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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
I wasn't a huge fan of PRIMARY. Being a JFK and 1960s political buff, I highly anticipated the behind the scenes campaign film. Due to my lack of interest in Hubert Humphrey, unfortunately, I spent most of the viewing time hitting the fast forward button to the Kennedy segments.
Regardless, this film does show the overwhelming and taxing manner of campaigning and how it takes a person that does not appear to be mortal to carry out such a function.
The camera gets intimately close to JFK when he enters rally halls. There's a few shots that are groundbreaking in this sequence. It almost appears that the cameraman glued his lens to the back of Kennedy's collar. It creates an eye opening feeling of proximity.
Therefore, I guess if you eliminated Humphrey from the film or showcased the Presidential Election itself, you'd have a much more interesting piece of work.
Ted Ryan www.modesthouseproductions.com
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