Watch Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You

Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You

Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You is a movie starring Norman Lear, John Amos, and Bea Arthur. A look at the life, work and political activism of one of the most successful television producers of all time, Norman Lear.

Running Time
1 hours 31 minutes
480p, 720p, 1080p, 2K, 4K
Documentary, Biography, History
Rachel Grady, Heidi Ewing
Adrienne Barbeau, John Amos, Norman Lear, Bea Arthur
Audio Languages
English, Deutsch, Français, Italiano, Español, Svenska, Gaeilge, Nederlands
日本語, Čeština, Tiếng Việt, Português, 한국어, Australia, Filipino, हिन्दी

How did a poor Jewish kid from Connecticut bring us Archie Bunker and become one of the most successful television producers ever? Norman Lear brought provocative subjects like war, poverty, and prejudice into 120 million homes every week. He proved that social change was possible through an unlikely prism: laughter. World Premiere -Opening night selection, Sundance, 2016.

Comments about documentary «Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You» (21)

Jeremy photo

Well-done documentary. Reminiscent of 'The Emperor's New Clothes' in that Lear's many 'lessons' for his listeners are only as well-thought-out as he is. Lear is not just a success, but a major cultural icon, and his contribution to popular music and popular culture is evident in the hands of many such names as Rick Springfield, Tom Petty, Michael Murphy, Patty Griffin, Eric Clapton, George Strait, Barbra Streisand, David Bowie and even Elvis Presley. The idea of a multi-million dollar company making him wealthy was pure fantasy, and the use of Shakespeare's works, while humorous, is perhaps not quite so relevant to today's youth and culture. Yet, the documentary makes this point as well. He plays his 'tongs' by ear and observes his audience through a variety of instruments and cameras. Lear was the ultimate 'playwright,' but his 'grammar' was somewhat sloppy and hard to get right. He, with his instrument of choice, wrote his dialog by ear. Lear was the 'artist in the theater,' and he was the 'master of his craft,' but the vulgarity, excessiveness and profanity of his poetry were out of place in a modern world. Lear was a great painter and an excellent musician, but he was no better than any of his contemporaries. In his 'character' (in his words) 'I am not the man you think me to be. I am a wit and a fool.' Lear was not one of the greatest actors, and some of his performances were not as strong as he thought they were. Some of his lines were somewhat 'corrupted,' with the sudden reference to a sweet 'fountain of youth,' and in one scene, a girl's name was used as the title of his favorite play. Lear is a fascinating man, and the documentary is a wonderful example of how he can influence others' lives in such a simple way. Lear is not only a cultural icon, but he is a great man who has a profound effect on the world. I was in the audience during 'The Wizard of OZ' and Lear did not sell me out. He did not go from playing his violin to playing it loud and making people laugh. Lear had a strong work ethic and a strong musical genius. His 'music' would be available to all to hear, and all to learn. Lear was truly a visionary, who truly understood music and culture. He did not merely write poetry, but he 'wrote music, and what he wrote was such a unique mixture of raves, poems, and rapier-like music, that it would make many people think twice about their own poetic diction and thinking. There is a song by Bob Dylan called 'Johnny Cash,' but it is in the collection 'Music in America.' It is a real shame that no one has made a great film of Lear's life. I hope that someday, we can see such a film that tells the story of how one man can have such a powerful impact on so many people. Lear was the greatest man of all time. He is one of the most important men of all time, and no one can say he did not have his influences on others. I hope that someday, a film on the life and times of Lear will be made, and I hope that people who love and know him will see it. 'But don't misunderstand me. I don't want to leave you, oh, oh, oh.'

Russell photo

There is no doubt that some of these women were victims of the abuses they suffered, but when you are talking about the long term effects of war, you are talking about the things that are harmful, and can't be excused. I also think that all women should see this film. It's a film about what women in the military did and went through and it's amazing to see how well they really did their jobs. There are no famous, famous stars in this film, but it shows that you don't need a star, star power or massive amounts of money to make a film good. We saw a film that was not promoted or known, we saw a film that was about women who have served, and how they have taken care of the men who have served in their unit, and how they have supported the women who have served in their unit. We saw the trauma these women have had to suffer because of the abuse they suffered, and the fact that they were not treated as human beings and their actions were not held accountable. They were treated as soldiers, which we need to understand, and to be treated with dignity. This is a film about the women who served in the wars that we have fought in, and the sacrifices they have made, and the mistakes they have made and the efforts they made to make it right. This is an important film, and I recommend it highly. If you have not seen it, I strongly suggest you do.

