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Tail Gunner Joe (1977)

TV Movie  |  Not Rated  |   |  Biography, Drama  |  6 February 1977 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 126 users  
Reviews: 8 user

A dramatization of the life of Joe McCarthy, the alcoholic senator from Wisconsin whose tactics of accusing prominent people of Communist sympathies were initially designed to give him a ... See full summary »



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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 »


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


A dramatization of the life of Joe 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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Biography | Drama


Not Rated




Release Date:

6 February 1977 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La chasse aux sorcières  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


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 »


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?
See more »

Crazy Credits

This program presents a dramatized interpretation of the life and times of Senator Joe McCarthy. Some of the names have been changed and the reporters and some of the persons interviewed have been created to serve as narrators of incidents based upon actual occurrences. See more »

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User Reviews

The man is not,and was not, a hero, period.
30 September 2004 | by (Burnet, Texas North America) – See all my reviews

It is a source of continual amazement to me that, if a person lives long enough, the opposite of Shakespeare's saying proves true. The bard said something like "The evil that men do lives after them. The good is oft interred with their bones." The opposite is all too often true. This appears to be the case with McCarthy. The longer he is dead, the more people forget about what a truly vile maggot he was. This movie does a reasonably good job of portraying McCarthy as he was and not as the new bunch of neo-conservatives want him to have been. His reckless disregard for the truth (often under the guise of looking for the truth) made him the functional equivalent of a twentieth century inquisitor. It also points out how Eisenhower stood by and did absolutely nothing to curb McCarthy. Of course, Eisenhower did virtually nothing for eight years, so this was nothing new...

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