George Wallace (1997) - full transcript

A story about former Alabama governor George Wallace, whose views on racial segregation put him against the US government and at the forefront opposing the Civil Rights Movement. Mainly set from 1955 to 1972 with flashbacks, it tells the story of this governor, said to be in the USA, 'the greatest political loser of all time', having stood for the US presidency four times and losing each time. And how loss, pain and suffering would eventually lead him to renounce what he once stood for.


Make sure you come
back now, you hear?

- You take care.
- All right, buddy.

Tom 6, Tom 6,
accident. No details.

County road, State Highway 31.

You forgetting a little
something, Archie?

This is Tom 6, Dispatch, ten-four.

Tom 17 to Tom 9, we
got a family fight.

Both sound intoxicated.

Address 214 North Highway, 231.

Tom 17 en route to site.

Hey, hey.

Wait, come back here now.

Goddamn it, now.

I told that fella I didn't
want Archie going out there...

to his mama's place in handcuffs.

Don't nobody listen to me?

What you doing?

I'm changing your tie.

Well, what's wrong with that one?

Well, don't go with your suit.

And it is out of style.

Oh, yeah.

I'm marrying a goddamn
fashion consultant.

Yeah, silk ties, Italian ties.

Yes, sir, wife of the
governor of Alabama.

She's a real swanny gal.

More high-tone than the
governor his own self.

Be still, honey.

- Course, you know...
- Be still.

The governor, he don't know. He
just a rough old country boy, now.

I want to see my
husband looking sharp.

What the hell you doing?

You know what they told
me before I married you?

Cornelia is so fast, you're gonna
have to put a governor on her.

It's about all I can do to
just stay up with you, woman.

Yeah, you are pluperfect,
hungry animal again.

- Come on, that's enough, now.
- Oh, hardly.

We are a starring duo,
George, aren't we?


Firecracker pair.


How you feeling now?
What you wanna do?

Come on.

Well, well.

Wait a minute. Whoa, whoa, whoa.

Oh, hey, wait.

- Wait a minute, now.
- No, no.

- Cut that out now.
- No, no.

Whoa. Come on, cut that out.

Now, wait.

- Yes, yes, yes.
- No, no, no.

No, no, cut that out.

Oh, damn.

I got to get on up
there in Maryland.

I'll be ready before
you are, governor.

I always am.


That is about the damn truth.

Now, you hurry up.

They can't wait all day, now.

Good Lord, girl, what are you
gonna make of all this mess?

You dust this every day, Eddie...

because Alabama loved
this little girl.

We all still miss her.

This is everything.

Oh, thank you, Jamison.

Well, this is good for a start.

Miami paper.

"Wallace's political
sun could reach

highest point at the
primaries tomorrow."

Where's this thing in Maryland
supposed to be at exactly?

At a place called Laurels,
big shopping centre.

Oh, yeah, I know.

Jamison, how come you
let that trooper

put those damn
handcuffs on Archie...

just to drive him
out to his mama's?

Goddamn, he been trustee
here since the '50s.

Get on out there and put
my bags in the car.

- Morning.
- Morning, governor.

- Morning, boys.
- Where the hell's Cornelia at?

We're running behind
here, you know.

She's still upstairs
fixing herself.

She'll be along soon.

What kind of devil they
calling me today, Ricky?

Well, sort of a different
kind now, governor.

Chicago paper here.

"Wallace could be a frontrunner
for Democratic nomination...

at the primaries tomorrow."

Heh, heh, heh. Let me see that.

Give me the ketchup, Gerald.

Never made much difference to
you what you're gobbling down.

Could be eggs, steak, peas.

Could be the end of
your tie. You're

gonna put ketchup
on it, ain't you?

It's a little late
for you to start

worrying about dining
etiquette, Odum.

Here, governor. Listen to
this Los Angeles paper.

"Wallace likely to win
Maryland tomorrow.

Possible two other primaries...

could throw Democratic
nomination into a turmoil."

See what a good press secretary?

Ricky sure can read
those headlines.

Yeah. Heh, heh.

- Yeah, he a talented man.
- Sure is.

Says here, governor,
you a "pol..."

"Poltergeist in the
presidential campaign."

Poltergeist? What's that
supposed to mean exactly?

You're supposed to be
able to tell me, Odum.

That's why I made you president
of that state college down there.

Gerald, heard you threw another
shindig for your buddies...

at Jeff Davis Hotel
the other night.

Lookie here, George...

Fifty-dollar-a-month walk-up
law office downtown...

ain't got no more sense
than to live like

some millionaire
goddamn Arab sheik...

out for everybody to see.

You're my little brother, but
you gonna get me in trouble.

I'm running for president now.

Quit getting on me about
that, because I...

Shut up.

- Can I tell you what?
- Shut up.

- Can I tell you what?
- Gerald, strain.



Lookie here, governor.

- Even the Boston paper.
- Let me see that.

George, remember when we
first started on this thing?

It was like guerrilla raids
up north back in '64.

Practically living off
the land as we went.

Barely enough money to pay
for a hotel room, man.

Lot of them hotels
wouldn't even take

us. Figured we'd short-sheet them.

Gave off a hellacious ruction in
places, Wisconsin, Cleveland.


Yeah, but by God, wound up almost

winning some of them
primaries then.

People started saying, "Oh.
Them yahoos are loose again."

Yeah, we run again
'68, what'd we get?

Ten million votes.

Yeah, and after these
primaries tomorrow...

governor, you just win
Michigan and Maryland...

you be leading McGovern, Humphrey
the whole darn load of them...

for the Democratic nomination as
president of these United States.

It's amazing. Now,
just think about it.

Them national political bigwigs
and liberal press crowd.

We got them all crapping
in their pants.

They all the time trying
to call me a racist.


what none of them
understand yet...

race is why all those people
out there come over to us.

Without me even having to
say the word "race"...

people getting what
I'm talking about.

Yeah, it'd be something,
wouldn't it?

We might actually haul off
and win this goddamn thing.

You know where we are, Archie?

The famous Edmund Pettus Bridge...

where Martin Luther King and his
crowd got their asses kicked.

Did finally cross it, though.

- Say what?
- Nothing.

Well, is there someone sitting
back there beside you?

Like somebody hadn't learnt...

that long as George Corley Wallace
is governor of Alabama...

everything is gonna stay
just like it's always been.

Of course, always some a
little slow to learn.

Those handcuffs too
tight for you, Archie?

No, sir.

They're just about right.

Go on in. I'll wait for you here.

Just because you're a
trustee, don't mean

you ain't still a
convicted murderer.

Anyhow, your family won't mind.

Your mother won't notice.

Thank you for saying a few words.

Jim, come over here,
there's an opportunity...

Excuse me, governor, People mag...

Life magazine. Like to get
some photographs, right here.

- Governor George Wallace here.
- Good, very nice.

Get in a little closer. Very good.

I just love this music, don't you?

Yeah, I do. It's bluegrass.

Good, let me get one more.

All right, Jim, that's fine.
Thank you very much, thank you.

Everybody, everybody, thanks.

Everybody, he's here, you all.

I give you all... For just a
little while now, I want him back.

My husband and the
next president of

the United States,
George C. Wallace.


We're with you all the way.

Isn't she something?

Yes, indeed.

What'd I marry, huh?

We're counting on you.

Thank you all, a
wonderful crowd. We're

glad to be back here in Maryland.

Amen to that.

I'm happy to see all our
law enforcement folks...

out here with us today.

The court's now
turning loose people

who shoot and steal and kill.

- People are getting sick of it.
- That's right, that's right.

We love you, governor.
We love you.

I tell you, when I'm
your president...

I promise you, you'll
be safe anywhere

in this country of
ours from anybody.

Listen, these here big time
national politicians...

like George McGovern...

and Richard Milhous
"Tricky Dick" Nixon...

They all complaining
that we gonna hurt them.

But let me tell you something,
I wanna hurt them...

because they been
hurting us long enough.

To them...

she was just another old,
unimportant nigger woman.

Tended their children,
cooked their

meals, cleaned their laundry.

But not once, through all
her life on this earth...

did they pay her any dignity
at all as a human being.

All she was...

was our mama.

First Daddy.

A 65-year-old man trying
to register to vote.

First real proud, free thing
he ever did in his life.

Shot to death by them
Klan Knight Riders.

Mama worked to death
by white folks.

So they let you come out here
once more now she's dead.

Tell her goodbye.

And you are grateful to Governor
Wallace for that, ain't you?

Oh, yeah.


But don't you know that's
still slave thinking?

Something else you ought
to be feeling right now?

I know what you're saying, Neal.

You can strike the blow.

I know.

I've always known.

George, George, George...

George, George, George...

- I better shake some hands.
- Better go out there.

Don't go out there, governor.

No, it's all right. I'll
take responsibility.

How are you?

You got great crowd here today.

Oh, thanks. How you
doing over there?

How are you?

Hello, sweetie. Thanks for
coming out here today.

All right, all right.

Mr Mayor, thank you so
much for coming out today.

It's always good to
be here. Hi, darling.

Ricky, can't you do anything?

Oh, no. No, not when
he's with people.

No, this is when he's really
living. Take a look at him.

Appreciate you all
being out here today.

George, George, George...

Good to see you, good to see you.

Appreciate you all
being out here today.

- Hey.
- Way to go.

You boys think we're gonna
get any votes up here?

Put this on your
network, you hear?

Come on in here, Jim.

How are you? Thank you very much.

Stay back.

All right, we're gonna
keep these people back.

Stand back.

- I repeat, stand back.
- George, live.

- Live.
- I'm shot.

Honey, we're gonna go home now.

We're gonna go on back home now.

- I'm in pain.
- It's gonna be okay.

It's gonna be all right. Somebody
get us out of here, please.

- Everybody, move back.
- Somebody get us out of here.

- Give the governor some air.
- Leave me with him.

- I got to be with him now.
- It's okay.

Don't. What are you doing?
What are you doing?

It's gonna be all right, honey.

I'm gonna take you home now.

We gonna go back home.

You're my whole life.

I don't know what I
would do without you.

You stay with me. Please hold on.

I love you so much.

What? Oh, yeah, heh-heh-heh.

- Come on inside.
- Yeah.

- Hello, George.
- Hi.

- Haven't seen you in a while.
- George?

Oh, come on, Lurleen.

- Is this all right?
- It's astounding.

My goodness, I didn't know there
was gonna be this many people.

Well, with Big Jim
elected governor now, a

lot more folks discovered
they his friends.

Hey, senator.

- Oh, yeah.
- Right.

Today, yeah.


- Come on.
- Thank you, sir.

Excuse me.


Excuse me.

