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Season 1983 1983

  • 1983-01-18T02:00:00Z on PBS
  • 50 mins
  • 20 hours, 50 mins (25 episodes)
  • United States
  • English
  • Documentary, News

Since it began in 1983, Frontline has been airing public-affairs documentaries that explore a wide scope of the complex human experience. Frontline's goal is to extend the impact of the documentary beyond its initial broadcast by serving as a catalyst for change.

25 episodes

1983x01 An Unauthorized History of the NFL

  • Season Premiere

    1983-01-18T02:00:00Z — 50 mins

In its premiere broadcast, Frontline investigates the underbelly of the NFL--the secret connections between professional football and the world of sports gambling and organized crime.

1983x02 88 Seconds in Greensboro

  • 1983-01-25T02:00:00Z — 50 mins

On the morning of November 3,1979, five civil rights demonstrators were killed by a group of Klan and Nazi Party members in Greensboro, North Carolina. Correspondent James Reston, Jr.,investigates the role of a police informant who was with the group when the attack was planned and when it was carried out.

1983x03 In the Shadow of the Capitol

  • 1983-02-01T02:00:00Z — 50 mins

Frontline correspondent Charles Cobb journeys to a Washington, DC that tourists rarely see. The nation's capital, seventy-five percent black, faces widespread poverty, yet it is run by some of the civil-rights movement's most effective and militant organizers, including Mayor Marion Barry.

1983x04 A Chinese Affair

  • 1983-02-08T02:00:00Z — 50 mins

For thirty-four years, those who fled to Taiwan in the wake of the Communist victory have had only their memories and fantasies of mainland China. Now they want to know much more, and a political struggle is underway to determine how Taiwan will relate to the mainland.

1983x05 God's Banker

  • 1983-02-15T02:00:00Z — 50 mins

In 1982,a man was discovered hanging from a bridge over the Thames River in London. He was Roberto Calvi, head of Italy's largest bank and chief advisor to the Vatican's bank. Reporter Jeremy Paxman investigates Calvi's links with the Vatican and with P-2, a secret Italian society, and questions whether his death was really a suicide.

1983x06 Pentagon, Inc.

  • 1983-02-22T02:00:00Z — 50 mins

Frontline investigates the power of the Pentagon as a business and economic force in the domestic economy. Politicians find themselves chasing Pentagon dollars for the jobs those dollars create in their districts; scientists and universities find themselves dependent on the military if they want to do research in many high-tech areas.

1983x07 Gunfight USA

  • 1983-03-01T02:00:00Z — 50 mins

Frontline looks beyond the cliches and stereotypes in the debate over gun control. Visiting prison inmates, victims of gun crime, and the sharpest minds on both sides, Frontline explores the underlying fears that make gun control such an emotional issue.

1983x08 Children of Pride

  • 1983-03-08T02:00:00Z — 50 mins

Kojo Odo, a 42 year-old single black man, took in his first child a decade ago-a 7 year old boy with his arm missing. No one wanted the youngster. Each of Odo's 21 children came to him with a physical or mental handicap. Frontline looks at the daily life of this remarkable family and Odo's battle to keep the family together.

1983x09 A Journey to Russia

  • 1983-03-22T02:00:00Z — 50 mins

Before Gorbachev and glasnost, three young Americans journey to the Soviet Union on a whirlwind two-week, six-city debating tour. They encounter young, articulate Russians whose world view is completely contradictory to their own.

1983x10 Daisy - Story of a Facelift

  • 1983-03-29T02:00:00Z — 50 mins

Daisy is 55 and terrified of growing old. She feels she needs a facelift. From the moment of her decision, Frontline follows her through all the procedures, but the heart of the story is an exploration of values, character, cosmetics, and the business of plastic surgery.

Before President Reagan introduced Star Wars, Frontline examined how in the previous 25 years the US and the Soviet Union had gone from designing satellites to designing weapons to blast them out of the sky. The superpowers were converting space from an arena for communications, to a concept of space as 'high ground,' the battle area to control.