Cynthia H. photo
Cynthia H.

One of the most under appreciated documentaries I've ever seen. If you haven't seen it, go see it. The characters interviewed in this film are genuine and interesting. I hope you'll see it too. I am also amazed that it received such an unfavorable reception. Maybe that is what the critics have in mind. It's a story about a father and his son, and it's a story about success, failure, success, failure, success. It is an experience, and it is a story. It is a movie. And it should be seen, regardless of the critics' choices.

Randy C. photo
Randy C.

This is the kind of story we need to tell and should not be lost in the mire of contemporary, clichéd, sensationalistic TV documentaries. This is a story of a courageous woman, her family, and her community, with a story that stands the test of time. Just like its predecessor, "The Boat That Rocked," this documentary is honest, gritty, and authentic. The performances are astounding and the journey is unforgettable. The story of The Boat That Rocked was a perfect study of what it is to be a woman, especially a woman of color, and the natural resistance that is often needed to overcome that resistance. But this film doesn't focus on that struggle, but on the courageous woman's efforts to rise above the hard, mainstream racism that has surrounded her. The drama of the film centers on the struggles of the Kayla Rees family, the legendary motley crew that made headlines for its high-risk-high-reward antics. In the 1970s, the family and its supporters suffered the wrath of the law, as well as harassment from those who saw the boat as "anti-American" and "unpatriotic." Kayla's father, the Reverend Walter Rees, was wrongly accused of being a communist and executed on the grounds of being "mentally unfit." This tragedy divided the family, and in her old age, Kayla reorganized the family's activities, and became a leader of her community. This documentary shows how she fought back against the oppressive system that ruined her life. The role of Kayla was such a deep one. She was strong and brilliant. I've never met her, but I've always liked her, and I hope she has many more years left in us all. When we get to see the effect that her decision to stand up for her community and her family had on everyone, this film is a great place to start. I urge all people who love documentary films to see this, because it is a powerful and honest account of one of America's great heroes.

Sandra Wheeler photo
Sandra Wheeler

Norman Lear, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author, is alive and well. He talks with you in the room in which he died, the recording in which he spoke is now available, and his last few words are used to help us understand his legacy and why he was such a success. Lear, who died in 1987 at the age of 84, was known as a writer whose work was known to be more art than factual. He was known for his style, his genius, and his brilliance. If he were alive today, he would be better remembered by his detractors than his admirers. But like everyone, he knew the price of fame and the value of speaking truth to power. In a way, he was as much a victim as someone who gained fame and fortune by pushing the boundaries of the accepted way of doing things. He was a recluse, a recluse who used his literary talent to keep things at arm's length. In one of his final conversations, Lear said, "The greatest privilege of our lives is to be free of evil and do nothing, to take our stand in the middle of the desert, and say, 'I love you, and you love me, and we are not going to deal with this, but I am going to deal with it, and I will make it my business.'" I recommend this film to everyone who has ever had to listen to someone claiming to be the real meaning of life. In the end, Norman Lear is known as the author of "To Have and Have Not", one of the greatest books ever written, whose spirit is reflected in the writings of poets like Christopher Isherwood, and William Carlos Williams. But as one of Lear's best-loved books, his name also means, "to not." The more you know Lear, the more you will love him. This movie is a true story. But unlike other films on the subject, it does not take a point of view. Everyone will enjoy it. It is an honest portrait of the life and times of one of America's most famous writers. It is not a film about the arts, or the humanities, or even literature. This film is about Norman Lear. It is not about the author, it is about the writer.

Joan Nguyen photo
Joan Nguyen

This was a good and very enjoyable movie that left me with a warm feeling and a lot of emotions. The conversation between the two characters of the documentary was very moving and the movie was so entertaining and informative that I could watch it for hours. The documentary style is very interesting, it makes you feel as though you are in the room with them. The thing I enjoyed most about the movie was the way the people in the room kept the movie flowing and telling their story. I loved the end of the movie, and the message of the documentary was one of the most important things I have heard in a long time. I found it very intriguing that there are people in the world who are doing a good job and actually, they have no idea what is going on around them. It shows you that you don't need to be famous to help people. All I can say is that it is something that is definitely worth watching.