Why, hi, George.

Hello, Velma.

This is my wife, Lurleen.

- Hi.
- Yes.

Well, how are you?

- Good.
- Hey, George.

- Lurleen.
- T.Y., how you doing?

- Fine.
- You know, Velma.

- Velma, sure.
- You know.

Oh, come on over here a minute.

There's something I need
to talk to you about.

Come on, take it.

Yes, madam, you got to help out...

- Who was that?
- Huh?

Oh, that's just some secretary in
the highway department, you know.

You know all of these
people, George?

Well, not all of them.
No, of course not.

- Hey, Danny.
- George, George.

- Look at who showed up.
- Goddamn, Billy Watson.

Oh, Billy, I'm so
glad you're here.

Hi, Lurleen.

- Lovely to see you.
- Lurleen.

Decided to leave off running
politics in Barbour County...

to come up to this
hootenanny, huh?

I ain't up here to party, Wallace.

Here to keep my eye
on my investment.

Go on, you celebrate. Don't
forget where you're headed.

Yeah, well, you ain't
ever gonna let me, Billy.

Where can you get a Coca-Cola
in all this liquor drinking?

Hey, hey, boy. Here.

Goddamn, you ain't got no Cokes?

I'll get you one right away, sir.

- Leave it in the bottle, okay?
- Yes, sir.

- Excuse us, gentlemen.
- Excuse me.

All right.

There's a lot of
stuff out tonight.

What you got, gland
trouble or something?

Damn if you wouldn't
hump a woodpile if

you thought there was
a snake in there.

Well, look at that snake
over there, heh-heh.

How's that little gal
taking away your career...

that's been picking
up steam here lately?

Who? Lurleen?

God help that little woman.

Oh, come on, she's
happy enough. She

got the children, she
got her fishing.

You know she loves to go fishing
in that pond out there.

You know it, she no trouble.

- George?
- Yeah.

I'd like you to meet
this young lady

over here, an admirer of yours.

- Hi.
- Hi.

- What's your name?
- Lisa.

You all right, honey?

Such a big crowd.

Well, you better get
used to looking as

beautiful as you do
tonight, sweetheart.

Because your husband is on
the climb to big things.

All right, here he comes, so we
better batten down the hatch.

Oh, yeah.

Oh, Johnny, I've known
you from way back.

Hold on, Big Jim.

We love you, governor.

The big galoot hisself.

I'll tell you, Big
Jim's the greatest

thing to come along
since Andy Jackson.

Now, listen, you mean
to go for governor,

you better face
some realities now.

- Too liberal.
- Congratulations, Big Jim.

Who's the little one?

Well, that's his sister's
girl. It's another Folsom.

Why, she rides his shoulders
like a princess already.

A princess?

It's nothing that highfalutin
if it's a Folsom.

See you later, baby.

You deserve it.

We got a lot to
celebrate tonight, huh?

- That's right.
- You bet we do.

This is it, Jim. This is it.

That big mule's
running this state.

Used to be that every
four years, they'd

pick out two candidates
for governor.

And you could vote for one or
you could vote for the other.

That was your God-given choice.

But Big Jim's changed
that arrangement. Yeah.

And none of this would've
been happening...

if it wasn't for my friend and
campaign manager, George Wallace.

Come on up here, son.
It's your day too.

- Oh, no.
- Go on, go on.

Yes, sir. A big hand for George.

Yes, sir.

Now, me and George
both know that the

big mules and the
got-rocks crowd...

are still trying to
stop us by stirring

up suspicion among the races...

the same as they always done.

But listen in. Now,
come up here, George.

Listen, all God's children,
red, yellow, black, white...

they all just alike and all
precious in the sight of the Lord.

And that's the way it's gonna stay
in Alabama while I'm governor.

Yes, sir.

I call to everybody.
You all come, now.

Let's have a little of that music.

- George looks good.
- Yeah, George.

- Yeah.
- George looks great.

There you are, little woman.
Give us a kiss, huh?

Oh, you're too good
for any of us here.

Billy Watson?

Political bishop
of Barbour County.

Yeah, that's right.

I'm just loaning you
George for a while.

Don't you be giving
him any trouble.

Don't you worry about that.

We were fighting the
good fight a long time.

- Ain't we, George?
- That's right.

- Big Jim?
- Yes, madam.

- She's such a beautiful girl.
- Thank you.

- What's her name?
- Darling, sugar dumpling?

I want you to remember this man's
name right here, George Wallace.

Start remembering names for when
you move into public life...

which you will,
because you a Folsom.

Ain't that right,
sugar dumpling? Yeah.

So remember, this is
George Wallace, okay?

George, I need to talk
to you for a second.

Would you excuse us for a minute?

John, you wanna help me here?

- You all excuse us a second?
- Good job, Big Jim.

Next stop, White House.

Make way, make way for Big Jim.

Folks, can we have this
room for a few minutes?

George and I need
to talk. Thank you.

Excuse me.

Lock the door on your
way out. Shut the door.

I swear, all this campaigning...

working up the crowds,
is gonna ruin my voice.

Now, George...

I've known you since you was that
skinny little giblet-assed kid...

back in the legislature, in them

chartreuse pants
and cowboy shirts.

Oh, introducing about
80 bills a week...

trying to help out just
everybody who had a pulse.

Some people was even calling you
a dangerous left-wing radical.

Yeah, well, that's that country-club,
high-hoi-polloi crowd.

They always giving us
trouble, ain't they?

I know, but what I'm saying is...

George, sit down here. Sit down.

Now, it ain't too early to
be talking about this...

because I know there's this law
that says I can't succeed myself.

And I know that you gonna be
wanting to run for governor then.

Now, when that time comes...

George, look at me
here, look at me.

When you make your
go for governor...

I'm gonna be behind you
100 percent, all-out.

All right?

Only thing is, I'm
counting on you...

to still be battling for all
those things we always been for.

Equal deal for the common folk...

just like you did back
in the legislature.

Well, I ain't ever gonna be

forgetting none of
what we been for.

But I'm talking about the Negroes
too, George, the Negroes too.

I know the weather out there's
getting a little bit stormy...

but we got to keep holding
on to what's right.

You hear me, George?

Sure, you know...

Hell, they just like
everybody else.

You know, I always believed
like you on the coloured issue.

- Oh, excuse me, governor.
- Oh, yes, madam. Hello.

George Wallace.

Here it is.

- Congratulations, governor.
- Oh, thank you kindly.

Oh, George, you really do remind
me of my own self starting out.

George, there's only one thing
that sort of worries me...

is you believe in the
common folk so much.

I mean, it's almost like you're
in love with them, all right.

Well, this need of yours to
be at one with the folks...

you might need a
little bit too much.

See, it's almost like your
connection to the folks...

is all you feel gives you
any personal meaning.

Like it's all you really
feel you are yourself.

Will of the people. That's where
everything comes from, don't it?

Majority of folks ain't ever gonna

wanna do anything
that ain't right.

Oh, well, I don't know, George.
Sometimes they can go both ways.

See, they just like you and me.

They got goodness and meanness
in them. Angel and a demon.

A leader can't just
be a reflection.

A leader got to encourage them
sometimes to listen to that angel.

I only trust that you
won't ever be scared...

to risk that connection to the

people in order to
do what's right.

Do you hear me, George?

Well, Big Jim...

there ain't nobody
stronger for you than me.

I don't have any doubts
about you, George.

You gonna be a good one.

Here you go.

T.Y., don't let him
drive, all right?

That's it, Jim.


- What's your name?
- Archie, sir.

- Well, thank you, Archie.
- You're welcome, sir.

You ought to get
yourself one of these.

Lurleen, come on, let's go.

We got to get back to
Clayton now. Come on.

- Good night, George.
- Good night, Billy.

What you doing over
there with Billy?

He's good to me.

Just one last second, George.

Hello, sweetheart.

I never did get your
name, you know that?

- It's Cornelia.
- Cornelia.

What a lovely name for
such a lovely little girl.

Lurleen, come on.

Bye-bye, sweetheart. Now,
you be good, you hear?

George, the surgeon said that

everything went
just fine, darling.

What are you feeling?

Feeling nothing down
here. Just pain.

You all, the surgeon said that
everything went just fine.

- Who was that shot me?
- It was some fella named Bremer.

- White, wasn't he?
- Yeah, but nobody...

- He ain't nothing.
- They've questioned him.

He'd been following you
around for weeks. He's a...

You know yet how it's going?

- How's what?
- Maryland, Michigan.

Oh, yeah, I just heard. You
taking Michigan and Maryland.

Just like when you was talking
in the kitchen yesterday.

You're leading them all now, sir.

Oh, honey.

Honey, isn't that fantastic?
Darling, you're wonderful.

It's good news.

Well, looks like we got ourselves

an FDR candidate
on our hands, huh?

Ain't you kind of
leapfrogging ahead of

the situation we
have here, Cornelia?

My brother has just been
shot, almost killed.

Yes, but he is alive.

And he's not gonna die.

That's the only thing that
could ever stop that man.

- He's stronger than any damn...
- It's all right, it's okay.

- It's all right.
- Mrs Wallace.

I'm afraid you gentlemen
will have to wait outside.

No, no, let them in.

- I'm his brother, damn it.
- Mrs Wallace first.

- You hear me? I wanna see him.
- Come on, Gerald, easy.

Let's go back to the waiting room.

Nurse, could you give us a
moment, please? Thanks.

Governor, I thought
you'd wanna hear

it all straight-out
now, instead of...

Yeah, how bad is it?

You were shot five times.

Right arm, left shoulder, abdomen.

The problem is with
the fifth bullet.

It penetrated the spinal column
and severed a bundle of nerves.

As a result...

Do you wanna hear this now?

Governor, I'm afraid you're not
gonna be able to walk again.

Well, neither could FDR
either. He even went on...

Just a minute, Mrs
Wallace. I'm sorry.

Also, governor,
you're not gonna be

able to control bodily functions.

That means bladder and bowel.

I'm sorry.

- Well, what about...?
- Sex?

All this pain, can't
you do something

about it? It's killing me here.

Of course.

But that's another
thing, governor.

I'm afraid you're not gonna
have another day without pain.

Well, I ain't accepting
all of this yet.

Can you just give
me another doctor?

None of us mean to just accept it.

We're doing and are gonna continue
to do everything we possibly can.

All right, go on.

I ain't out of this
campaign yet, goddamn it.

Of course you're not.

It's gonna take a hell of a lot
more than this to stop you.

That's goddamn right.

Well, there's hundreds
of press downstairs.

I've got to go down there
and tell them something.


You go tell them...

Tell them you're still running
full-force for president?


