IMDb > Crisis: Behind a Presidential Commitment (1963)
Crisis: Behind a Presidential Commitment
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Release Date:
21 October 1963 (USA) See more »
Behind a Presidential Commitment. 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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(18 articles)
Which Movie President Would You Vote For? — Critics Survey
 (From Indiewire. 19 July 2016, 7:56 AM, PDT)

The Kennedy Films of Robert Drew & Associates
 (From Trailers from Hell. 15 April 2016, 10:07 AM, PDT)

Daily | Robert Drew, 1924 – 2014
 (From Keyframe. 30 July 2014, 4:49 PM, PDT)

User Reviews:
Kennedy Against Alabama 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

Also Known As:
"Crisis" - International (English title) (informal short title), USA (short title)
"Behind a Presidential Commitment" - International (English title) (informal short title)
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52 min
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

George Wallace - Governor of Alabama:We had peace, but we got troops. No telling what we'd get if we had a little disorder. Might get the United Nations down on top of us.See more »
Movie Connections:
(I Wish I Was in) Dixie's LandSee more »


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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful.
Kennedy Against Alabama, 22 November 2013
Author: Michael_Elliott from Louisville, KY

Crisis: Behind a Presidential Commitment (1963)

*** 1/2 (out of 4)

Robert Drew's fascinating documentary takes a look at the battle between President Kennedy and Alabama Governor George Wallace. Kennedy and his brother Robert are seen trying to get Wallace to step down and allow two black students to enroll at the University of Alabama but the governor stands to his ground. After PRIMARY, director Drew was given more access to Kennedy and it's pretty clear that the two of them knew this decision would be something big so it's pretty incredible that so much was able to be captured for this film. It runs just 53-minutes but there's certainly some drama here even though you know what happened at the school. I thought the film was extremely well-made and especially towards the end when the countdown starts on getting the two students into the school. Getting to see Robert Kennedy listening to what's going on in Alabama was pretty fascinating and you can see the drama going on just by looking at his face. Also, seeing the aftermath of the events was also rather special. It's hard to believe that this film was released just a month before Kennedy was assassinated so in some ways that gives it even more power when viewed today. It's hard to believe that this type of stuff was happening such a short time ago but this documentary does a very good job at capturing the moods at the time.

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