Ken Burns: Prohibition DVD

3 Disc DVD

PROH600 List Price: $39.99 Our Price: $24.99

PROHIBITION, directed by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick, tells the story of the rise, rule and fall of the 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The film starts with the early history of alcohol in America and examines the 19th-century temperance and progressive movements through the repeal of the 18th Amendment in 1933. This 6-hour, three part documentary also includes over 2 hours of bonus content.

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Features & Benefits


  • Length: 360 minutes on 3 Discs
  • Stereo: Yes
  • Color: Yes
  • Subtitles: Yes
  • Number of Programs: 3
  • Production Year: 2011
  • Country of Origin: United States

Professional Reviews:

"A masterpiece..." - Esther Cepeda, Chicago Sun-Times, September 25, 2011

"This constitutional attempt to ban alcohol was a failed experiment, as you know if you've ever seen a gangster movie or if you've made any recent visits to a bar, restaurant or sporting event. But you may not know what prompted Prohibition, how it got passed and repealed, and what its failure tells us about the limits of government control. Few people have ever been able to impart those kind of lessons in more entertaining fashion than Burns." - Robert Bianco, USA TODAY, September 9, 2011

"There's no denying that "Prohibition," is absolutely terrific and perhaps the best film yet by Burns and his collaborator, Lynn Novick." - David Wiegand, SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE, August 2, 2011

"If you like 'Boardwalk Empire,' you won't want to miss Ken Burns' intoxicating documentary about this aspect of 1920s America" - Jeanne Jakle, SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS, September 11, 2011

"One of prolific filmmaker Burns's best, this is highly recommended." - Video Librarian, Nov/Dec 2011

"There is in these 5˝ hours, breathtaking in their scope and detail, nothing approaching a dull moment" - Dorothy Rabinowitz, The Wall Street Journal, September 30, 2011

"...Absorbing. Mr. Burns and Ms. Novick, commendably, don't beat you over the head with the obvious lessons for those today who would legislate personal behavior; they largely let the story of Prohibition speak for itself." - Neil Genzlinger, The New York Times, September 30, 2011

"The assurance and fluidity of the filmmaking on display in 'Prohibition' are a marvel. Style this good doesn't just serve content, it shapes and interrogates it." - Mark Feeney, Boston Globe, September 30, 2011

Product Description


  • Length: 360 minutes on 3 Discs
  • Stereo: Yes
  • Color: Yes
  • Subtitles: Yes
  • Number of Programs: 3
  • Production Year: 2011
  • Country of Origin: United States


  • PROHIBITION, a three-part documentary series, directed by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick, explores the extraordinary story of what happens when a freedom-loving nation outlaws the sale of intoxicating liquor--and the disastrous unintended consequences that follow.

    This utterly relevant cautionary tale raises profound questions about the proper role of government and the limits of legislating morality.

    When the country goes dry in 1920, after a century of debate, millions of law-abiding Americans become lawbreakers overnight. Here are the stories of the petty whiskey-jobbers, big-time bootleggers, and brutal gangsters; the flappers who danced the Charleston in New York speakeasies; and the families who stomped grapes in basements and made moonshine in backyards. But beyond the cocktails, this is a darker story about what happens when lobbyists divide the country with wedge issues; the contempt unleashed by smear campaigns; and the perils of unfunded mandates.

    By the 1930s, the "Noble Experiment" has bitterly divided the nation into wets, drys, and hypocrites. In 1933, with the country in the throes of the Great Depression, Americans have finally had enough--and rally to repeal 18th Amendment and put an end to Prohibition.

    Episodes include
    A Nation of Drunkards
    A Nation of Scofflaws
    A Nation of Hypocrites

    This DVD also includes
    - Saloons
    - The Notion that Man Is Perfectable
    - It's Better to Know the Judge
    - That's Just the Way Life Was
    - Rebels of New York
    - Somebody Got a Pineapple
    - Kentucky
    - Capone
    - Roy Olmstead
    - Tabloid Heroes
    - You People Were Thirsty
    - Gangs
    - Bad Booze
    - Lessons

    Extra Scene Titles
    - Owled, Edged, Jingled, Piffed...
    - Kentucky Bourbon
    - And I Caught Hell
    - He Never Did Get Caught
    - San Francisco Welcomes Visitors from Italy, 1921
    - Hoover's Medicine Ball Cabinet
    - An Object of Ridicule
    - Ten Nights in a Bar Room

    - Original music by Wynton Marsalis
    - A Spanish Audio Track
    - Descriptive Video for the Visually Impaired
    - Subtitles in English (SDH)