You're only wounded in the
abdomen. Nothing's changed.

You're running just
as strong as ever.

That's right.

God, I am so proud of you.

I just wish old Billy was here.

Old Billy.

Oh, goddamn. This is it, Wallace.

You made it to the
big leagues now.

Your first campaign for governor.

This is what we've
been waiting for.

Since that Trailways bus brought
you back from the war...

and dropped you off looking
like a skinned rabbit.

Yeah, after getting
here finally...

a little nervous, you know?

What the hell are you talking
about? Of course you're nervous.

A racehorse is always nervous
when it gets in the gate.

But the bugle's blowing
now. You go get running.

All right.

- Hi, George.
- Hi, Patsy, honey, how are you?


You still working at
the beauty parlour?

Good, you're coming to hear
my speech, now, right?

You're gonna make a
wonderful governor.

How are you? I saw your
daddy the other day.

Billy's your campaign
manager, ain't he?


Billy's not my campaign manager.

You all are the only
campaign managers I got.

I'll see you, Marvin.
Come hear my speech, now.

The fighting little George,
George Corley Wallace.

You see how popular he
is with the folks here.

Thank you. Hey, how you all doing?

Etta Jane, you got
so big. How are you?

- It's a great day, you all.
- Yeah.

We all known each
other all our lives.

We love you, George.

I grew up in this county.

My granddaddy, he planted most of
these pecan trees around here.

In fact, while he was a doctor, he
delivered a lot of you all too.

Well, Lurleen and me been raising
up our three children here.

And now, from this
town of ours, out

of Barbour County, as of today...

I am running for governor of this
whole great state of Alabama.

Of course, the last
four years, been

Folsom up there in Montgomery...

but he can't run again this time.

So let me tell you all what I'm
gonna do when I get up there.

Tell us.

Your children gonna
have free textbooks.

We're gonna build more schools...

and more junior colleges
and trade schools too.

And nursing homes
and medical clinics

and TB hospitals and
mental hospitals.

Gonna throw the public welfare

program open to
anybody needing it.

He's just getting started, Paul.

- Just give him a second.
- Yeah, yeah.

There's gonna be more
for social security,

more for the crippled
children in this state.

All I been fighting
for since you all

first sent me up to
the legislature.

Doing for the people is what
government's for, right?


He's not just a liberal,
he's worse than that.

Now, listen, this fellow over here

wants to talk to you
here in a second.

Soon as your brother gets through.

This is the Klan, and they can
do your brother some good.

Well, that ain't me.

Whatever it takes
to build you more

roads and bridges, let them fuss.

You elect me, I'll borrow as
many millions as I have to...

and I'll build you all a bridge

straight up in the
air, if you want.

Tell them, George.

That slick-haired
national-press crowd

up there in New York
and Washington...

they started calling us
Dogpatch folks down here.

Talking like me and you ain't
got the sense to tie our shoes.

When I'm your governor, I'm
gonna let them know...

that the people I represent are
just as fine and cultured...

as anybody in this country.

I'm gonna make them
respect us down here.

I'm gonna make you all proud...

that you were raised right here
in the great state of Alabama.

Thank you.

It was a wonderful day, George.

- Yeah.
- A wonderful evening.

I love this place so much.

Yeah, well, we gonna be
moving on soon, honey.

I think it went pretty
good today, don't you?

You know it did. It
always does with you.

Well, it always goes good.
I've got you helping me.

I want you to know
that, here and now.

You got a way with the people
of your own that I just...

Oh, it's suddenly
like a dream, almost.

Only that we might be
leaving everything here.

And for what? Scares me a little.

Well, we going on to bigger
and better things now.

- George.
- Yeah.

- George, you remember...
- Al Lingo.

Another Barbour County
boy, heh-heh.

Thank you, Susan.

For a short-term state trooper

turned building-supplies

you sure been getting
around a lot here lately.

I've been out here working
for you on my own, George.

In fact, those fellas like to
see you a minute, if you can.

Oh, George...

Sorry, it's been such a long day.
Don't you think we should just...?

T.Y., you wanna do me a favour and
take Lurleen and the kids home?

- All right.
- Honey...

Come on, kids, I got to
do some business now.

- George, I really think...
- T.Y.'s gonna take you home now.

- Bye, Daddy.
- Bye, Daddy.


Lurleen, I'll be home
in a while. Go on, now.

George, those fellas
are with the Klan.

Why did I figure that?

But they're good old boys.

It won't hurt to listen
to what they got to say.

The Klan's been rising up strong
again all over the state, George.

All over the South for
that matter. You got...

Gerald, strain. I know that.

You know, Wallace, I
sort of got a feeling...

it might be better to have this

particular chat in the
back of my store.

Lingo, fetch your friends, meet
us there in a few minutes.

All right.

George, all those things you
was saying out there today...

didn't hear a single word
about the real trouble now.

- What's that?
- The nigger trouble.

That's the real test
for any candidate...

running for anything
in Alabama these days.

You need to let folks
know you backing us

in the war for white
civilisation, George.

The fella you running
against, John Patterson...

he got a little bit ahead
of you on the nigger issue.

Here, listen to what he's saying.

"Patterson promises that
as governor of Alabama...

he'll permit absolutely no
mongrel-mixing of the races...

in any way, at any
time, now or tomorrow.

His opponent declines
to make that promise."

- Here.
- You read what all he's saying.

Yeah, well, lookie here, boys.

As far as this particular issue is

concerned, I'm for the
same thing he is...

only we got to have
decent order about it.

Now, we can't go raring off...

George, let's get one
thing straight.

We talking about saving the white
race by any means necessary.

Not about order and decency.

We just want you to
keep it in mind, George.

Be seeing you on down the road.

Thought you should hear that,
George. Only trying to help you.

When you get up there
to Montgomery, maybe

you can find something
for me to do.

Yeah, well, we'll cross that
bridge when we get there, Al.

- That's fair enough.
- All right.

- Well, I'm going home.
- Good night, gentlemen.

- Good night.
- Good night.

Billy, what's started breaking
loose here all of a sudden?

Hell, we grew up among coloured
folks. We got along fine.

Yeah, but that was back when they
was just happy-go-lucky niggers.

The government's set out
to make us live with them.

Folks ain't gonna
stand for that. If

you're hoping to whup Patterson...

you just got in the governor's
race with, you better listen.

Those fellas don't represent
hardly nobody but themselves.

They just like wolves running
around on the edges of things.

I never did trust
the Klan, anyhow.

Can't control them.
They close to wild.

They go upsetting
everything with violence.

Yeah, but lots of
folks coming to feel

an awful lot like
they do, Wallace.

People getting awful hot
on this race thing.

And that's why you got to
cut loose from Big Jim.

Yeah, well...

Hey, everybody's thinking Folsom

appointed you as his
political heir.

And that's the real
trouble, George.

He's as liberal as he ever
was on the nigger issue...

like he don't even realise
what's begun happening.

Now there's this highfalutin young

nigger preacher up
there in Montgomery.

This Martin King Luther,
whatever the hell his name is...

carrying on that bus boycott mess.

Race fever's just spreading
all over the state now.

Yeah, but folks in
Alabama, they don't

want this Klan kind of ugliness.

They want it all
worked out orderly.

Anyhow, it's just one of them hot
winds that's gonna blow past.

Folks still care a heap more about
an even chance to live decent.

Well, there's one thing I know...

it's the folks.

No way, he isn't.

Looking sort of hopeless.

Well, didn't help none, George.

You had to go on and openly
denounce the Klan now.

Of course, it did get you the
support of the ACLU, NAACP.

And all our Israelites
here in the state.

Only problem is, you let
yourself get out of touch...

with everybody else
in Alabama, George.

Klan might be just a bunch out
there hooting on the fringe...

but I tried to tell you,
times gotten tense.

You shouldn't have
kept trying to be that

nice, open-hearted
young fella you was...

back there in the legislature.

You just didn't distance
yourself enough from Big Jim.

There's whiffs of sulphur
out there in the air now.

Can't be compromising, George.

Not these days.

Only way back now is, you got to
get back in grace with the people.

Bill, the only problem is...

Honey, I really am so sorry.

I just heard.

Well, maybe there's
some good, huh?

Maybe at least now we
can head back home...

and live a normal life.

Goddamn it to hell, Lurleen.

Normal life?

That ain't life.

I just been hit like this...

you wanna start getting on me
again about our home life.

That's all I need right now.

Excuse me here a minute.

Now, be sweet to her, George.

Honey, look, I only meant...

I've had it.

How do you think you can treat me?

And you never even notice.

- Now, look here, honey, I just...
- No, I'm through.

Those strange women who
keep showing up...

acting like they know
you better than I do.

- Like they know me.
- Who you talking about?

- They ain't nothing...
- Oh, don't.

It's not even that, anyway.


You've hardly lived at home
since we were married.

You've left your children
almost half-orphans.

I don't want them growing up
like that just because you did.

You know I already almost left
you once because of this.

And you sent your... buddies
in there to talk me out of it.

This time, it's enough.

So help me.

This time, I'm doing it.

I'm leaving you, George...

to the only thing you
ever cared about, anyway.

Lurleen, God almighty, come on...

From the first, I knew
you had some hunger,

some need in you I didn't
really understand.

But that would've been all right.

Only that thing, that need,
it's made you forget who I am.

Forget us.

Look at me.

Remember when it was just us,
George, and then the babies?

You remember that time?

We're your family, George.

Now it's money and power.

Power and money.

That's what counts?

That's what you tell
the kids. You do.

You are no different than
all them other wives.

What you all always saying.

Same old scene. "Why can't
it be like it was?"

"Why ain't you home more?"

Well, it might be enough for
you just living at home...

and for excitement, going
out there fishing.

But it's not enough for me.

It never will be enough for me.

Oh, goddamn it.

Honey, honey, I'm sorry.

You just don't...

No, you can't know.

After losing this vote today,
it's like I'm just...

Like I just disappeared
or something.

Like I'm not worth nothing.

Nothing to nobody.


Not even to you.

George, you were always
everything to me.

It's just that things got
to change between us.


Maybe you could, start
travelling with me or something.

Maybe or something.

I've got to go pick
up the children...

head back to Clayton.

Just hang on a little bit, honey.

Don't go off and leaving me now.

Don't stay up here too long.

Good night, everybody.

- Good night, Lurleen.
- Good night.

Sorry about that, boys.

Ain't the first time.

It's a...

She's a good little gal.

She always comes around.

Lookie here now.

What you all were saying...

I know now you all been right
about this race thing.

Everything's different now.

Big Jim just never
caught on to that.

And the folks have turned
their face against him.

