Academy presents election films

Nov 22, 2000 by Ian Evans

Newly restored prints of the documentary Primary and the Best Picture of 1949, All the King’s Men, will be screened at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on Friday, December 8, at 7:30 p.m., in the Samuel Goldwyn Theater. This politically themed and timely double feature will be presented as part of the Academy Standards series.

In cinema verite style, Primary tells the story of John F. Kennedy’s 1960 Democratic primary win in Wisconsin against Hubert Humphrey. Without narration, the film captures the candidates not only in public moments, but in private ones as well, and far more candidly than could ever be possible today. The film was directed by Robert Drew, and the print to be screened is one restored by the Academy Film Archive, the repository of the Robert Drew Collection.

Written, directed and produced by Robert Rossen, Best Picture winner All the King’s Men is the cynical tale of Willie Stark, an honest and reform-minded politician who rises to the governor’s mansion on a tide of populist support, only to become as corrupt and entrenched as his political foes. Broderick Crawford won an Academy Award® for his portrayal of Stark; Mercedes McCambridge won the Supporting Actress Oscar® for her performance as Sadie Burke, a conniving political aide. The film also earned Academy Award nominations in four other categories: Supporting Actor (John Ireland), Directing (Rossen), Film Editing (Robert Parrish, Al Clark) and Writing – Screenplay (Rossen). The print to be screened is one newly restored, courtesy of the Academy Film Archive and Sony Pictures Entertainment.

Tickets for the December 8 screening of Primary and All the King’s Men are $5 for the general public, $3 for Academy members. They may be purchased in advance at the Academy during regular business hours, by mail, or on the night of the screenings when the doors open at 6:30 p.m. A single ticket admits the holder to either or both of the films. The Academy is located at 8949 Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills. For more information, call 310-247-3600.