20 June 2012 | Michael_Elliott
Good Look at the Landmark Creation
Brooklyn Bridge (1981)
*** 1/2 (out of 4)
Ken Burns' first documentary takes a look at the history of the Brooklyn Bridge. We follow it's progress from the mind of Roebling who would have his son complete it, open it on May 24, 1883 and along the way we hear about the blood and tears that went into it. The second portion of the documentary takes a look at the bridge in current times and we get clips from movies, pictures and paintings that feature the famous landmark. At just 58-minutes there's certainly nothing ground-breaking about this documentary but I think it does a pretty good job at going through the history of the bridge as well as the impact it has had on certain people. I don't think there's any doubt that the most entertaining stuff is during the first half when we hear about how the bridge idea came to be and we also get to see how other bridges were being built at the time. Some of the most fascinating stuff comes from the creation of the caissons, how they were constructed and what their final purpose was going to be. This led to a disease, which became known as the Caisson Disease and we also hear about the day the bridge opened and who got to go across first. Fans of history will most certainly want to check this film out because the storytelling is extremely good and we also get all sorts of photos of the bridge as well as newspaper clippings from the days when it was being built.