And if I don't flat-out
cut free of him,

he's gonna take me
on down with him.


Me and Big Jim, we over with.

He was always wrong, anyhow.

Niggers hate whites.

Whites hate niggers.

Everybody's always
known that deep down.

All right, boys.

I just let myself get
out-niggered, but

I'm never gonna get
out-niggered again.

Today, I have stood where
Jefferson Davis stood...

and took an oath to my people.

In this day, I feel a deep
obligation to renew my pledges...

my covenants with you, the
people of this great state.

General Robert E. Lee said that
duty is the most sublime word...

in the English language.

Come on.

And I have come increasingly
to realise what he meant.

And I shall do my duty to you.

God help me, I shall stand up for
Alabama, as governor of our state.

You stand with me...

and we together can give
courageous leadership...

to millions of people
throughout this nation...

who look to the South for their
hope in this fight to win...

and preserve our
freedom and liberty...

so help me God.

From this cradle of
the Confederacy...

this very heart of the great
Anglo-Saxon Southland...

today, we sound the
drum of freedom.

Let us rise to the call of the

freedom-loving blood
that is in us.

In the name of the greatest people
that have ever trod this earth...

I draw the line in the dust...

and toss the gauntlet
before the feet of tyranny.

And I say segregation now,
segregation tomorrow...

and segregation forever.

Segregation tomorrow, and
segregation forever.

Sworn in on this
bitterly cold January

day as Alabama's new governor...

George Corley Wallace...

Oh, Cathy.

Try and get him to sleep early.

He's so tired.

I love you, sweetheart.
If you can,

with all that noise downstairs.


Do I look okay?

Like a pluperfect queen.

Oh, nothing that fancy
if it's a Wallace.

Well, then, Alabama
governor's wife.

That's even better.

We've made it, haven't we, George?

Yeah, I reckon we have.

This does look a lot like the
governor's mansion to me.


I mean, us.

I did hang on.

And you have gotten what
you've always wanted.

And I did support you, because
you've wanted it so much.

We've survived.

You and me.

We're celebrating more than
your election tonight.

We're celebrating us.

I just hope you know though...

you're not gonna
have much time to go

out there fishing
at that pond now.

Oh, yes, I will.

You're not taking that away
from me, George Wallace.

Only place I know any peace.

Don't be nervous.

But I am.


don't be.

This is a little different than
the first time you were here.

But you remember who you are now.

No, I'm still the 16-year-old girl
behind the cosmetics counter...

of Kresge's dime store.

Hey, pretty girl.

My name's George Wallace.

And I wanna buy a
bottle of hair oil.

- Oh, yeah?
- Yeah, yeah.

I'm about to go into
the Army, and...

You wanna go to the picture
show with me Saturday night?

And I'm thinking you got
the nicest dark eyes.

But you could stand to eat a
little more. You're so skinny.

You are such a
pretty little thing.

I think I'm already falling
slap in love with you, sweetie.

And I think...

Well, now...

let's go on and live
our life, Mrs Wallace.

George, do you still...?

Here they are, folks.

You go, George. Yeah.

George. Looking
good there, George.

George, you look like
a million bucks.

Congratulations, governor.

Now, you boys come see
me about 9, you hear?

We all used to be
with Big Jim once,

but I need you all with me now.

- All right.
- Yes, I am.

We'll be there.

Where's my wife?

She's seeing to the
children, governor.

Can I get you something?

Yeah. Bring me a
glass of buttermilk.

It's about time to turn in here.

Yes, sir.

- Watson.
- Yes, George?

What's that you're drinking?

Liquor drinking at the
mansion's against the rules.

All right. Well, the rules
were made for niggers.

White trash.

Not for me and Odum.

Hey, what do you think of our
new state police commander?



In all his finery.

I do appreciate it, governor.

Me and all the boys appreciate it.

Well, I'm counting on you, now.

- You've got it.
- All right.

Look, I'm gonna need you
all staying around me now.

Sort of my unofficial
kitchen cabinet.

There's a lot we got to
get going on right away.

It looks like that
Martin Luther King's

stirring up insurrection
in Birmingham.

He's got all them nigger school
kids involved in it now.

Ain't got no shame.

Don't worry.

I'll tend to his ass
for you, governor.

Now, I always dreamt
we'd have a chance

like this back when
it was George Wallace.


He's trying to test me.

That's what he's doing.

We're gonna settle
his hash real fast.

Gonna need you all in my
office in the morning at 7:00.

Well, in that case,
Wallace, I better

be getting me a
good night's sleep.

Night, governor.

- George.
- Good night.

I've seen you before, ain't I?

It was Folsom's
inaugural, wasn't it?

Yes, sir.

- What's your name again?
- Archie, sir.

Archie Weathers.

Been a trustee here how long?

Since 1952.

Who'd you up and kill, Archie?

A man.

He was messing with my wife.

And what were you
doing before that?

Just working or what?

- I was a fighter, sir.
- That right?

Any good?

Won 16 and lost once.


- Yeah?
- Yes, sir.

You know, I boxed once
myself, Golden Gloves.

It was the Alabama
bantamweight champion, yeah.

I guess all us fighters
got hot tempers, huh?

Yes, sir.

Let's see how good
you are, Archie.

Governor, I have to
clean up around here.

No, come on.

Just a second or two, huh?

We'll go at it.

Just a little play
sparring, you know.

Come on. Come on.

Yeah, that's it.

Come on.

One time up in
Birmingham, night of

a high school boxing tournament...

I jumped in and saved
this little coloured boy.

I saw a couple of white
roughnecks picking on him.

The only thing was,
he broke my hand.

Lost my fight that night.

I'll tell you what.

You can help me get back in shape.

Count on you for that?

Yes, sir.


Gotta be getting on to bed now.

Gotta get up early tomorrow.

Now is when the real stuff begins.

- We're on the move now.
- Yes, sir.

Like an idea whose time has come.

Yes, sir.

Not even the marching of
mighty armies can halt us.

And all the world today
knows that we are here.

We are standing before
the forces of power...

in the state of Alabama, saying we

ain't gonna let nobody
turn us around.

They started erupting
again in Birmingham.

I want you to get there with your

troopers and do
what you got to do.

I'll slap them under martial law.

Yes, sir.

Okay, boys. Next stop, Birmingham.


Martin Luther King and his
group of pro-communists...

have instigated these

by lawless Negro
mobs in Birmingham.

But the law-abiding citizens
of both races there...

are fed up with this rioting and

disruption led by
so-called clergymen...

and their communist-inspired

I am therefore sending 250 state
troopers into that city...

supported by 500 other law
officers of this state.

I will meet our
enemies face to face.

I will not surrender.

Freedom now. Freedom now.

Get back, I said.

Come here.

Watch your hands.

That's what I'm gonna need.

Three more squads
of boys down here,

because the niggers are running.

Bite him.

- Get a hold of him.
- Get off me.

I'll get him, I'll get him.

That way. Come on, let's go.

Come on, come on.

Get away from me. Get away
from me. Get away from me.

What's the real purpose of what
you've been doing in Birmingham?

Couldn't your defiance
there spark a

major escalation of
racial violence...

in this state and
all over the South?

No, I don't believe
so. No, not at all.

The action I took in Birmingham
was to maintain law and order...

and to prevent violence.

Now, we have a system.

They use the water,
they use the dogs,

bitten only 22 people in 45 days.

Twenty-two Negros in
45 days been injured,

and not a single one seriously.

Speaking more generally,

seems like your lawmen here are

especially fond of
using cattle prods.

Yeah, that's correct. That's
right. Electric cattle prods.

I would like to tell you
that we have no apologies...

for using electric cattle prods
for the simple reason...

they are harmless, and when you're
having these demonstrations...

a cattle prod is a lot better
than putting in tear gas...

and hitting people
with nightsticks.


You say you're only
representing the will

and feelings of the
people of Alabama.

Do you mean to include
the Negro community?

Well, of course, the system under

which we operate
in this country...

the minority viewpoint is
certainly considered...

but I'm expressing
the sentiments...

of the overwhelming majority
of the people in my state.

White people, you mean?

They're the majority,
yes, that's correct.

Now, look here.

Look at all the folks been writing
me in here from all over.

Places like Montana...

Ohio, California, Michigan.

Idaho, even.

Now, look at all the
folks I got in here.

Governor, you're moving into a

confrontation with
federal government...

over these two Negro students who
have applied for admission...

to the University of Alabama.

Now, in this case, can you
tell us what you could expect?

Just what I promised in
my campaign for governor.

Any attempts to integrate
any schools in Alabama...

I shall stand in that schoolhouse
door to resist that.

That's what I said, and
that's what I meant.

You mean that literally?

You all excuse me for
just one minute?

- One more question.
- One more question, governor.

- Just one more question.
- Mr Wallace.

What's so urgent about a call
from the attorney general?

- Richmond Flowers ain't ever...
- No.

Attorney general of
the United States.

Bobby Kennedy.

Says he needs to talk
to you about this

pending problem at the university.

You tell him the governor's
busy with a press conference.

If he wants to call back later,
the governor might be available.


We ain't transacting this
thing by phone to Washington.

- No, sir.
- Sure.

Hold on just a minute.

He says he don't know why
you won't talk to him.

You just tell him I just
plain don't want to, Odum.

You're gonna hurt his feelings.

Yeah, that's too bad, isn't it?

George Wallace, standing
in the schoolhouse door...

against the might and power
of the federal government.

That'll make them sit up and take
notice all over this country.

We gonna make them bring
troops in this state.

- Now we're talking.
- You watch.

They're gonna have to put Alabama
under military occupation.

We gonna set the
stage on this one.

Bobby Kennedy wants to talk to me,
he's gonna have to come down here.

- Welcome to Alabama.
- Thank you.

Well, you know, his old
man's a bootlegger.

He just running that...

- Gentlemen.
- Thank you.


Hello, Mr Attorney General.


- Welcome to Alabama.
- Thank you.


This here's my handyman,
Archie Weathers.

He's about the biggest fan
you all got down here.

- Ain't that right, Archie?
- Yes, sir.


This is Deputy Attorney
General Nicholas Katzenbach.

- Pleasure to meet you.
- Governor.

I've got a few fellows with me.

That's T.Y. Odum, one
of my close advisors.

Hello, sir.

Ricky Brickle there,
he's my press secretary.

Billy Watson, he's sort
of my senior advisor.


Well, governor, you've got quite a
crowd outside too this morning.

Have we?

Well, I don't know. I
came up the back way.

You all have a seat.

- Mr Attorney General, over here.
- Thank you.

- Mr Katzenbach.
- Nick.

Here, you'll recognise him.

