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Attachment-1-976

Source: Classic Film & TV Cafe- Angie Dickinson & Efrem Zimbalist 

Source: This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review

A Fever in The Blood is a picture of courtroom drama and political cinema, intrigue, and ambition. You have three powerful influential ambitious men who want to be the next governor of their state, which is never named in the movie. A sitting city judge, (played by Efrem Zimbalist) a district attorney, (played by Jack Kelly) and a sitting U.S. Senator. (Played by Don Ameche) And while all of this is going on you have high profile murder case involving a successful local businessman and his separated dead wife. With the husband being accused of the crime.

And you also have the adorable, gorgeous, and sexy Angie Dickinson, who has a smaller but very important character in the movie as the wife of Senator Alex Simon (played by Don Ameche) who is more interested in Judge Leland Hoffman (played by Efrem Zimbalist) and sees her husband as too power hungry and ambitious, as well as somewhat shady. I mean the cast and characters alone should get you interested in this movie. Unless you just hate courtroom dramas and fictional political films.

You have this local murder case in an unknown city with the District Attorney Dan Callahan (played by Jack Kelly) deciding to prosecute the case himself instead of assigning the case to one his top deputies. Because again Callahan wants to be governor of this mysterious state that will go nameless simply because it is never announced what state this movie takes place in. You have Judge Leland Hoffman who only gets this case assigned to him because he does his own wheeling and dealing ( I hate that expression) And Senator Alex Simon who is probably the favorite going into to win his unknown party’s nomination for governor, but knows this murder case could be the boost that his top two opponents need to win the nomination. And actually ends up bribing Judge Hoffman in the Judge’s office to let the case go.

There’s a lot of backroom inside politics in this movie. That any great high profile drama has. The movie is also over two-hours but more than worth the time to watch it. Especially if you just like seeing Angie Dickinson in a great movie and she’s had several. Not a movie for people simply looking for romantic comedies and softball humor. There’s a good deal of humor in this movie, but a lot of that involves Don Ameche, as well as how Jack Kelly and Efrem Zimbalist in the courtroom. With the District Attorney accusing the Judge of ruling against him for political reasons. Great movie for political junkies such as myself but also for people who like courtroom dramas and even soap operas.

Attachment-1-977

Source: Classic Film & TV Cafe- Angie Dickinson

Classic Film and TV Cafe: A Fever In The Blood 1961- Angie Dickinson & Efrem Zimbalist

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Meryl Streep & Alan Alda

Meryl Streep & Alan Alda

Source: This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review

The Seduction of Joe Tynan is one of the best political movies I’ve ever seen and it reminds me a little bit of the Ted Kennedy-Jimmy Carter 1979-80 Democratic race for president, which I’ll get into later. Alan Alda plays Senator Joe Tynan from New York, who has solid Progressive Democratic credentials. Who is in love with his job and wants to move up and be a national player in the party if not President of the United States.

What separates him from Senator Ted Kennedy is that Senator Tynan, actually wants to be President. Ted Kennedy ran for president in the 1980, because he didn’t like where the country was going with the bad economy and everything else, didn’t think President Carter was progressive enough, but more importantly he felt some obligation to the progressive wing to run for president and put another Kennedy in the White House.

Joe Tynan, loves the president, loves campaigning, loves politics. I would say loves his kids back in New York as well, just not enough to make them a major priority as far as attending their major events. And I would say likes his wife a lot and perhaps loves her and is attracted to her, but doesn’t have much respect for her and sees her as bit of lightweight, at least as far as the people he deals with in Washington. And I believe this comes out pretty clearly in the movie as far as how Tynan talks about his wife whose played by the adorable and funny Barbara Harris.

What makes Tynan a strong potential presidential candidate is that the President a Democrat, has a U.S. Supreme Court nominee up. Who is a bit of a right-winger, at least on civil rights issues and supported forced segregation in the past, who comes from Arkansas. And that puts Senator Tynan in a tough position of having to consider taking on the leader of his party.

