IMDb > Crisis: Behind a Presidential Commitment (1963)

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Release Date:
21 October 1963 (USA) See more »
Governor George Wallace will not let two black students into an Alabama school, against the wishes of President Kennedy. Loud shouts come from both sides of the issue as JFK stands by his decisions. | Add synopsis »
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(17 articles)
Daily | Robert Drew, 1924 – 2014
 (From Keyframe. 30 July 2014, 4:49 PM, PDT)

Robert Drew, Documentarian Who Fathered Cinema Verite, Dies at 90
 (From Variety - Film News. 30 July 2014, 3:16 PM, PDT)

R.I.P Robert Drew
 (From Filmmaker Magazine. 30 July 2014, 2:52 PM, PDT)

User Reviews:
A fascinating cinéma vérité documentary which has to be seen to be believed. See more (3 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

John F. Kennedy ... Himself - President of the United States
George Wallace ... Himself - Governor of Alabama
Robert F. Kennedy ... Himself - Attorney General of the United States
Vivian Malone ... Herself - a Negro Student
James Hood ... Himself - a Negro Student
Michael LeMoyne Kennedy ... Himself - Robert F. Kennedy's Son (as Michael)
Burke Marshall ... Himself - Assistant Attorney General (as Burt Marshall)
Nicholas Katzenbach ... Himself - Deputy Attorney General
John Dore ... Himself - Deputy Attorney General
Jack Greenberg ... Himself - N.A.A.C.P. Advisor
Creighton Williams Abrams ... Himself - Confrontation Planner for Military (as General Abrams)
Kerry Kennedy ... Herself - Robert F. Kennedy's Daughter
Peyton Norville ... Himself - United States Marshal (as Marshal Norville)
Henry Graham ... Himself - Commander of Alabama National Guard (as General Graham)
Dave McGlathery ... Himself - a Negro Engineering Student
James Lipscomb ... Narrator (voice)

Directed by
Robert Drew (uncredited)
Produced by
Robert Drew .... executive producer
Gregory Shuker .... producer
Cinematography by
Gregory Shuker (uncredited)
Editorial Department
De Nosworthy .... assistant editor
Nicholas T. Proferes .... assistant editor (as Nicholas Proferes)
Other crew
Richard Leacock .... filmmaker
James Lipscomb .... filmmaker
Mort Lund .... assistant filmmaker
Abbot Mills .... assistant filmmaker
D.A. Pennebaker .... filmmaker
Patricia Powell .... assistant filmmaker
Hope Ryden .... filmmaker
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

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52 min
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Movie Connections:
Featured in A President to Remember (2008)See more »
(I Wish I Was in) Dixie's LandSee more »


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17 out of 17 people found the following review useful.
A fascinating cinéma vérité documentary which has to be seen to be believed., 14 February 2003
Author: Arthur Hausner ( from Pine Grove, California

A truly remarkable documentary which had cameras with all the principals involved in the confrontation between Governor George Wallace of Alabama and the federal courts in letting two black students enroll in the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa. I was awed at witnessing the planning sessions of President John F. Kennedy, Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, General Abrams, Deputy Attorney General Nicholas Katzenbach, etc. The University had already approved the admission of the two students; Alabama was the only remaining state which had not fully integrated its university system, and Governor Wallace vowed to stand at the entrance and prevent the students from entering. What the federal government will do when that happens is the focus of the documentary? The tension is real! The drama is real! The participants are real! A most extraordinary documentary I never knew existed before it bowled me over when I saw it in 1981 in a theater, and again when recently shown on the Turner Classic Movies channel. I would have thought it could never have been made. After all, I'm sure Governor Wallace knew it was a lost cause, yet he gave permission for the film makers to film him and his staff and the confrontation. The principals were covered by four teams of film makers and most of the footage appeared unstaged. Shots of Robert Kennedy at home with his kids and George Wallace with his daughter (or granddaughter) helped to make them more human rather than larger than life. The sense of history was overpowering. A must see for anyone interested in the civil rights movement or any of the participants.

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