HUEY LONG (TV)

Summary

This documentary chronicles the life and career of Louisiana governor and senator Huey P. Long by combining newsreel footage, still photographs, narration by David McCullough, and interviews with Long's contemporaries. The program begins with a summary of Long's career and political philosophy and is then divided into four sections. In the first section, "Every Man a King," Long's youth and early career are examined. Topics covered include Long's childhood in Winn Parish, Louisiana; his early career as a salesman; his marriage to Rose McConnell; his law practice; social and economic conditions in Louisiana in the 1920s; Long's election to the State Railroad Commission in 1918; and his victory in the 1928 gubernatorial election. In the section entitled "The Kingfish," Long's achievements and notoriety as governor are examined. Topics covered include the following: the many miles of paved roads and bridges built by Long's administration in Louisiana; revision of the tax code and free books for all schools; nights schools for the illiterate and hospitals for the poor; reasons for corruption within Long's administration; his impeachment by the state legislature in 1929; and his success in fighting against his removal from office. The section "Sure Enough Bigshot" looks at Long's personality; his election to the U.S. Senate while still governor; his newspaper "The Louisiana Progress"; and Long's control of the elections for his successor as governor. The "Share the Wealth" section examines Long's national politics during the Depression. Topics covered include his actions in the Senate; his numerous disagreements with Pres. Franklin D. Roosevelt; Father Coughlin and Dr. Francis Townsend (shown in clips); public opinion about Long; his national newspaper, "The American Progress"; and his plans to run for president in 1936. Those interviewed include Judge Cecil Morgan and Justice John Fournet, former Louisiana state legistators; journalist I.F. Stone; journalist Betty Carter, wife of Hodding Carter; Long's bodyguard, Elois Sahuc; his sister, Lucille Long Hunt; his son, Sen. Russell Long; author Robert Penn Warren; Bill Dodd, former lieutenant governor of Louisiana; Sen. Jennings Randolph of West Virginia; historian Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.; and Long's protege Ragan Madden.

The fourth section of the program, "A Wildness in the Air," examines Long's career at the height of his career, as well as his assassination. Topics covered include Hodding Carter's editorials criticizing Long in The Daily Courier; Long's control over legislation in the Louisiana State Legislature; his opponents hatred of him; social and economic conditions in New Orleans and Baton Rouge in 1933; Long's 1935 book "My First Days in the White House"; the assassination of Long by Carl Austin Weiss, Jr., and his death on Sept. 10, 1935. Those interviewed include Judge Cecil Morgan and Justice John Fournet, former Louisiana state legislators; I. F. Stone; journalist Betty Carter, wife of Hodding Carter; Long's bodyguard Elois Sahuc; his son, Sen. Russell Long; his sister, Lucille Long Hunt; author Robert Penn Warren; Bill Dodd, former lieutenant governor of Louisiana; Sen. Jennings Randolph of West Virginia; historian Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.; Long's protege Ragan Madden; journalist Tom Wicker; and Carl Weiss's brother, Thomas Weiss. Included throughout are many clips of Long speaking. (This program received a 1986-1987 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Journalism Award in the Independent Category.)

Details

  • NETWORK: PBS WNET New York, NY
  • DATE: October 15, 1986 Wednesdasy 9:30 PM
  • RUNNING TIME: 1:00:12
  • COLOR/B&W: Color
  • CATALOG ID: T88:0096
  • GENRE: Public affairs/Documentaries
  • SUBJECT HEADING: Biography
  • SERIES RUN: PBS - TV, 1986
  • COMMERCIALS:

CREDITS

    • Ken Burns … Producer, Director, Cinematographer
    • Richard Kilberg … Producer, Director
    • Geoffrey C. Ward … Writer
    • Ric Burns … Writer
    • Buddy Squires … Cinematographer
    • David Culbert … Researcher
    • John Colby … Music (Misc. Credits), Music Director, Instrumentalist
    • Matt Glaser … Instrumentalist
    • Russ Barenberg … Instrumentalist
    • Art Baron … Instrumentalist
    • Jesse Carr … Music (Misc. Credits), Music Researcher, Instrumentalist
    • Randy Newman … Performer, "Louisiana 1927" performed by
    • Jay Ungar … Composer, "Ashokan Farewell" composed by
    • David McCullough … Narrator
    • Betty Carter (See also: Mrs. Hodding Carter)
    • Hodding Carter
    • Charles Coughlin
    • Bill Dodd
    • John Fournet
    • Lucille Long Hunt
    • Huey Long
    • Russell Long
    • Ragan Madden
    • Cecil Morgan
    • Jennings Randolph
    • Franklin D. Roosevelt
    • Elois Sahuc
    • Arthur Schlesinger
    • I.F. Stone
    • Francis Townsend
    • Robert Penn Warren
    • Carl Austin Weiss Jr.
    • Thomas Weiss
    • Tom Wicker