Joe Tynan, doesn’t want to take on the President and his Democratic Leadership in the Senate, but he’s not going to support right-wing Supreme Court nominee who supports forced segregation either. Especially since he’s looking at running for president himself. And is approached by civil rights and labor lawyers in the party who want him to vote against Supreme Court nominee. And is approached by Karen Traynor. (played by Meryl Streep)

Who is one of the Democratic activists trying to bring Tynan to their side and oppose Edward Anderson (played by Maurice Copeland) who is the Supreme Court nominee. She gets Tynan real evidence that he’s against civil rights with video of a speech that he gave in the 1960s and that’s how Senator Tynan comes out against Anderson. Which pisses off his close friend Senator Birney (played by Melvyn Douglas) who is a close friend of Anderson and a big supporter of him.

What you have in Joe Tynan is a workaholic who has become a career politician whose always focused on politics and always looking for the next big move in his career and when he’s not doing that and takes any free time, he does it with people other than his wife and family. Starts an affair with Karen Traynor, becomes a national player and hero in the Democratic Party, decides to run for president without even talking to his wife and kids.

Who starts off the movie having basically everything he wants and has everything going for him as a young influential U.S. Senator who can move legislation. But sees an opening to furthering his political career and jumps on that and in the process almost loses everything that he has. I think this is a very good movie about an ambitious workaholic career politician who is never completely happy and satisfied. And is always looking for more, even if it means losing everything that he already has.

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Goodnight and Good Luck
This post was originally posted at The New Democrat Plus

If I had to rate Goodnight and Good Luck on a scale of 1-10 with ten being the highest, I would give it a 9-9.5. And I saw the movie again a couple of nights ago in preparation for this blog. The only reason I wouldn’t give it a ten, is because it was a ninety-minute movie about one of the most important times during the Cold War between America and Russia and their allies on both sides. This movie should’ve been at least two-hours if not three and they would’ve been able to cover so many more aspects about the McCarthyism in the 1950s.

If you are familiar with the 1950s in America and the so-called red scare about communism and Communists in America, then you are also familiar with U.S. Senator Joe McCarthy and the Army McCarthy hearings that supposedly investigated supposed Communists inside of the U.S. Government. A complete fishing trip inside of an empty bathtub, because Chairman McCarthy and his team didn’t have much if anything to go on. Other than guilt by association. Senator McCarthy saw this as his ticket to the White House after President Dwight Eisenhower.

Edward R. Murrow the anchor and managing editor of CBS News’s See it Now, the CBS nightly newscast before the CBS Evening News, knew what communism was and who were the actual Communists. Because he covered World War II in Europe. And didn’t believe that Americans who weren’t Communists should be stuck with the label of Communists. And he and Fred Friendly and their team at See it Now, without having the backing of CBS News and the broader CBS network, decided to go after McCarthyism and expose Joe McCarthy for what he was. Which was a political opportunist and a right-wing fascist. Who saw Americans who didn’t look at the world the way he did as Un-American.

Murrow and Friendly expose Joe McCarthy for what he really was by going after him the way any good news organization would. By using the truth against McCarthy. Using his own words and documents against the Senator. And with Murrow doing a nightly editorial after their reporting on the McCarthy hearings about dangerous fascism and guilt by association is. And George Clooney who plays Fred Friendly and David Strathairn who plays Ed Murrow, do a great job of showing who the real Friendly and Murrow and the See it Now crew take down Senator Joe McCarthy.

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The Candidate 1972

Progressive Grassroots Candidate

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat

I love the movie The Candidate for several reasons. Perhaps the main one is that it has given me an idea for a book about an anti-establishment liberal candidate or perhaps a John McCain Conservative Republican. They face each other in the general election with the anti-establishment candidate beating the establishment, talking point, sound-bite, candidate who always plays it safe in hopes of offending the fewest.

The Candidate is a movie about a little guy running against big time politicians and the big time political establishment in the Democratic Party. He’s Bill MacKay, played by Robert Redford, running against his own party and against Mr. Establishment, U.S. Senator Crocker Jarman played by Don Porter. McKay’s campaign manager played by Peter Boyle is part of that Democratic establishment but wants to run an outsiders campaign without allowing the outsider MacKay to get too far out in left field. You see these two men fighting against each other in the campaign.

The outsider Bill MacKay runs his campaign based on his beliefs. He gives voters a good idea of who he is and speaks his mind. He probably doesn’t use a speechwriter for the whole campaign. His opponent, three-term incumbent U.S. Senator Crocker Jarman just tries to be likable expressing traditional America values, speaking mostly to older voters. He says you should reelect me because I stand up for America etc.

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