Rose photo

I have heard much about "Hollywood" and "Hollywood" and "Oscar" and other such accolades. But no one has really been able to give me one insight as to why they make this kind of movies. Well I've read a couple of comments about "what is 'Hollywood'?". Well, I thought it was important to go into this documentary knowing a little bit about the movie-making industry, and how it works. It's probably not the kind of movie you'd see advertised to most, but if you do, it might help you to understand why you don't see so many movies of the same type. But back to the movie, I learned that most of the people who make movies like this are actually driven by simple money, and not what they want to do, but what they think they should do. Most people have children. Some of them have gone through puberty and/or reached sexual maturity, and their children are, as their parents are, aware of this fact. So, in essence, most of them are "not 'Hollywood'. But these days they are highly aware of the demands of the industry, and what kind of movies they are expected to make. One of the key words in this movie is "how much." This documentary clearly shows what kind of money is involved in making a movie. Not much, compared to, say, a movie from your hometown, which might make a million dollars or so. But the movie-makers are not just a bunch of high-powered money-mongers. In fact, the typical movie-maker is a lot like the average person. They may be a high school drop-out, who is also married, and they live in a high-rise apartment. They may be single and they may have children. They may be divorced and they may be married. They may be a hard-working family man who has always dreamed of doing something with his life, and is trying to convince himself to go out and get a lot of cash. One of the key characteristics of all movie-makers is they are very individualistic. In fact, in the movie itself, there are several scenes where the director has spent time with a small group of family and friends to explain why he/she wants to make a movie. One of the key characteristics of the movie-maker is that they are very individualistic, and don't like to be dependent on any other person or organization to do their work. They may also have families and even when they are at home, they are not entirely happy with how they live. I think that is what the film does so well. Because of this, I also learned about the key role of the theater as a source of income for movie-makers. We see how the "real" people who do the movie-making are used to get the kinds of movies that they want to make, and how it is done in a rather ritzy and hypocritical way. I think this is what all of us will learn in this documentary. So, if you have a child, be sure to get a copy of this movie, because you'll learn a lot about what it's like to have a family and not be able to do what you want. It's also nice to see that there are more independent people out there who are also making movies than ever before. And, if you're like me, you may find this documentary interesting as well.

Andrea photo

This documentary does a superb job of explaining the current situation in the Middle East and the possibility of a nuclear war. Lear plays a very convincing and persuasive role as a leading expert on terrorism. Most of the experts on the subject were killed in the past year, and this is the case with Lear as well. We see Lear presenting the facts in a very realistic way, as if he were a witness to an event. The documentary has a very intelligent, emotional tone. Lear does a wonderful job of telling his story as an experienced journalist and as a person who has been there and experienced what he describes. Lear doesn't have the maturity of a child. He doesn't try to convince you with his superior knowledge. The documentary is very smart and compelling. Lear has never been "in the public eye" and has lived a relatively private life. The documentaries he has done are always very interesting and informative. Lear is an interesting and interesting man, and I found this documentary very enjoyable. I would highly recommend it.

Judy photo

The stories of the victims of the September 11th attacks are at the core of Lear's documentary. "The Death of a President" and "Traffic King: The Rise and Fall of Charles Darrow" were very moving and deeply personal. However, there was also an underlying theme of Lear's that I found very compelling and provocative. As someone who survived the attacks on Pearl Harbor, I felt a strong urge to make a documentary about Lear's life. I took the time to research the man and the man's contributions. While I was getting started, I was not sure what I would do with the film. I knew that the people in my life had helped me and I wanted to make sure that this documentary also helped my friends and loved ones. I knew that I had an obligation to tell my story. I knew I had to tell the truth. I also knew that the documentary had to be in a format that could be easily learned. Lear's documentaries had to be with compelling sound, music, and narration. As I watched this documentary, I felt that this documentary was nothing less than brilliant. It was an honor to be chosen to be a part of it and I couldn't be more proud. It is a tribute to Mr. Lear's incredible contributions to the world of human communication. I have no idea what I would do without his mentorship and inspiration.