We're taping this conversation.

Thought we might wanna
save this for posterity.

Well, I don't know
anybody who would

wanna listen to it, governor.

Well, you know,
people in this state

feel like us talking
to you folks...

who have so much charm and wit...

you gonna get us in a
compromising position.

But we're glad to have
you in Alabama...

and we feel like this is the
courtesy capital of the nation.

So if you wanna pay a
courtesy visit, we...

Well, this is the courtesy
capital of the world.

- Ain't that right?
- Yes, sir.

- Sure is.
- Yes, sir.

Well, terrific.

But I wonder if we
might talk about

the problem of integration...

we are perhaps facing
at the university?

I don't hear good.

Too many bombing missions
over in Japan, there.

Integration of the university.

Oh, yeah. You wanna discuss that?

Well, you're here
as my guests so...

Do you think it would be
horrifying, governor...

to have a Negro attend
the university?

I think it's horrifying
for the federal

courts and the central

to force upon the people
that which they don't want.


You all want a Coke?

I might have one.

- How about you?
- No, thank you.


- Sure.
- All right.

Archie, bring us four
bottles of Coke.

Yes, sir.

Getting back to this...

what's gonna happen
with this attempt

to integrate the university.

Of course, now, you folks are the
ones who will control that matter.

Because you have
control of the troops.

Well, we do have a
responsibility to ensure...

with all the force
behind the government,

that the orders of the
court are followed.

I know that. You're gonna use
the force of the government.

Just like you did over
there in Mississippi.

At old Miss, last
fall, to get that

James Meredith fella
enrolled there.

Fact, what you're telling
me, if necessary,

you're gonna bring
troops into Alabama too.

No, I did not say that, governor.

You didn't?

You did say all the force of
the federal government...

and all the force includes
troops, don't it?

Just like at old Miss, all
those bayonets and all.

Well, I'm planning and hoping that
won't be necessary, governor.

Maybe somebody here
wants us to use...

You seem to, want me to say
that I'm going to use troops.

Well, you did say that you'd...

You said that...

No, governor, you are the
one talking about force.


Thank you.

We trying to do a
lot of real things

for the Negro people down here.

You know, give them
jobs, education.

But all this agitation
and all this

business with Martin
Luther King...

who's a phoney and
a fraud, marching

and going to jail and all that.

They just living high
on the hog, now.

But now, if you could
use your influence...

because the NAACP and all
those other groups...

you know, they feel
like you people...

are almost gods.

If you could just
exert some influence

to persuade those people...

to stop this integration movement,
this business of marching.

For instance, if you could
persuade these people...

trying to get into the
University of Alabama...

to withdraw their
applications, we...

Governor, that would be
neither right nor possible.

Just to use our persuasive power
on the other side, you're saying?

Yes, that's right.

Because I'm not for you using

persuasive power on
us to integrate.

I'm against integration.

I just don't believe in social
and educational mixing.

And I think I've made it clear
that what's involved for us...

for President Kennedy,
is the integrity

and the orders of the
court, governor.

- All set here, Al?
- We all set up here.

Help us out a little bit now.

Governor of Alabama. Help him out.

Come on. Step back, now.

Morning, boys.

Yeah, I'm ready for
this scrap, huh?


Like climbing in the ring again.

Only with the whole
country watching.

Governor, I don't know what
the purpose of this show is.

I'm here to see that the orders
of the court are enforced.

I'm asking that you step aside
and permit these students...

who want an education
at a great...

Now, we don't need
for you to make a

speech, just make your statement.

I was making my
statement. I was in

the process of
making my statement.

I'm asking your
unequivocal assurance

that you will not
bar these students.

"As governor of the state of
Alabama, I, George C. Wallace...

deem it my solemn duty
to stand before you...

and seeking to
preserve and maintain

the peace and dignity
of this state...

and the individual freedoms
of the citizens thereof...

do hereby denounce and forbid...

this illegal, unwarranted and
force-induced intrusion...

upon the campus of the
University of Alabama...

by the might of the
central government."

So, governor, I take
it from your statement

that you intend to
stay in the doorway.

- I stand by my statement.
- You stand by your statement.

Governor, James Hood and Vivian
Malone will register today.

And they will go to
school here tomorrow.

You keep the press humming here.

They gonna have to federalise
the Alabama National Guard now.

Detail, halt.

Go on.

It is my sad duty to ask
you to step aside...

under orders from the president
of the United States.

If not for this unwarranted

federalisation of the
National Guard...

I would be your
commander in chief.

It is a bitter pill to swallow.

We shall now return
to Montgomery...

to continue this
constitutional fight.

We are confronted primarily
with a moral issue.

It is as old as the scriptures...

and is as clear as the
American Constitution.

The heart of the question is...

whether all Americans
are to be afforded

equal rights and
equal opportunities.

Whether we are going
to treat our fellow

Americans as we
want to be treated.

If an American, because
his skin is dark...

cannot eat lunch in a restaurant
open to the public...

if he cannot send his children to

the best public
school available...

if he cannot vote for the public
officials who represent him...

if, in short, he
cannot enjoy the full

and free life which
all of us want...

then who among us
would be content...

to have the colour of his skin
changed and stand in his place?

Who among us would
then be content with

the counsels of
patience and delay?

One hundred years of
delay have passed since

President Lincoln
freed the slaves...

yet their heirs, their
grandsons, are not fully free.

They are not yet freed from
the bonds of injustice.

John Fitzgerald Kennedy and
his little brother, Bobby.

They just ain't caught on to what
really happened over there today.

A couple of niggers got
registered, but it don't matter.

Because I stood in the
doorway against the

full force of the
federal government...

and millions of Americans
stood with me.

The Kennedys, they got no idea...

how the common, ordinary folks
all over this country...

really feel about this
race-mixing question.

They start catching
this mess up north...

and everywhere else, it's gonna

Southernise the whole
country out there.

Gonna make what's
happening in Alabama

seem like a Sunday school picnic.

George Corley Wallace...

sure enough got a lot
to say about that.

Yeah, I think the
time's come, Billy.

I'm going national.

I accept the nomination.

You don't belong here.

Where's your horn, George?

I wanna say... I wanna say
that I'm very proud...

You're a racist.

I'm very proud to
be amongst all you

very intelligent-looking folks...

up here at Harvard tonight.

Of course, I realise you all more
genteel up here, more civilised.

Well, I do sense there might be
some disagreements among us.


But I want us all to be in a good
humour this evening, you hear?

Fuck you, George Wallace.

Now, didn't you ever
learn any manners?

You sound like you ain't
had much raising.

Why don't you try using
another four-letter word...

like W-O-R-K or S-O-A-P?

Why don't you try those?
You don't know those.

Actually, a lot of people
been asking me here lately...

if I'm gonna be running
for president in 1964.

If somebody like you can
run for president...

I might run myself, as a
revolutionary for president.

Well, now... Well, now,
between you and me both...

we might manage to kick out
that crowd in Washington.

Maybe we should run
on the same ticket.

I don't think so.

Hey, what would you call
it, the Lynch Party?

Yet they now forcing
parents to bus their

little children clear
across town...

just so they can sit in a class
with those from the opposite race.

We don't wanna hear your
Southern racist demagoguery.


Then what all you all doing here?

Just wait, just wait.

But you wanna talk about
this race matter a minute?


All right, then.

It is well-known by now...

that I do not believe
in social and

educational mixing of the races.

But the liberal left-wing
press has tried

to make segregation
synonymous with hatred.

It's a sin against human dignity.

Well, now, I believe that
separation is good...

for our white citizens and
our Negro citizens alike.

Did you bring your
Birmingham dogs with you?

Oh, my goodness, fella, you gone
and made me lose my place here.

We shall overcome

Of course...

people in the states with 1
percent Negro population...

and the rest white...

they can always talk about
things in Alabama...

where you got 30 percent Negro
population and the rest white.

Governor, we need to get out right
now, for your personal safety.

Well, they tell me we
got to leave you all...

because we got little
unrest developing outside.

I appreciate you all coming
out here tonight. Thank you.

Yellow commie brats.

Throw their asses in jail.

Shut up, you dumb brats.

- Kick his ass.
- Yeah, you bunch of freaks.

Get out of here, you commie punks.

Good God almighty, look what we
done set off, even way up here.

- Watch it, George.
- Take him, take him.

Give them hell, George.

Come on, George.

God sakes alive, George. Look
what they're doing to our car.

Get down from there, you little...

- Get off there, you little...
- Damn you.

Get off there.

- This way, sir. Try to get by.
- All right.

Get out of the way, now.

You nigger-loving
little commie punks.

Get out of the way.


You left-wing pinko radical.

You should appreciate
me for putting

money in your riot treasury.

Sing, damn it, sing.
I'm too old to run.

I don't know the words.

Well, pretend, goddamn it.

We shall overcome

Take this back to the hotel.
I'll meet you there.

All right.

Get out of there.

- Come on.
- My shoulder.

- Get in the car.
- Damnedest party I've ever...


All right, there you go.

Kiss my Alabama ass goodbye.


Stay back.

Good Lord, I'm too old
for this kind of wretch.

Sure are a lot of them Zulus.

They go right with all
those hairy beatniks.

Damn ignorant, uncultured

I know that most of the American
people feel the way I do.

Like those working fellas.

You see them? One
kicked this professor

four feet straight up in the air.

You see that?

Tell you what, you're
speaking for them now.

That's right, the real people.

That's who this all's really
been for tonight, of course.

Why, down home, I tell you...

nigger comes up to
you like they just

been doing up here,
he gonna get shot.

Get his head busted.

That's why we don't have none
of this business at home.

They start this kind of riot,
first one to throw something...

gets a bullet in the
brain, that's all.

You walk over to the
next one, you say,

"All right, let's see
you throw something."

Let them see you shoot
down a few of them.

You got it stopped.

Is that right?

Liberals, all the time whining
about compassion and mercy.

Hell, we got too much compassion
and mercy in government already.

What we need is some
meanness, right?

Yeah, but keep on making your
speech about big government...

telling everybody what schools
their children got to go to.

That's what a candidate
for president

ought to be saying right now.

They'll know what
I'm talking about.

Ain't that right?

The 16th Street Baptist Church has
served as a major staging point...

for the recent series
of civil-rights

demonstrations here in Birmingham.

This Sunday morning,
it was wrecked

by a powerful dynamite bomb...

an explosion which killed
four young Negro girls...

in a Sunday-school Bible class.

Mrs Wallace watching TV?

Yes, sir.

You want something to eat?

Yeah, have Mary fix me
up a tomato sandwich.

Yes, sir.

Scores of Sunday
school children came

running out of the
church screaming...

some bleeding.

