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Primary (1960)

Not Rated | | Documentary | 1960 (USA)
Cinéma vérité feature that follows presidential hopefuls John F. Kennedy and Hubert H. Humphrey during the 1960 Wisconsin primary.

Director:

Robert Drew

Writer:

Robert Drew
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Cast

Credited cast:
Robert Drew Robert Drew ... Himself
Hubert H. Humphrey ... Himself
Muriel Buck Humphrey Muriel Buck Humphrey ... Herself
Joseph Julian Joseph Julian ... Himself - Narrator (voice)
Jacqueline Kennedy ... Herself
John F. Kennedy ... Himself
Robert F. Kennedy ... Himself
Joseph McBride ... Kennedy volunteer
Philleo Nash Philleo Nash ... Himself
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Storyline

It's the tail end of winter in 1960. U.S. Senators Hubert Humphrey and John Kennedy seek the Democratic Party's nomination for President. Wisconsin's primary - one of the few direct primaries at the time - is on April 5. We see both candidates on the road; it's retail politics, shaking hands, signing autographs, smiling. We hear part of a standard stump speech from Kennedy; we watch Humphrey talk to farmers in a rural hall. Kennedy is favored. We see his wife, his brother Robert briefly, and on election night his sisters Pat and Eunice. Jacqueline speaks a few words of Polish at a Milwaukee rally. The returns come in; it's on to Indiana and West Virginia. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary

Certificate:

Not Rated
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1960 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Primárias See more »

Filming Locations:

Wisconsin, USA

Company Credits

Production Co:

Drew Associates, Time See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film was selected to the National Film Registry, Library of Congress, in 1990. See more »

Goofs

When Jacqueline Kennedy is singing along with supporters at a campaign rally, her lips are not in sync. See more »

Connections

Featured in Cinéma Vérité: Defining the Moment (2000) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Just A Little Chunk Of History
17 July 2018 | by redryan64See all my reviews

IN FILMING THE behind the scenes of the 1960 Wisconsin Democratic Primary, the production team found what was probably a natural. While primary time lacks the punch and long-lasting effects on we, the electorate, it is nonetheless an unavoidable step in the process .

SHADOWING TWO ASPIRING candidates, the film tells the story of how differently the two candidates' campaigns sized up the run for the State delegation's voting at the upcoming Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles in July of 1960. The differences that are dramatized are much more those of tactics and logistics; as neither man is shown saying much (if anything at all) about his Primary opponent. Both men seem to have concentrated in criticizing in the broadest terms the course that the nation was headed under the previous 8 years of G.O.P. policies of the Administration of President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

THE CAMPAIGN OF Senator Hubert H. Humphrey consisted of short jumps between stops at many a rural farming community. The Humphrey campaign reasoned that his strength would be in the country folk, of whom Hubert was also born and bred; his father being a small town pharmacist.

CONTRASTING SHARPLY FROM that was the Kennedy central tenet that the heavily populated Big City districts would render a far greater return on his investment of time. Greater crowds could be reached and there would be a greater identifying by the urban gentry with JFK; although this is one of varying shades; for how well could a blue collar worker in Kenosha accept a Harvard educated, Bostonian Millionaire as one of his own ?

BUT THERE WAS yet another, perhaps unspoken reason to exploit the minor contrast that would be present. That would be Mr. Kennedy's having been born and raised a Catholic. That was a big deal in 1960, especially following in the wake of 1928's Presidential election where Democrat Al Smith, a Catholic, lost big time to Herbert Hoover.

KENNEDY'S CAMPAIGN REASONED that they could turn his religion into a plus factor by concentrating on the more urban districts with heavy Polish populations; with the Poles, of course, being very predominantly Catholic.


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