Kathy Alexander photo
Kathy Alexander

As an Australian I found it very difficult to watch this movie. I know the details, as it's based on my experiences with New Zealand teachers. I also know that as a "whole" school the teacher workforce in New Zealand is a lot different than in England, USA. I know that the relationship between teacher and student is very different, that is the reason for the special issue of this film. The teachers in New Zealand have a much more professional atmosphere, where the students work with them like professionals. They have a lot of autonomy, where the teacher can call them in to be in class or look at a lesson. This "whole" school culture is very difficult to deal with and a lot of pressure from other teachers. This is the reason why the "whole" school culture is often too dominant. This film is very funny, it's just how the students of New Zealand are. It shows that teachers are not the only ones that are under stress, but also students. This film has a very good story and the supporting actors are fantastic.

Terry Kennedy photo
Terry Kennedy

This was the most amazing, detailed, and moving documentary I have ever seen. Norman was an incredible, powerful, and entertaining actor, and I had no idea how much of a role he had played on television. I'm not a great fan of his movies, but this one was certainly worth watching more than once. If you're a fan of Norman Lear or just like to learn a little more about his life, this documentary is for you. The pieces are all there: the acting, the technical aspects, the drama and humor, the religious aspect, and the other things that made his character so well-known. It's a shame that this film is not available in any other language. This documentary is just about everything you could possibly want to know about Norman Lear and his career.

Cheryl D. photo
Cheryl D.

I had the opportunity to watch this DVD from Ron Paul at the 2015 CPAC. This film covers a broad range of topics such as taxes, military interventionism, government corruption, war and more. From the RNC 2008 to the current day, there is a plethora of clips of speeches, speeches, speeches from the likes of former president George W. Bush and various other politicians and business leaders. There are a few clips of the Declaration of Independence from the Georgia State Capitol. What stood out to me was how many of the speakers were 'friends' of President George W. Bush. There were several comments by Bush himself, especially on the Patriot Act. Many of the speakers were obviously heavily influenced by Bush. One speaker at the end said that 'America is not a democracy'. Of course, the speaker was probably referring to the general election results. As far as the commentary from the other speakers was concerned, I was really impressed by some of the thoughts expressed by other speakers, particularly Bush, Palin, McCain, and others. There was a lot of praise for Bush's 'just war' philosophy. The views of people like George W. Bush and Condoleezza Rice were expressed in a very positive light. Bush was very much praised for his treatment of terrorists, especially his very successful operation in Afghanistan. The film did a great job of showing the negative aspects of Bush's presidency, especially the Iraq war. This is an extremely important political issue that is most prominent among the younger generation. This film clearly shows that this was a very negative political issue and people need to realize that it was a very bad idea to go to war in Iraq. This is not a film that was designed to entertain and educate, but to inform and educate. While there was some positive and somewhat negative content in the film, it was very informative and a very good film to watch for those who are interested in this issue. The film also provided commentary on various candidates from both major parties and the general election. I think this is a good thing. It helps people understand that both major parties have different views on this issue. In general, I was very impressed with this film. It provides a great documentary that gives a great overview of the issues surrounding war and the United States of America. It was a very good film for those who are interested in the issue of war and the United States of America. I highly recommend it.

Victoria photo

I can't remember the last time I watched a movie, or heard about one, where I was forced to think about all the characters I was watching. I think I have learned that I should have watched this movie before I saw it. I have been a Norman Lear fan ever since I saw "The Sign." From this film he has built a much greater case against people who oppose same sex marriage than most of the same time's other critics. And in addition to the legal argument, his entire life story is told in the most emotionally powerful and compelling way possible. It's a brilliant blend of history, fact, and personal revelation that will leave you feeling good and inspired. Lear is a courageous man, and he did not give up the fight for equality for others just because he thought it would be politically expedient. This movie shows him as a man who is still trying to "know his neighbor."

Alice Black photo
Alice Black

This documentary is on HBO. It's quite good and worth watching.

Henry photo

It was a long time since I felt so deeply about this issue. I felt touched and sad to see how we are not just creating less, but more dangerous weapons for the sake of "peace and quiet" as these "so called human rights activists" and their kind would have us believe. Yes, I am a German citizen and proud of it, but I am also a human being and human rights activist. For many years I've followed a pacifist and peace movement, but the years that followed saw a great change in the United States, from a freedom-loving country to one of the most aggressive in the world, and to that I thank all who supported it. I'm so glad to see that we all share this great message: we must put our egos aside and allow our governments to represent all of us as equal. That is the only way we can make our planet safe and live in harmony. The only way we will succeed. All the best!

