IMDb > Tail Gunner Joe (1977) (TV)

Tail Gunner Joe (1977) (TV) More at IMDbPro »


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Release Date:
6 February 1977 (USA) See more »
A dramatization of the life of Joe McCarthy, the alcoholic senator from Wisconsin whose tactics of accusing... See more » | Add synopsis »
Won 2 Primetime Emmys. Another 4 nominations See more »
(2 articles)
TV writer Norman Chandler Fox dies at 71
 (From The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News. 26 July 2010, 1:00 PM, PDT)

Hollywood Producer Eckstein Dies
 (From WENN. 15 September 2009, 9:06 AM, PDT)

User Reviews:
Peter Boyle and John Carradine See more (9 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Peter Boyle ... Joe McCarthy

John Forsythe ... Paul Cunningham

Heather Menzies-Urich ... Logan (as Heather Menzies)

Burgess Meredith ... Joseph Welch

Patricia Neal ... Sen. Margaret Chase Smith

Jean Stapleton ... Mrs. DeCamp

Philip Abbott ... Sen. Scott Lucas

Wesley Addy ... Middleton

Ned Beatty ... Sylvester

Karen Carlson ... Jean Kerr

John Carradine ... Wisconsin Farmer

Charles Cioffi ... Logan's Boss

Diana Douglas ... Sarah

Andrew Duggan ... Dwight Eisenhower

Henry Jones ... Armitage

Murray Matheson ... Publisher

Allan Miller ... Pete

Tim O'Connor ... Librarian

Alan Oppenheimer ... Eisenhower Publicist (as Allan Oppenheimer)

Addison Powell ... General George C. Marshall

Andrew Prine ... Peter Parker McNair Gates

John Randolph ... Gen. Lampkin

Allan Rich ... Ray Jenkins

William Schallert ... Gen. Zwicker
Simon Scott ... Robert Ten Broeck Stevens

Robert F. Simon ... Drew Pearson

George Wyner ... Roy Cohn

Lin McCarthy ... Sen. Stuart Symington

Kelly Jean Peters ... Mrs. Sarah Gates

Robert Symonds ... President Harry Truman
Charles Siebert ... James Juliana
Sam Chew Jr. ... Robert F. Kennedy
John Chappell ... Sen. Karl Mundt

Herb Voland ... Sen. Raymond Baldwin
Edward Anhalt ... Sen. Herbert Lehman

Alan Hewitt ... Dean Acheson

Howard Hesseman ... Lt. Ted Cantwell

Jack Bannon ... Eisenhower Aide
Charles Macaulay ... Wm. Roberts
Richard M. Dixon ... Sen. Richard M. Nixon
Wallace Rooney ... Speaker

Morgan Upton ... Clucas
Shirley O'Hara ... Marie

George Petrie ... Chas. Kraus
Dallas Mitchell ... Reporter
James O'Connell ... Navy Doctor
Devra Korwin ... Divorced Wife
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

John Anderson ... Gen. George C. Marshall (uncredited)

Bill Quinn ... Congressman (uncredited)
Arthur Tovey ... Congressman (uncredited)

Jimmy Williams ... Congressman (uncredited)

Jason Wingreen ... Ohio Reporter (uncredited)

Directed by
Jud Taylor 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Lane Slate 

Produced by
George Eckstein .... producer
Norman Chandler Fox .... associate producer
Cinematography by
Ric Waite (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Bernard J. Small 
Casting by
Reuben Cannon 
Art Direction by
Lawrence G. Paull 
Set Decoration by
Lloyd A. Linnean 
Costume Design by
Charles Waldo 
Production Management
Fred R. Simpson .... unit manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Hap Weyman .... assistant director
Sound Department
Don Parker .... sound
Don Weinman .... sound effects editor
Camera and Electrical Department
Richard Walden .... first assistant camera (uncredited)
Music Department
Bettie Biery .... music editor
Billy May .... conductor
Billy May .... music arranger
Transportation Department
Chris Haynes .... driver (uncredited)
Other crew
Cliff Shirpser .... aviation technical advisor (uncredited)
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
145 min
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

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 »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
Peter Boyle and John Carradine, 30 April 2017
Author: kevin olzak ( from Youngstown, Ohio

"Tail Gunner Joe" was a three hour blockbuster for NBC on Feb 6 1977, detailing the rise and fall of Senator Joe McCarthy, played by the imposing Peter Boyle, then riding high on his multifaceted Creature in Mel Brooks' "Young Frankenstein." The left wing slant of the narrative shouldn't be a surprise to anyone, but Boyle's inherent likability shines through, enabling the more unsavory traits of McCarthy's nature to slide by in somewhat engaging fashion. Even at this length it's never really boring, guest stars galore offering their version of events to reporter Heather Menzies, the first up being John Carradine's 'Wisconsin Farmer,' discussing Joe's background before going into politics: "they say he left his mark on this country, I don't know about that, but he certainly left his chickens!" Boyle was nominated for an Emmy for his performance, as was Patricia Neal, but only Burgess Meredith took home the trophy as Joseph Welch, the attorney for the US Army who tried to turn McCarthy's accusations back on him, saved for the climax. In actual fact, Welch had indeed hired a young lawyer, Fred Fisher, who truly was employed by a Communist front group, the National Lawyers Guild, so in hindsight 'Tail Gunner Joe' successfully called out Welch, though neither man lived long after these hearings. John Forsythe, Jean Stapleton, Ned Beatty, and Andrew Duggan's Dwight Eisenhower come off best, with Richard M. Dixon still typecast as Vice President Nixon!

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