family and such friends as Barbra Streisand, Carly Simon, Steven Soderbergh, Quincy Jones, Tim Rice, Christopher Walken, Joe Torre, Woody Allen, John Lithgow and Ann-Margret. Among his credits: the hits "The Way We Were" and "Nobody Does It Better"; and the scores for "The Sting," "Sophie's Choice" and the Broadway smash "A Chorus Line."