Because  of  the very  limited film clips that  can  be  found  from  the   1904 World's  Fair, there  are  only a  few videos  that  can  be  obtained on this  subject. Most have modern live action footage of what's left of Forest Park (not  much), with the addition of still photographs and narration.  One of the  best  ways of  finding  these videos is  through  E-bay,  Amazon.com, or the Missouri Historical Society. 

The World's Greatest Fair:

The World Greatest   Fair is a 2-hour documentary  which blatantly copies Civil War  documentary filmmaker  Ken Burn's  style; regardless, it is  the  best video on the 1904 World's Fair.  Some 150  writers, researchers, historians and voice talent helped  worked more than a year and a half to create this documentary. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch described the documentary as "one of the greatest gifts to the city of St. Louis since the Gateway Arch."  The DVD  is extremely  well-mounted and produced and is  full of  vintage pictures quotes    from  Fair attendees. Interviews  from contemporary Fair experts and historians flesh out this excellent  product.

Personally, I wished the  content would  have  been  edited with a  less heavy  hand to include more  about  the Pike  and its  attractions, as well  as additional detail   about  the Palaces, exhibits   and  architecture. It seems  to take small elements  of  the  Fair  such  as- Dead Man's Curve and Dusty  Comets and placed them in the forefront instead of going into  more  depth  about  Fair-related topics such  as the Pike.  Though racism  was a painful  eye-sore in America  at  the Fair's  time,  the  video  seems  to  delve on  this  with  a  heavier  than needed hand,  again; limiting  the detail  and in-depth information about  so  many elements  of  the Exposition  that  were not even  touched on.  There are no extras or  supplemental material.

But don't  be  taken  back by a few of  my personal criticisms, this DVD showcases a  wealth of  information and is a  quality  must-see. Produced in 2003-4 by Technisonic Studios and directed by Bob Miano and Scott Hugerich, it has won 3 regional Emmys as well as several other major awards. The DVD was shot on high-definition digital video.

The World's Greatest Fair chapters:

1. Opening/Introduction: Overview
2. Something to Prove: David R. Francis, President of the Louisiana Purchase Exposition Company
3. The Great Steel Phoenix: The Ferris Wheel
4. The Mile of Mirth: The Pike
5. The Light of Inspiration: Inventions at the Fair
6. Dead Man's Curve: A Train Wreck in Western Missouri kills 30 on their way to the Fair
7. Dusty Comets: The Auto "Race" to the Fair
8. An American Entrepreneur: E. G. Lewis
9. A Different Tune: Music at the Fair
10. The Third Olympiad: 1904 Olympics held during the Fair
11. A Woman's View: Jessie Tarbox Beals- female photographer
12. Curiosities: Foreign People
13. Savagery on Display: The Igorottes
14. A World of Art: Art at the Fair
15. A Gentle Touch: Tom Bass- an African-American horse trainer
16. The Issue of Race: Discrimination at the Fair
17. Food Fact and Fiction: Food at the Fair
18. Closing

The St. Louis World's  Fair: Yesterday. Today.  Forver.

The St. Louis World's  Fair: Yesterday. Today.  Forver.  is the newest DVD about  the 1904 World's Fair. Created on a small  budget, this labor of love produced by Rev. Bernard Wilkins is an excellent  companion piece to The World's Greatest  Fair DVD.

The DVD contains live action  of Forest Park, photographs of the Fair,  and amply  showcases the paintings by John Ross Key. What  makes  the DVD a must buy is  the nice  idea of overlaying  the photographs of the Fair on top of  the  live action. Utilizing video  switcher wipes and fades,  Rev. Wilkins  gives the  viewer an easy vantage-point of the placement of the Fair's attractions    in relation  to a modern Forest Park.  A few  of  the  shots  are  quite  effective.  The  accompany narration  is  more than  adequate and very  informative.

Though obvious made on a budget, I personally would have  loved to  see the filmmakers  go  the  extra  yard  into  the  creative. Fading  from live  action to still image gives  the viewer a location comparison but  loses all motion of reality  after  the  fade/wipe; all momentum is  lost. IMHO  a better  way  would  to  utilize  mattes  and selective  overlays  to  keep  some of  the  live  action  to  really  give  it  a you  were there  illusion.  On a low  budget,  colleges  and Fair  aficionados  could  have  volunteered  for  a  credit. Also, the  menus  are  bare-bones and  easily  could  have  used a  facelift. No suplemetal material.

This  DVD showcases more  detailed  information  than  any DVD and is  another   must-see. Produced by Rev. Bernard Wilkins.

I Was There...Memories of the 1904 World's Fair

I Was There...Memories of the 1904 World's Fair was produced by the 1904 World's Fair Society in 1988-1990. It  includes  interviews with 28 Fair  attendees. Bob Miano, who co-directed- The World Greatest   Fair,   helped record and produce this documentary. The DVD (originally  on VHS) is 43 minutes of interview and pictures.

A World on Display

A World on Display was released in 1996,  and  written and directed by Eric Breitbart in 1994, produced by Eric Breitbart and Mary Lance, by New Deal Films, Inc. This  53 min. VHS video is  now  out  of  print.

Nothing Impossible: The Story of the St. Louis World's Fair.

Nothing Impossible: The Story of the St. Louis World's Fair.  was created by  St. Louis historian Dick Smith in 1992.  The  VHS video  was a multi-image slide program translated  to video, which  is  out  of  print.

Lee  Gaskins'   AT THE FAIR  The 1904 St. Louis World's   Fair 
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