Police, firemen and
emergency medical units...


- Amid a rising sound of wails...
- It's terrible.

They and neighbourhood
residents began

grappling through the wreckage...

searching for possible victims.

They soon found them.

After one rescue worker spotted...

And we just got back
from church ourselves.

Hand, and the edge of a
bloodied white dress.

The white dress shoe
of one was found

and identified by her grandfather.

All four girls had
been dressed for

this morning's special services...

entirely in white.

They had just heard their
teacher deliver a lesson...

entitled, "The Love
that Forgives."

Police have been trying to contain
the upheavals of protest...

and outrage that have since swept
the Negro sections of Birmingham.


Hurled a barrage of
stones at white people.


In cars flying Confederate
battle flags.


It's Colonel Al Lingo, sir.

Yeah, I just got in.
What the hell happened?

But a 16-year-old Negro boy
was fatally hit in the back.

At least three fires have...

Hang on a minute.

Peggy Sue, Bobbi Jo, you
don't wanna watch this mess.

Go on up to your
rooms or something.

Come on, come on, do
as I say. Let's go.

- You wanna go with your sister?
- Let's go, come on.

Racial warfare could now finally
break open in this city.

President Kennedy
interrupted a visit to

Rhode Island to return
to the White House...

for emergency discussions
of the situation...

Ain't you got something
better to do?

Yes, sir.

Everybody gawking, like...

It's so awful.

Full-scale investigation.

Police inspectors
believe at least 15

sticks of dynamite were
used in the bomb...

judging from its impact.

It left a sizeable crater...

You know I never wanted
nothing like this.

All but one of the church's

stained-glass windows
were blown out.

The one remaining seems
to have been damaged...

Governor, the governor's
at the back door.

What governor?

Governor Folsom. He's
at the back door.

He said he need to talk
to you for a minute.

- Big Jim?
- Yes, sir.

At the back door?

That's all I need right now.

Well, let him in, Archie,
let him in. Shut the door.

All right, now, what
we gonna say was...

Was obviously these
nigger agitators

themselves trying
to rouse sympathy.

That's who done this thing.


All right, all right. I got to go.

As of yet, there has
been no comment

from Governor Wallace himself.

- You out here?
- George. Heh-heh.

Damn, Big Jim, what
happened to you?

I got a broke foot.

Lord have mercy.

Lot of great old
rampaging times in

this old place,
wasn't there, George?

But doctors made me
quit drinking now.

What can I do for you?

I hope it's all right for me to be
here. I don't wanna embarrass you.

That's the reason I came
in through the back way.

Sure, governor, that's fine.
Always glad to see you.

It's them sons of
bitches over there

in the Department of Pensions.

I need a little more
help, I'm about

broke. But they won't help me on.

They wouldn't give me potato
chips if I was starving.

If they was hurting,
I'd help them out.

That's why you come over here?

Get your pension increased?


Tell me how much more you need.

They already know. I done
told them sons of bitches.

Well, I'll see if I can't work

something out somehow,
you know that.

Thank you, George.


That all you wanted
to see me about?

Yeah, I won't bother
you no more, George.

I sure appreciate it, though.

It's all right. That's all right.

I guess you heard what happened up
there in Birmingham this morning.

It was terrible, wasn't it?

Oh, now, goddamn, George.
Didn't I tell you?

You went ahead and done it anyway.

What the hell's the
matter with you?

You wasn't no race
bigot back then.

What'd you do, chatter
yourself into it?

- Look, Big Jim, I don't need...
- George.

Me and you was populists together.

Times got ugly. You got scared,
you lose that connection to folks.

If you lose that,
then you're nothing.

It's like it's all you feel gives
you any personal meaning, huh?

Like the terror of not
being able to breathe.

Lookie here, now. What you think

you're doing, talking
to me like that?

George, I said I knew you...

because the need for the
people was in me too.

Only I never go so desperate to
stay politically alive, I'd let...

I mean, good God,
they're four little

girls in a Sunday school class.

I knew you were coming
in here about that.

What the hell you saying?

That ain't nothing I done.

- I'm as sick about it as you.
- No, you ain't.

You let loose all them low dogs in

people's necks. You've
let them out loose.

I could've done the same damn
thing, probably still be governor.

I could've hung a nigger
on every stump too.

That don't get you
nothing in the long run.

Oh, yeah.

You're somebody be giving folks
advice about the long run.

That's right, let loose them old
dogs of hatred and violence...

and sooner or later, they're
gonna turn on you, hit at you.

Mad dog don't
differentiate, George.

You get devoured by
what you yourself

turn loose, that's what happens.

- What's the matter?
- I ain't feeling so good.

I got to go home.

George, I didn't mean to
lose my temper in there.

I know, I know. You're
right, George, I'm sorry.

I ain't really been well lately.

They tell me they're gonna have to
operate on my brain for something.


I know you ain't too
well right now, but

you'll be getting
better before long.

George, I really do
be needing some help.

It's all them damn bills.

Yeah, well, I'll look into
it tomorrow. Don't worry.


How'd you get over here?

I got my new wife
driving me, George.

She ain't much over 30 years old.

Found her in this
county fair up yonder.

Oh, I still get my exercise every

evening, don't you
worry about that.

You like an old grizzly. Why
didn't you bring her in?

Oh, she didn't wanna
come in for some reason.

Well, George.

Sorry to bother you.

Hey, George.

You all come, now.

Darling, you have been getting so
many calls, you wouldn't believe.

That's where you been?

George McGovern called you
personally a little while ago.

So did Hubert Humphrey.

Ah, see there?

They know.

They know just because
I been shot...

that don't mean there
ain't still all those

millions of folks out
there voted for me.

That's right.

I showed them all.

Nixon too.

Those folks are out there.

I ain't out of this thing yet.

I'm going to that
convention. Miami Beach.

Of course you are, darling.

Oh, now, goddamn it,
George. The doctors

ain't said yet you can just go...

Oh, what do they know, anyway?

They got no idea how far I've
already come since I started out.

Excuse me, governor. Mrs Wallace.

I haven't seen those boys
before. Who are they?

Just some troopers I'm taking
with me up to New York tomorrow.

There's that speech I'm giving
for you up at the Waldorf.

What speech?

A very big group of very
important businessmen.

And even some entertainment
executives gonna be there.

I tell you, I'm going to that
convention, Miami Beach.

I'm going.

And we're gonna make
sure you do too, honey.

You're gonna make it.

You're gonna make
it. Right, Archie?

Don't you think you
should ease up, sir?

Why don't you rest
a little bit here?

Don't wanna overdo it.


Don't wanna do too much.

I'm going to Miami.

Damn pain.

It's burning.

It burns.

This, after I come this far.

What you're seeing is footage just
into our station and unedited...

of the clash on this Sunday
between civil-rights marchers...

and state law officers at
the Pettus Bridge in Selma.

Lookie here a second, George.

As part of Martin Luther King's
campaign for voting rights.

Barricading their way were
some 100 of Al Lingo's...

It's kind of strange,
think about it.

Just over yonder, there's Martin
Luther King's old church...

that Dexter Avenue Baptist.

Within a hollering
distance of here,

and that's where he started...

this goddamn so-called
civil-rights movement.


And this is where it's
gonna be stopped.

coordinating committee.

Lewis himself was struck down by a
blow to the head in today's clash.

One Selma movement
leader, Mrs Ophelia...

Son of a bitch.

I didn't know it was gonna be
turning out this big a showdown.

Never thought King's crowd
would have the nerve for it.

Archie, bring me a cigar.

By the way, Archie.

Been meaning to tell you
since I heard last night.

Mighty sorry about
your daddy getting

shot over there in Hayneville.

Just awful things happening now.

How a fine old man
like him could get

mixed up with these
agitators, I can't...

Just terrible.

You can go over there to his
funeral if you want to.

Thank you, governor.

George, lookie here
at what's happening.

Lingo's troopers were reinforced
by a county sheriff...

They ain't showing a whole
lot of fear, are they?


Gerald, turn it up.

Voting rights campaign of Selma
has been accompanied of course...

by weeks of disturbance and
violence in that city...

and the counties around,
including now even some deaths.

This is, I believe,
Colonel Lingo's

Major John Cloud.

Lingo's exact whereabouts right
now... I don't know, I don't see.

Go home or go back to your church.

Troopers advance.

Stand clear.

Don't push.

Get back there.

Move it.

I should say this
is the first look

at this footage for
some of us here.

We are also told that the
marchers were pursued on back...

into the Negro section of Selma.

The injured have been spilling
into a hospital there...

over 50 at last report.

Holy smokes, George. What's
this gonna do to us?

The injuries reportedly range
from severe head lesions...

Down, turn it down.

To broken teeth to fracture ribs.

Well, it's not gonna
hurt us at all.

King's mob of agitators marched,
and we turned them back.

It's a victory for us.

Of course, the
editorial writers in

big-city papers, they
gonna be howling...

about "this is what's happening
in George Wallace's Alabama."

But the people gonna be
saying, "That's right.

And he don't allow any of these
woolly-bully agitators...

to take over the public
highways and streets."

It's gonna take a
whole lot more than

singing and revival preaching...

and whooping to stand against
the will of the majority.

And the majority of folks in
Alabama stand with George Wallace.

We have the right to
walk the highway.

We have the right to
walk to Montgomery

if our feet can get us there.

We must let the nation know, and
we must let the world know.

I'm calling into
federal service...

selected units of the
Alabama National Guard.

And also we'll have
available police

units from the regular Army...

to help meet state

These forces should
be adequate to assure

the rights of American citizens...

pursuant to a federal
court order...

to walk peaceably and safely...

without injury or loss of life
from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama.

You still up, huh?

I'm just reading my Bible, sir.

Get me a glass of
buttermilk, Archie.

Yes, sir.

Can't seem to get to sleep.

Must be all that hullabaloo went
on over there in Selma today.

Book of Judges, huh?

What's in here?

I was just flipping through.

Like I said, Archie, real
sorry about your daddy.

I guess you know they arrested a

couple of Klan
fellas this evening.

You know, I never have
trusted that bunch,

though they tried
to get close to me.

You know I don't hate coloured
folks, don't you, Archie?

Yes, sir, governor.

I ever tell you about
old Carlton McKinness?

He's a old coloured
handyman around

our place when I was growing up.

He must've been 80 years old.


We loved him like one
of our own family.

Old Carlton got it
into his head one

time that he wanted
to live up there...

in Detroit with a daughter of his.

So we finally gave
him a little money.

Wasn't long, though...

before he showed up
again at our back door.

He said:

"The way those folks live up
there is something terrible."


