Niagara Falls

(Rochester, NY) – A tale of affable lunacy and high drama, Niagara Falls is also a story of danger and desire. The breathtaking falls were the nation’s first great symbol, an emblem for the vast, untamed continent with its beauty and limitless resources. What happened to that beauty, and those resources, is the story of Niagara Falls, airing Friday, July 4, 2014 at 9:30 p.m. on WXXI-TV. Mariette Hartley narrates.

With spectacular HD videography, on-the-spot interviews, and quirky archival imagery, Niagara Falls tells the story of the site that serves as much more than North America’s honeymoon refuge. Rare newsreel footage introduces some of the daredevils who continually challenged gravity and themselves to impress curious crowds. The film shines a spotlight on the unique individuals who celebrate the history and grandeur of Niagara Falls in their own inimitable way, and on the groups who maintain the falls as a destination for twenty million visitors every year.

However, the abiding star of Niagara Falls is the awesome and photogenic cascade itself. Compelling visuals take viewers right to the edge of the falls by helicopter and boat. Capturing stunning images in every season, Niagara Fallscreates lyrical poems of rainbows and mist, but also reveals a staggering force and violence that is very much a part of Niagara Falls’ magnetism.

“The falls is among the most documented, filmed, and painted sites in the world; strangely, it has always spurred very different responses,” said executive producer John Grant. “It has inspired genius, greed, fear, affection, virtue, romance, and passion. Niagara, in short, describes us, over and over again. With this quirky and fascinating film, we count the ways.”

The story of Niagara Falls is not a straightforward narrative, but rather a story of rises and falls. It tells of exploitation and preservation — of the rise of technology and the changing nature of love in America — of the way man has related to nature over centuries.

Pictured: A panorama of the American falls

Credit: Courtesy of Eileen Elibol ©WNED



WXXI is the essential, life-long educational media resource for the Greater Rochester area. WXXI puts the community first with programming that stimulates and expands thought, inspires the spirit, opens cultural horizons and promotes understanding of diverse community issues. Log on to for more information about our services and programs.


WXXI Media Contact:

Kristin Tutino

Creative Services Department



Go to the NPR Pressroom

Go to the PBS Pressroom

Get logos for Media Use

Read our Media Policy

Radio Archives

TV Archives