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American Experience: Triangle Fire DVD
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Item No.: AMX62305
Single DVD

The Triangle Fire chronicles the fire that tore through the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in New York City killing one hundred and forty-eight young women and forever changed the relationship between labor and industry in the United States. A relationship that is still in question today as Americans re-examine the balance between the welfare of citizens and the motivations of global capitalism.
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REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
PBSAmerican Experience: Triangle Fire DVD
 
4.6

(based on 12 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (8)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Riveting Documentary

You might think any movie on this infamous workplace fire would be markedly biased toward the workers and against the owners. But this film presents a more realistic picture -- with many minutes devoted...Read complete review

You might think any movie on this infamous workplace fire would be markedly biased toward the workers and against the owners. But this film presents a more realistic picture -- with many minutes devoted to documenting the owners facing truly cutthroat competition (there were 500 shirtwaist factories in NYC alone then) and being, in their words, "just one season away from bankruptcy." The film definitely portrays the business enterprise existing only because its two owners risked everything they had and even mortgaged their homes to build the Triangle factory. You are given the feeling that the business was there only because of the proprietors' extreme gamble, which by and large was true for just about every capitalistic enterprise in the late 1800s - early 1900s.

And the workers??? They probably would not have emigrated to the US at all if it were not for the existence of these factories. As bad as some of the sweatshops were (Triangle was considered the "cream" or "cherry" of the garment factories of the day in NYC), they did offer hard-working immigrants a step on the first rung of the ladder to the American Dream.

In other words, such factories were a blessing -- perhaps more of a blessing than a curse even despite their terrible deficiencies.

The other observation I have on this film is the tremendous role this one episode played in the US labor movement, labor laws, and factory regulations. I first learned of the Triangle fire in my US high school history text, where it was given one sentence. I did not know, until this PBS film, that Samuel Gompers himself got involved with these ladies in their strike, and that the Vanderbilt family supported them in their quest for better wages and shorter hours. From this documentary, one gets the feeling that the Triangle fire was perhaps the pivotal event in US labor history that led to real lasting reforms.

This is a really well done, riveting hour of viewing.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

this is not the original presentation

american experience did a much better "version" of this terrible event, years ago. why has the previous programs been supplanted by an inferior presentation. even little details were left...Read complete review

american experience did a much better "version" of this terrible event, years ago. why has the previous programs been supplanted by an inferior presentation. even little details were left out: in this one we did not know the building next door was part of NYU and the men helping girls acroos were students there. some programs have been repeated are truly worth another viewing but what happened? was the original destroyed in a fire?

Reviewed by 12 customers

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3.0

this is not the original presentation

By sharonik

from big water utah

Comments about PBS American Experience: Triangle Fire DVD:

american experience did a much better "version" of this terrible event, years ago. why has the previous programs been supplanted by an inferior presentation. even little details were left out: in this one we did not know the building next door was part of NYU and the men helping girls acroos were students there. some programs have been repeated are truly worth another viewing but what happened? was the original destroyed in a fire?

 
5.0

Out of Tragedy Came Much Needed Reforms

By Sol the Historian

from Beachwood, Ohio

Verified Reviewer

Comments about PBS American Experience: Triangle Fire DVD:

For those who are interested in the history of factory system in the United States; as well as those who want to learn more about the experiences of immigrants on the Lower East Side of New York...this documentary is a must. The abuses of workers, mostly women, in the garment industry is the focus of this documentary. From the needless deaths of 148 young men in the Triangle Fire came much needed reforms. Excellent for use in both high school and university classes!

 
5.0

Mom played hooky from Triangle

By avid reader

from Palmer Twnshp, PA

Verified Reviewer

Comments about PBS American Experience: Triangle Fire DVD:

My mother was a bundle girl at the Triangle Shirtwaist Co. in lower Manhattan. I was anxious to see if a picture of her would be shown. However, it was of mostly the sewing girls. However, on that day she and a friend went uptown without reporting to anyone that they would not be working that day. Her brothers, seven of them,
tried to look at the bodies in order to identify their sister. They could not find her and when
she did show up, they were relieved and very, very angry with her. To see for myself what kind
of place she had to work in, brought it all back
to me. I shall be playing this over and over again.

 
5.0

Triangle Fire

By Team A-Tom-ic

from Santa Maria, CA

Verified Reviewer

Comments about PBS American Experience: Triangle Fire DVD:

Hard hitting and riveting with touching personal accounts. I will use this as a teaching tool as it tells a story that is unforgettable. With references to unions, the Industrial Revolution, immigration and government regulation, it is a valuable primary source resource that allows students to put themselves as close to the story as possible. Great for classroom discussion and critical thinking. Awesome movie.

 
5.0

Exciting Historical Landmark

By Phil De Basket

from Calabash, NC

Verified Buyer

Comments about PBS American Experience: Triangle Fire DVD:

Terrific narration.

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