Lisa P. photo
Lisa P.

I can't really express how pleased I am that Norman Lear and the actors who made this documentary were honored to have their names be associated with this wonderful film. I can't say much about the film itself, except that it was well worth the time spent on the phone to see the story unfold. I wish I knew how much it affected me personally, but I know I've heard the stories of so many others. It's time for a new generation to experience what this great story told by Lear could have been. There is no excuse for the future generations of Americans not to have the chance to see this inspiring story.

Debra photo

I haven't watched "An American Odyssey" since the TV series aired. It is a wonderful documentary about people who were deeply involved in America's history. This film is informative and it's just great to be a part of. I have been fortunate enough to watch this over and over again, and it is one of my favorite documentaries. I have no idea why it is not as popular as I believe it should be, but as a film maker and historian, I strongly recommend it. I think it should be required viewing for everyone, as it is one of the best documentary on America. I also recommend a similar film "An American Odyssey: The Birth of Freedom". This film is a little different than "An American Odyssey" in that it is more about freedom and independence. It is not about the ideology, but it does have some interesting points and an interesting story line. A man named Norman Douglas Hayes made a documentary about the struggle for freedom. I think "An American Odyssey" is much more about the character of Douglas Hayes. It is also more of a story of liberty than the American adventure of the 'forty years' that the film says. I would suggest this documentary to all people who have a passion for the story of the American adventure. It is an inspiring and inspiring film. I highly recommend it to everyone who has ever watched it. The message is one of a documentary on a story of a man who loved America, and he did it for the right reasons. A well written and informative documentary.

Jerry Castro photo
Jerry Castro

I'd give this movie a 10, but it's just not enough. It's not about the media, it's about the messages that are fed to us. I could have worked with this film if the plot was tighter, but it wasn't. The end was a bit of a cop-out. If they'd have made that point the whole way through, I'd have felt differently about this. They tried to keep the director, and all of the people involved, in a bubble, and they didn't let that bubble open up. This is one of the best documentaries I've ever seen. It is so different, and so powerful, and it left me feeling as though I had spent more time thinking about what I'd heard about this film, than I had watching the film itself. I'm just speechless.

Terry photo

This is a must see documentary for every American.

Rachel photo

There's a lot of disinformation on this site. This documentary is not about what happens to Robert McNamara. Nor is it a distortion of the truth. The two books are better suited to this documentary. The film is the product of a documentary. For this reason, the documentary lacks some of the documentary production values of the book. For example, the documentary film suffers from a very obvious technical glitch. Where the documentary's film is edited in color, the original film is in black and white. In one of the scenes, the film jumps from black to white, causing the audience to believe they are watching the same film. For this reason, I would recommend watching the original film, then the documentary version. This technique is the foundation of the documentary's integrity and lends credibility to the viewer. For all that, however, the documentary is very well done.

Megan W. photo
Megan W.

This was a great documentary and a very personal story that should be known to all who think about the movie industry and its people. The people who do the actual 'making of' the film were interviewed. The documentary takes a look at the film from many angles. It tells how they made the film, how it was made, how it was financed, and how it was received by the public. The people in the film were very honest and I could relate to the stories of the people in the film. You can see the people who gave up or did not want to do this and how they came to do it. It is very realistic. The documentary was very insightful and the stories of the people are very real. One thing that I thought was really cool was that the documentary showed the crowd reactions of the people in the audience during the screening. The crowd clapped when they thought it was a success and the audience applauded when the movie was over. The movie was made at the Paramount lot and all the people who worked on the film came to the showing. The people in the audience were very honest and good natured about the film and the reason why they did it. They made it for themselves and for the love of it. The people who did the actual making of the film were interviewed. You really see them tell their story. The people who made the final cut of the movie had great stories to tell. I can see a lot of similarities between the movie and the real stories they had to tell. If you have seen this film and you haven't seen it yet, I highly recommend it. If you have seen it already and you think it is bad, or if you think it is good, you should see it again. It is really worth your time. I give it a 10.