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Huey Long (1985)

Ken Burns' portrait of Louisiana governor/U.S. senator Huey Long.


Ken Burns

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2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »


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Credited cast:
Huey Long Huey Long ... Himself (archive footage)
Russell Long Russell Long ... Himself (as Russell B. Long)
David McCullough ... Narrator
Jennings Randolph Jennings Randolph ... Himself - Senator of West Virginia
Arthur Schlesinger Jr. ... Himself
I.F. Stone I.F. Stone ... Himself
Robert Penn Warren ... Himself


Ken Burns' portrait of Louisiana governor/U.S. senator Huey Long.

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Release Date:

28 September 1985 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Florentine Films, RKB See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

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Did You Know?


Mrs. Hodding Carter: And when he spoke, it was a dynamic experience for all of us, whether you were for him or against him. And the people near the front would say, "Give it to them, Huey, give it to them!" and way in the back someone would say, "Go to hell!"
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Featured in Ken Burns: America's Storyteller (2017) See more »

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User Reviews

Solid documentary, but not "classic"
1 February 2003 | by ledzepp461See all my reviews

There were some excellent little touches to this film: Robert Penn Warren's interview, great video of Huey speaking, interviews with rural Louisiana folks who still love Huey, and even a great Randy Newman song during the title credits. That being said, the documentary was missing a few things that have already been mentioned. I think the main problem is that Huey's life was so incredible and packed with material, that it was hard to whittle it down to 90 minutes. Burns is usually known for these epic, multi-part documentaries (which I usually think are a bit too much), but in this case, Huey's life deserved such treatment! This could have easily been a four-part, eight-hour documentary.

I also think the documentary would have been stronger had it been made ten years later, after new details emerged about Huey's assassination. True, Burns wouldn't have gotten to interview Robert Penn Warren and some of the other people now in the film, but I think more material would have been available for Burns, and he might have considered making the film longer.

As far as the content, it was amazing to see the different views on Long: the old-timers living in the rural parts of the state still loved Huey, as opposed to the old anti-Longs who said they were happy at his assassination! I think these interviews, while not directly having to do with the facts surrounding Long's life, were a great indication of the powerful spell Huey cast on people, whether they loved him or hated him. The legend lives on.

All in all, a strong documentary, but leaves the audience wanting more.

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