We were as glad to see
him as he was to see us.

When he got too old
to get around...

we'd take stuff down to
him, to his little place.

And, like, every Christmas or so.

And I can still see old Carlton...

just trembling and laughing when
we'd tote in those hams to him.

Old Carlton.

Made us mighty sad
when he passed on.

We sure loved him.

He loved us too.

What's the matter? You all right?

Oh, yeah.

Believe me, I know it's
hard losing a daddy.

You better get on to bed now.

Yes, sir.

That, Martin Luther King, you
ever seen him preach, Archie?

No, sir.

I never quite had the chance.

I've never seen him
myself, actually.

I mean live, in person.

But the federal court's probably
gonna let him make his march...

from Selma anyhow in the end.

Expect we'll both be
seeing him out there

on that capital lawn
sooner or later.

Despite everything.

Seems like hardly any way
to hold them back finally.


See you in the morning.

Yes, sir.

In the dusty roads and
streets of this state.

Yes, sir.

So I stand before you
this afternoon...

with the conviction
that segregation

is on its deathbed in Alabama...

and the only thing
uncertain about it...

is how costly the segregationists
and Wallace will make the funeral.

All over Alabama that
prevents a Negro

from becoming a registered voter.

No, we will not allow Alabama
to return to normalcy.

- Because no lie can live forever.
- Yes, sir.

How long? Not long.

Because you shall
reap what you sow.

That's right.

- How long? Not long.
- Not long.

Truth forever on the scaffold
Wrong forever on the throne

Yes, sir.

Yet that scaffold sways the future

And, behind the dim unknown
Standeth God within the shadow

Keeping watch above his own

- How long? Not long.
- You tell them.

Because the arc of
the moral universe

is long, but it bends
toward justice.

- How long? Not long.
Because: - Not long.

Mine eyes have seen the glory
Of the coming of the Lord;

He is trampling out
the vintage where

the grapes of wrath are stored;

I do believe

We shall overcome someday

All right.

How'd it all go up in
Cleveland, governor?

Hey, just like I
figured. That march

of King's only made
folks more for us.

Auditorium up there
was plumb packed.

You'd just go to say
something, and damn...

those folks would be out
of those seats hollering.

You should've seen it.

Public works secretary needs you
to call him as soon as you can.

That fella from Newsweek has
called three times already.

American Legion has added a second
appearance. First one is sold out.

I scheduled a conference with
the Alabama Women's League...

on Thursday morning at 10.

What's this?

Captain Alexander sent
that over this morning.

Look at that, boys.
How about that?

We just put that right over here.

Get that Newsweek
fella on the phone.

Yes, sir.

Yeah, all these
magazine writers...

they always calling
me and asking me

how I wanna be
remembered by history.

History can take care of itself.

The governor of Alabama,
he's just going on ahead.

Ain't you forgetting a
little something, Wallace?

You can't just go on ahead.
Not as governor, anyway.

Four-year term's all you get.

State constitution says you
can't succeed yourself.

You remember that
little technicality?

We just gonna have to fix that.

After coming all
this far, I got to

hold on to this public office...

to keep this national thing going.

Sort of my aircraft carrier for
launching the whole thing.

I ain't governor,
suddenly I'm in oblivion.

I ain't nothing.

Can't be running for
president in '68 like that.

Now, I've been thinking...

what I'm gonna do is
call an emergency

session of the legislature.

Have them draw up a
little amendment...

for the people to vote on, wiping

that thing out of
the constitution.

Well, now, Wallace, you may be
going a little too far this...

Let me get this straight, now.

You wanna call an
emergency session...

for a constitutional amendment
so you can succeed yourself?

Legislature's gonna
be a little bit

reluctant to go along
with that one.

Yeah, well, the people won't be.

Goddamn, boys, what's the
constitution, anyway?

The people are the
first source of power.

I sure as hell ain't letting
a few pissant legislators...

get between me and
the people on this.

Anybody opposing us...

I'll just damn well
cut off state funds

to every project
in their counties.

Roads, colleges, clinics,
everything I have to.

Governor, you're the
one that put a lot

of them things there
in the first place.

Yeah, and I can damn
well take them back too.

That's all getting a
little rough, George.


you don't seem to understand.

I'm gonna be running for president
of the United States in 1968.

Here I got to waste some time now
just fighting to stay alive.

And we got to go all-out to
get this thing fixed fast.

Because I got a whole
lot bigger fish to fry.

You see, it's about
2 centimetres by

4 centimetres, and
as you can see...

Well, you can see it in
this one better. No...

Jeff, Jeff, just...


Sorry, George.

Now, I'm sure you remember when
Lurleen gave birth to little Lee.

And we did a caesarean, and
we found some growths, and...

Well, several pathologists
examined them.


- They just weren't sure...
- They were wrong, Jeff.

No. Listen to me, George.

They weren't wrong.

They just weren't sure,
but now, in fact...

You're not telling me that...

I am.

I am afraid that I am telling
you that she has cancer.

And, well, we're gonna have
to do a rather extensive...

Well, a hysterectomy, you know.

Damn it, George, if we'd have
found that tumour in time...

- It's just...
- Well, she is gonna be just fine.

I know her.

Always been a tough little gal.

She'll whup this thing.

- She know yet?
- No.

We gonna have to tell her, George.

All right, then.

I guess you better tell her,
Jeff. I mean, I couldn't.

Yeah, no, all right now. All
right, no, I understand, George.

You just wait right here.


Ladies and gentlemen,
please come to order.

I call for order.

Please respect that, folks.

Neither do you, sir.
Neither do you.

Ladies and gentlemen,
please listen to me.

I asked for order.

Citizens of Alabama...

I am here to ask the members of
this body before you tonight...

do you trust the people to
have the sense to decide...

whether a governor can succeed
himself in this state...

or is it you're afraid to let
the people vote on that?

So I challenge this body.

Send this amendment for letting
the governor succeed himself.

Send it on to the people
of Alabama to vote on.

Let the people speak.

Wallace, Wallace, Wallace...

Hi, honey.

Why, George, you came
all the way out here?

Figured this is
where I'd find you.

Feeling some better?

Just fine.

I decided to let them handle the
state themselves for a while.

Seems what they set on anyway.

I am sorry you didn't
get that amendment.

Maybe this time you were a
little too overbearing, honey.

You know, make them feel bullied?

They still have some
pride too, you know.

- Anyway, I don't mean to be...
- You know that, operation?

It's gonna take
care of everything.

Don't you worry about that.

What is it, George?

You wanna ask me
something, don't you?

We need that office.

To keep on campaigning
for president...

we got to have the name Wallace
out there as governor.

I see.

You'll make just a
dandy governor, honey.

I'm gonna be right there
helping you all the way.

- The power behind the throne.
- Exactly.

Exactly. We just come too
far now to let all this...

No, George.

Only reason, it'll be
because I love you.

We better be going, huh?
You about through here?

I guess I am.

And build more and better
schools for your children...

and great parks for your families.

And I promise you, I will.

So I am happy to offer
the voters of Alabama...

the opportunity for
enjoying a continuation...

of the progress and
honest government...

which has been so much in evidence

during the administration
of my husband.

With his wise counsel to
call upon and God's help...

I pledge to you that
we will continue

to stand up for Alabama together.

And I shall do my duty
to you with conviction.

And I shall make you
a good governor.

We love you, Lurleen.

And now, may I, at this
time, present to you...

the man who will be my
number one assistant...

my husband and your governor...

God bless you both.

George C. Wallace.

Good crowd tonight,
give them hell.

Oh, you know I will.

- How you doing? Good job.
- I'm gonna wait in the car.

No, no, stay here, honey.
It won't look good.

Billy, go on over and
walk Lurleen to the car.

Thank you. How you all doing?

All right.

And I wanna let you all
in on something...

What's that, George?

That I haven't told you yet.

And all you married folks will
know what I'm talking about here.

My wife's been
actually running that

show up there in
Montgomery anyway...

for the last three years.

She's just agreed to let me help
her for the next four years, now.

Well, Billy, I guess I'm to be
just one of the boys now, huh?

Are you all right?

I been a little worried
about you here lately.

Oh, hell, I'm getting along.

It's you that
concerns me, Lurleen.


Too many cigarettes.

Too much coffee.

I'm probably a hell of a one to
talk, but I'm worried about you.

I'm fine.

I mean, aren't I?

I never knew so many people
in Alabama chewed tobacco.

Seems they all for me.

- Yeah, they all kissed you too.
- Heh.

- Thank you.
- No, you doing just fine, honey.

They say she's only making this

race for the office
so I can run...

You know, this
campaigning can take

a hell of a lot out of anybody.

I promised George.

Well, I made that little varmint.

He knows I can unmake him.

I'm gonna talk to him about
lightening up on you a little bit.

It wasn't supposed to involve you.

It's gone too far. I don't
like it a damn bit.

No, it's what I promised to do.


Least it will be one way finally
to be spending more time together.

Can't beat them, join
them, huh, Billy?

Would you mind shutting the door?

I'm gonna try to
rest a little bit.

Sure, little girl.

Anyhow, I'll let you all
in on a little secret...

these big time national
politicians, like

Lyndon Johnson,
Humphrey and Nixon...

they don't hang their
pictures on the wall...

Today, the eyes of the
nation are on Alabama...

because Alabama is
making of herself

an example of leadership...

and is contributing toward a
strengthening of our nation.

Today, wherever you may be...

be proud to be
called an Alabamian.

We have always taken pride in
the great people we represent.

We have always
endeavoured to stand

in the front ranks for you...

in defence of your philosophy.

It is because of our respect...

for the great people of Alabama
and for their principles...

that we have often
said that we see

no reason why a man
from Alabama...

would not make just as good a
president as a man from New York.

- Yeah.
- Or California.


Or maybe a better one
than from Texas.


President Johnson's
only encouraging

these mass demonstrations.

And I tell you this.

I'll tell you this, when you
elect me your president...

a bunch of anarchists wanna lie
down in front of my automobile...

I'm gonna cure them of lying down

in front of automobiles
ever again.

I'll tell you that much.

When some street thugs go out...

and murder a bunch of people
and burn down half a city...

the pseudo-intellectuals
claim it's because

they didn't get enough
broccoli to eat...

when they were little boys.

Or didn't get any watermelon
when they were 10 years old.

Common, ordinary folks in
this country work hard...

save their money, teach their
children to respect the law.

That's right.

We people in the South feel it's
gonna take the good people...

and the rest of the
country all combined...

to force this country
back to sanity.

Because they all had enough...

of these hippies and
beatniks, atheists...

civil-rights agitators, welfare
cheats and anti-Vietnam rioters...

overrunning this government.

