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Tail Gunner Joe (1977)

TV Movie  -   -  Biography | Drama  -  6 February 1977 (USA)
6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 120 users  
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A dramatization of the life of Sen. Joseph McCarthy, the alcoholic senator from Wisconsin whose tactics of accusing prominent people of Communist sympathies were initially designed to give ... See full summary »

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Title: Tail Gunner Joe (TV Movie 1977)

Tail Gunner Joe (TV Movie 1977) on IMDb 6.7/10

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Won 2 Primetime Emmys. Another 4 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Paul Cunningham
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Logan (as Heather Menzies)
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Joseph Welch
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Sen. Margaret Chase Smith
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Mrs. DeCamp
Philip Abbott ...
Sen. Scott Lucas
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Middleton
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Sylvester
Karen Carlson ...
Jean Kerr
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Wisconsin farmer
Charles Cioffi ...
Logan's Boss
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Sarah
...
...
Armitage
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Storyline

A dramatization of the life of Sen. Joseph McCarthy, the alcoholic senator from Wisconsin whose tactics of accusing prominent people of Communist sympathies were initially designed to give him a national power base when he later planned to run for President. Written by Anonymous

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Genres:

Biography | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated
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Details

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Release Date:

6 February 1977 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La chasse aux sorcières  »

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 »
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Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Burgess Meredith, who plays the attorney Joseph Welch who finally stood up to Senator McCarthy, was himself named an unfriendly witness by the House Un-American Activities Committee, which nearly ruined his acting career. See more »

Quotes

JOSEPH WELCH: Until this moment, Senator, I think I never really gauged your cruelty or your recklessness. Fred Fisher is a young man who is starting what looks to be a brilliant career with us. Little did I dream that you could be so reckless, and so cruel, as to do an injury to that lad. Have you no sense of decency, sir; at long last, have you left no sense of decency?
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User Reviews

 
A Hatchet Job on an easy target.
30 June 2001 | by (San Francisco, California, USA) – See all my reviews

The title says it all. "Tail Gunner Joe" was a tag given to the Senator which relied upon the ignorance of the public about World War II aircraft. The rear facing moving guns relied upon a latch that would prevent the rear gunner from shooting off the tail of the airplane by preventing the gun from firing when it pointed at the tail. When the Senator was practicing on the ground one day, he succeeded in shooting off the tail of the airplane. He couldn't have done that if the gun had been properly aligned. The gunnery officer responsible for that admitted, in public, before a camera, that he was responsible -- he had made the error, not the Senator. The fact that the film did not report that fact, shows how one-sided it is. This film was designed to do one thing, destroy the reputation of a complex person.

A much better program was the PBS special done on him. He was a hard working, intelligent, ambitious politician who overcame extraordinary disadvantages to rise to extraordinary heights. He made some mistakes, some serious mistakes, but shooting the tail off an airplane was not one of them.

The popularity of this film is due to the fact that the public likes simple stories, one=sided stories, so that they don't have to think.


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