1983x12 Abortion Clinic

  • 1983-04-19T02:00:00Z — 50 mins

For the first time on American television, Frontline's cameras record the most intimate details and one of the most personal decisions a woman can make. By focusing not only on the clinic, but also on a right-to-life doctor who pickets the clinic every Saturday, the film becomes a revealing study of people confronting their most deeply held values.

1983x13 Crisis in Zimbabwe

  • 1983-04-26T01:00:00Z — 50 mins

Rhodesia, a symbol of white racism, has become Zimbabwe and white minority rule has given way to black majority rule. However, the end of the guerilla war may not mean an end to fighting. Correspondent Charlie Cobb finds a rift between the nation's two black leaders that threatens to split the country along tribal lines.

1983x14 Air Crash

  • 1983-05-03T01:00:00Z — 50 mins

Frontline investigates the frightening aftermath of one of the worst air disasters in U.S. history-the June 9, 1982 crash of Pan Am flight 759 at the New Orleans airport. The report discovers how human greed and legal machinations over hundreds of millions of dollars bring new horror to survivors and victims' relatives alike.

1983x15 Looking for Mao

  • 1983-05-10T01:00:00Z — 50 mins

Only seven years after Mao's death, it is clear that China is undergoing another revolution. This is a revolution of political and social relaxation. Frontline explores what has been retained and what has been rejected from the days of the Cultural Revolution.

For eight years, Rafik Halabi covered the West Bank and Gaza strip-the only Arab reporter working in the Hebrew section of Israeli Television. This is Rafik's story-a story in which his identity and loyalty became a national controversy.

1983x17 In Our Water

  • 1983-05-24T01:00:00Z — 50 mins

Frank Kaler's story begins simply enough when he requests a water test. Why? Because his children develop skin lesions after bathing in it. Frontline chronicles Kaler's six-year battle with local and federal officials over the chemical pollution of his drinking water.

1983x18 Vietnam Memorial

  • 1983-05-31T01:00:00Z — 50 mins

Frontline tells the story of five days in the fall of 1982 when more than 150,000 people gathered in Washington D.C. for the dedication of the Vietnam Memorial. Parents, friends, and survivors came to the emotion-filled event reflecting the pain and conflict many still feel about that war.

1983x19 For the Good of All

  • 1983-06-07T01:00:00Z — 50 mins

When a national recreation site between Cleveland and Akron was first mandated by Congress in 1974, everyone applauded the project. But Frontline found that park policies of condemning hundreds of businesses and homes soon generated intense local opposition as well as charges that the homes of politically influential citizens were being spared.

1983x20 The Russians are Here

  • 1983-06-14T01:00:00Z — 50 mins

During the previous decade, 100,000 Russians came to America to live. Here they found a more difficult freedom than Americans might imagine. Frontline's portrait of this emigre community reveals the conflicting values which underpin American and Soviet societies.

1983x21 Who Decides Disability?

  • 1983-06-21T01:00:00Z — 50 mins

Frontline investigates the Reagan administration's effort to remove tens of thousands of people from the Social Security disability rolls. Disabled people face personal hardship and bureaucratic indifference as they take their cases to the courts and to Congress.

1983x22 Crossfire in El Salvador

  • 1983-06-28T01:00:00Z — 50 mins

In 1983, El Salvador was a nation where murder and torture were an everyday occurrence, a place where loved ones disappear and truth remains elusive. Frontline interviews government soldiers, rebels, and noncombatants to find out why the killing continues.

1983x23 Sanctuary

  • 1983-07-05T01:00:00Z — 50 mins

Frontline follows the journey of a Guatemalan family through the 'new underground railroad' and considers the plight of the people who seek refuge from governments allied to the United States.

1983x24 Moneylenders

  • 1983-07-12T01:00:00Z — 50 mins

Developing countries have borrowed hundreds of billions of dollars from Western banks. Some of the biggest borrowers, Brazil and Mexico,are struggling even to repay the interest. Correspondent Anthony Sampson finds that threats to repudiate the loans are causing American bankers to fear financial catastrophe.

Klaus Barbie, a hated Nazi war criminal, was returned to France in 1983 to face justice. But some Frenchmen were worried that he would reveal embarrassing evidence about French collaboration, and some Americans feared that he would talk about his postwar work for U.S. intelligence agencies.