WELL DONE! 3 separate documentaries, award-winning, based on Theodore H. White's books, one a Pulitzer Prize winner. Each feature is 79 min. and is a continual look at elections via historic archival film footage. Very nostalgic for those of us old enough to have watched 1960's election news. The footage, some a half-century old, explains the predominance of B/W. The final '68 disc has the early period-capable color. You see it as all Americans (the world) saw it on TV. Wonderful. When the actual footage sound is muted, excellent narration fills the audio.
SUBTITLES exist for all 3 features, PLUS the bonus films. Viewer's guide adds fun campaign historical info. Remember Pat Paulsen?
1 THE MAKING OF THE PRESIDENT, 1960
Eisenhower will be replaced by whom? Footage goes from primary campaigns to conventions and finally the fall election JFK wins. This period of time is when campaigns/conventions were more than money & TV ads. The conventions actually chose a candidate-not just a programed prime time 4-day political party pep session and media event. There was drama & suspense. A very unbiased look at the Presidential campaigns of all the 1960's elections. Even in B/W!
Bonus: 25 min B/W '64 Democrat Convention tribute to JFK. 5 text 'loser' bios: Dems Symington, Stevenson, Humphrey, Johnson; Rep Rockefeller
2 THE MAKING OF THE PRESIDENT, 1964
Part 1: 'The Battle for the Nomination' begins with a Dallas assassination of JFK. Johnson's short run as replacing JFK makes him the incumbent. Republicans play catch-up, but with a Rep liberal/conservative conflict. Goldwater vs. Rockefeller. But Lodge wins NH. Remember campaign songs? Civil Rights & M.L.King become big news in 1963.
Part 2: Black riots become an election issue. Dem Convention is all Johnson and the question of his running mate. Even so soon after a Presidential assassination, LBJ campaigns hand-to-hand, pressing the flesh with no fear. Goldwater statements put fear in potential voters. "Landslide Johnson" actually sets a landslide record, with a 2/3 Dem congress.
Bonus: 51 min. "The March of Time: Seven Days in the Life of the President" (LBJ) See Bill Moyers, LBJs press sec, as a young man, no gray.; 2 text failed Republican candidate bios: Lodge, Scranton
3 THE MAKING OF THE PRESIDENT, 1968
Author T.H.White opens (in color). Following is the Viet Nam problem and Tet. McCarthy announces to fight Johnson-college students join. For Republicans, "Nixon's the One." Romney runs a short race. McCarthy's NH showing encourages Bobby Kennedy. War overpowers Pres. Johnson's campaign-HE QUITS THE RACE! VP Humphrey jumps in. M.L.King goes to Memphis, his mountaintop end. Violence continues in Nam & USA. Kennedy leads CA primary poll-WINS!-then is shot in front of a TV camera. Rockefeller & Reagan toss in hats. Rep nominee Nixon watches the riotous Dem Convention in Chicago. Wallace impacts the election.
Bonus: 6 text post-election bios: McCarthy, McGovern, Romney, Reagan, Wallace, LeMay
With the wonderful fresh look at the archival footage, it seems like only yesterday. And history has told us so much more about the winners and losers of the 1960's elections. Historically educational for some, nostalgic for me. A good political documentary set, without the party bias. Refreshing.
Companion DVD potential might be: "20th Century Politics & Presidents with Mike Wallace."