Picks and Pans Review: George Wallace: Settin' the Woods on Fire
Anyone who followed the late George Wallace's career—or saw it dramatized in the 1997 TNT mini-series with Gary Sinise—knows the basic story line: Comparative moderate turns incendiary segregationist to win the Alabama governorship, becomes a national force by exploiting racial divisions, survives an assassination attempt that leaves him paralyzed, and eventually appeals to blacks for forgiveness. This three-hour American Experience documentary (narrated by Randy Quaid) covers the essentials admirably but also does right by the political sidelights, including Wallace's tricky relations with Richard Nixon and the backfiring choice of loose cannon Curtis LeMay as his running mate in the 1968 presidential election. In the personal area, the film is less thorough. Wallace's second wife, Cornelia, has interesting comments, but none on the breakup of their marriage. Third wife Lisa goes unmentioned.
Bottom Line: Valuable portrait
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