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King: A Filmed Record... Montgomery to Memphis (1970)

Follows Martin Luther King's life and decades long civil rights activism.

Directors:

Sidney Lumet (uncredited), Joseph L. Mankiewicz (uncredited)

Writers:

Mitchell Grayson (Speech Research), Ely A. Landau (conceived by) (as Ely Landau)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Paul Newman ... Himself
Joanne Woodward ... Herself
Ruby Dee ... Herself
James Earl Jones ... Himself
Clarence Williams III ... Himself
Burt Lancaster ... Himself
Ben Gazzara ... Himself
Charlton Heston ... Himself
Harry Belafonte ... Himself
Sidney Poitier ... Himself
Bill Cosby ... Himself
Diahann Carroll ... Herself
Walter Matthau ... Himself
Anthony Quinn ... Himself
Leslie Uggams ... Herself
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Storyline

Follows Martin Luther King's life and decades long civil rights activism.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A motion picture tribute to Martin Luther King in 1,000 theaters across America. One night only. All proceeds go to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Special Fund for the war against poverty, illiteracy and social injustice.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1970 (West Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Dann war mein Leben nicht umsonst - Martin Luther King See more »

Filming Locations:

Montgomery, Alabama, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film was originally shown at theatres as a "one-time-only" event on 24 March 1970, and ran 3 hours and 5 minutes. The proceeds from the $5 admission price was donated to the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Special Fund. It was later shown on US television, unedited and with limited interruption. See more »

Alternate Versions

A second version, edited down to 103 minutes, was released onto videotape. It is missing the celebrety narratives and an opening montage of clips of militant black leaders with violent rhetoric contrasting to clips of Dr. King's non-violent messages, but includes the original introduction by Harry Belefonte, and consists entirely of newsreel footage. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., A Great American
15 April 2013 | by virek213See all my reviews

If ever there were a documentary that could be deemed absolute required viewing, whether in classrooms or in homes, it is KING: A FILMED RECORD…MONTGOMERY TO MEMPHIS. Shown in only a handful of theaters on one single day (March 24, 1970), and released on video numerous times over the years in condensed form, this monumental documentary, some fourteen years after it was entered into the National Film Registry, is back in release on DVD in the form that people who got to see it in 1970 originally saw it, in its uncut length of just slightly over three hours.

Put together by filmmakers Sidney Lumet and Joseph L. Mankiewicz and producer Ely Landau, KING: A FILMED RECORD looks at the place that the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holds in American history. Having gone from a relatively unknown preacher in the early 1950s to national prominence as a result of Rosa Parks' breaking the segregation barrier on transit buses in Montgomery Alabama, King became one of the great figures of our history by making it his mission in life to see that all men, women, and children in America would be judged by what's in their heart and not by what their skin color was. In the original uncut form that had gotten it an Oscar nomination for Best Documentary Feature in 1970 (it lost to WOODSTOCK), KING: A FILMED RECORD looks at all the important moments in Dr. King's non-violent revolution that would forever change the American landscape, even if it didn't change everybody's perceptions of those different from themselves. He fought non-violently against racist governors like George Wallace, bigoted police chiefs like Birmingham, Alabama's infamous Bill Connor, led the march on Selma, and managed to get long-stalled civil rights and voting rights legislation through Congress onto the books through the signature of then-president Lyndon Johnson . All of his most important speeches are included in their full, unexpurgated form here, including the monumental "I Have A Dream" speech he made during the March on Washington of August 28, 1963, and his final "I've Been To The Mountaintop" speech he made in Memphis on the night of April 3, 1968, the night before he was felled by an assassin's bullet.

We also see how tough the struggle could be, what with the murder of Malcolm X, the formation of militaristic groups like the Black Panthers, the urban rioting, White resistance in the South, and, perhaps most important of all, the war in Vietnam, which would eventually destroy Johnson's achievements as a crusader alongside King for civil rights and also be responsible for sending thousands of poor and working-class young men, white and Negro alike, to their deaths. These are important reminders of where America was during the 1960s, how far it has come since then with the election of our first African-American president in Barack Obama, and how, in many other ways, we still have a long way to go towards full acceptance of difference and diversity in America.

All of this makes KING:A FILMED RECORD an epic film to match any that Hollywood itself ever did, but that is because the real-life story it tells is a true American epic of modern times. Martin Luther King was one of the greatest American citizens who ever lived, and this documentary ensures that his legacy will never be forgotten.


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