We're not going to allow hundreds
of American servicemen...

to be killed every week
in South-east Asia.

That's right. Throw
something else.

You're a real fella,
throwing things.

You better throw them now...

because you're not
gonna throw them after

November 5th, I
guarantee you that.

You may can chant here
against us in Vietnam...

but if you lived in
North Vietnam, you

couldn't chant for this
country over there...

I assure you of that.

And anybody stands up and
waves a Vietcong flag...

and says they long for
victory by the Vietcong...

and goes out raising blood and
money for the Vietcong...

against our American
servicemen over there...

then they ought to
be drug by the hair

on their heads before
a grand jury...

and indicted for treason, because
that's what they're guilty of.

Could we clear the room,
please, ladies and gentlemen?

Officers, open the door there,
let's get some air in here.

Please, just clear the room.

Look at me.

You were always first, Lurleen.

I know that, George.

Deep down here, you're
always first, you know?

Ever since...

I first walked into that
dime store and saw that...

And I've always known that...

deep down too, honey.

It's all right.

I do know you.

It's who I've always loved.

My blessing will always
go with you, George.

Through whatever,
it'll be all right.

Oh, God.

Please, let me live.

I wanna live.

But if I can't live...

please, give me the
strength and faith...

to face whatever I
have to face now.



Jeff. Jeff.

Is she gone?

I'm afraid so, George.

Say, that's who?

Oh, her?

She's just a friend I met, George.

- What's her name?
- She a runner-up Miss Alabama.

Waterskiing champion
at Cypress Gardens.

Country singer too.

Sang backup to Roy Acuff.

Don't say.

Been to Hollywood.

Got a divorce.

George, Lurleen, she been gone
more than a year and a half now.

A man needs a woman, governor.

All these road bunnies not enough.

Get you into trouble real fast.

That is one hell of a
splendid beast of a woman.

Hello, Gerald, T.Y.

- Howdy.
- Welcome aboard. Here.

Let me help you dry off, sweetie.

Cold, huh? Heh, heh, heh.

Ahem. This here's
my brother, George.

Yes, of course.

Everybody knows him.


Well, that feels awfully
good, governor.

Why don't you turn around, then?

We've met before, you know.

I was wearing a night gown?

I met your wife Lurleen then too.

She said I had a lovely
name and gave me a kiss.

Of course, I looked a lot
taller than you at the time...

riding as I was on the
shoulders of my uncle.

Son of a...

Folsom. You were riding
on Big Jim's shoulders?

You're Big Jim Folsom's niece?

And my name?

- Cornelia.
- Heh, heh, heh. Yes.

Cornelia, yeah, that little girl?

Well, I'll be damned.

But I've grown up now.

Here she is, here she is.

Bring that camera
over here now and

get ready. Cornelia,
Cornelia, honey.

Cornelia, honey. Tell
the gentlemen what

it's like to be at
your first convention.

Oh, well, this is my first time at
a national political convention...

as the wife of a candidate.

I believe I'm the only
candidate's wife...

who's travelled with her husband
to every single campaign stop.

It's all been very exciting.

Mr Chairman, and delegates to the
Democratic National Convention...

ladies and gentlemen.

I do appreciate this chance to
address the convention tonight...

though I guess I've
already spoke to one

political rally too
many this year.

But anyway, I'd like
to point out...

that as a result
of our campaign...

other politicians are
beginning to say

identically the same
thing we been saying.

And you gonna be
hearing even more in

the years ahead, I
guarantee you that.

The average citizen is sick and
tired of their tax money...

going to every country
from A to Z that

spits in our face in
the United Nations...

and actively aids our
enemies in Vietnam.

And to wind up my brief remarks,
ladies and gentlemen...

I just wanna say that I believe
in quality of education.

I wanna see the
American dream realised

by everyone in this country...

but every poll shows that 75 to 85
percent of the American people...

are against the senseless, asinine

bussing of little
school children...

to achieve racial balance
throughout the United States.

I can tell you...

that any party that doesn't
confront this issue...

and confront it in
the right manner...

is going to be in jeopardy as
far as success is concerned...

this coming November.

I'm here because I wanna
help the Democratic Party.

I want it again to
become the party of

the average citizen
in this country.

As it used to be.

And not the party of the
intellectual, pseudo-snobbery...

that has controlled
it for so many years.

Thank you very much,
ladies and gentlemen.

Are you sure you don't
want any champagne?


What time you want us tomorrow?


- Ten it is.
- Cheers.

That'll be all for tonight.

- Good night.
- Good night.

How come those two fellas all
the time with you these days?

Because I need protection.

I have to do a lot of
travelling for you now.


After that speech of
mine tonight, I don't

know how damn much
it really matters.

Didn't seem to connect there.

Couldn't connect.

Honey, no, no.

You were great.

There's nothing left
you need to prove.

They know who George Wallace is.

And you were there.

And for actually making it
here to give that speech...

we are gonna have our
own celebration.

Just you and me.

Honey, what you doing?

I'm dancing with you.

I can't dance.

Well, I'll dance you like
this for both of us.

Honey, I want to but I can't...

I missed you.

- This ain't working, honey.
- Yes, it can, honey.

Try to touch me.

Just touch me.



It's burning, honey.

Oh, the pain.

Okay. It's okay, I'm sorry.

I'm sorry.

It's all right. It's...

It's all right.

Goddamn it.

Oh, it's like fire.

It's like fire, honey.

- God, I'm sorry.
- It's all right.

It's all right.

Come here.

Where's George?

Hey, you all, I'm home.

Eddie, you help with the rest of
the bags back there in the trunk.

Come on. Hurry up, now.

Where is he? Honey?

Honey, I'm home.

Hurry up now, Eddie. I got to
be at TV station in an hour.

Oh, honey, there you are.

Leave those in the middle.
I'm gonna change quick.

Oh, excuse me, madam. Shall I
open it for you, Miss Cornelia?

That's fine.

Oh, honey, if you just could've
been with me in San Diego.

There were hundreds and
hundreds at that dinner.

And I got up to speak and whoo.

Lord, you've never heard so
much cheering in your life.

I expect I have.

And next week, the correspondents'
banquet in Washington.

And a publisher up
in New York wants

to talk about my doing a book.

I got a call from a
record company about

doing an album of country ballads.

You believe that?

That's all you doing now.

You just running around on these
TV shows and personal appearances.

You got your own
starring role now.

Honey, it's all to help you.

You're running for
president again in '76.

It's gonna be your best time ever.

You've just been
elected governor again

and all. And so you got that base.

And you named a lot of
blacks to state positions...

so they can't throw that old
race thing at you again.

That'll be all, thank you.

Besides, George, people
gonna forgive you

for all that stuff
back then, anyway.

They feel for you
because you were shot.

It could turn out a political
blessing, you know that?

What the hell are you saying?

You telling me this is a blessing?

Goddamn you, woman.

You... Well, you just wanna
keep riding me, don't you?

Just riding me, riding me,
even though I'm like this now.

Don't you feel anything
for me any more at all?

I'm still your wife.


How you fitting your
trooper boys into that?

You're my husband.

I threw my body over you
to protect you from death.

I want you out of the mansion.


Even taping my goddamn
telephone calls.

Yeah, I did. I did, because you
have shut me out so completely...

it was the only way to find out
if I still meant anything to you.

I want you gone from here.

And where am I supposed to go?

I have made you my whole life.

I don't have anywhere
else to go now.

Get out.

But you don't understand the
emotion of loyalty or Lurleen.

- Lurleen and Uncle Jim.
- You shut up.

You don't understand. No, you
don't... You don't understand.

- You don't understand.
- Get out.

You don't understand how I
could still love you...

just because you can't.

I want you out of here.

You won't let me keep loving you,
because you can't trust that.

It's like you wish I
were playing around.

Because that's something
you can understand...

can trust and feel safe in.

And anger and fighting and hatred.

Those old low mean fevers...

they've finally
burned out everything

else that was inside of you.

It's all you're left with
now. It's all you feel now.

You don't know what all I feel.

I have loved you so much, George.

I didn't have nothing
to do with that thing.

You know that, don't you, Archie?

With what thing, governor?

That church in Birmingham.

Wasn't nothing I did.

I grieved about it,
like everyone else.


I'm Governor Wallace.

Oh, I know who you are.

Is, Big Jim in?

I wanted to see him for a few
minutes, if that's all right.

What about?

I just need to talk to him
for a minute or two, madam.

Wait out here.

He doesn't wanna see you.

Doesn't want...?


I just wanna...

I got to talk to him, madam.

He said he's got nothing
left to say to you any more.

Well, can't...?


Please, just go on back
in there and tell him...

I ain't the same now.

- And I wanna tell him that...
- He's finished.

It's all over.

No, no, wait, wait, wait.

Ca... Can't...?


You're his wife that was
waiting out in the car...

that one time you came by
the mansion, ain't you?

Yes, I am.

You broke his heart, you bastard.

Come on, governor.

It's time to go home.

Now it's money and power.
Power and money.

George, I...

That's four little girls
in Sunday school class.

Never gonna get
out-niggered again.

Tomorrow and segregation forever.

I will not surrender.

He don't allow any of these
woolly-bully agitators...

to take over the public
factories for us.

Stand with George Wallace.

- It's not enough for me.
- Please let me live.

Anger and fighting and hatred.



Would you give me permission...

to say a few words to
your congregation?



I don't hardly make
many speeches any more.

This could even be my last ever.

I don't know.

Lord could take me
this very night.

Because the Bible says
no man knoweth the hour.

So I didn't wanna
wait any longer...

to do this.

Because this was Martin
Luther King's church...

I wanna...

tell you all this evening...

that I have learnt...

what suffering means.

I've learnt it in a way...

that I probably never would
have if I hadn't been shot.


if that's what it took...

well, I'm almost thankful for it.

Because as the hymn says:

"I once was lost...

but now..."

I hope. "... Am found."

Since I've been shot, I...

I have been in pain.

I think I now understand...

the pain...

that I caused the people...

the black people of Alabama.

And the black people
of the nation. And...

I'm sorry.

I was wrong.


knowing that...

is hard for me...

to bear sometimes.

And for what I'm doing
here tonight...

I'm finally turning to you all...

and I'm asking you...

Whether you will or not...

I'm asking you...

to forgive me.

Thank you for coming
today, governor.

Thank you. Sure appreciate it.

God bless.

Bless you. Bless you.

God bless you.

Heavenly peace.

You want me to leave the night
light on again tonight, governor?

No, you can cut it out.


Yes, sir?

You been mighty good to me.

I wanna thank you.


Good night.

You get some sleep now.