George Wallace (film)

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George Wallace
DVD cover
Based onWallace: The Classic Portrait of Alabama Governor George Wallace
by Marshall Frady
Screenplay byPaul Monash
Marshall Frady
Story byPaul Monash
Directed byJohn Frankenheimer
StarringGary Sinise
Mare Winningham
Clarence Williams III
Joe Don Baker
Angelina Jolie
Terry Kinney
William Sanderson
Mark Rolston
Tracy Fraim
Skipp Sudduth
Ron Perkins
Mark Valley
Theme music composerGary Chang
Original languageEnglish
Executive producerMark Carliner
ProducersJohn Frankenheimer
Julian Krainin
CinematographyAlan Caso
EditorTony Gibbs
Running time178 minutes
Production companyTNT Original
Original networkTNT
Original releaseAugust 24, 1997 (1997-08-24)

George Wallace is a 1997 biographical two-part mini-series produced and directed by John Frankenheimer and starring Gary Sinise as the titular former Governor of Alabama. The mini-series's teleplay, written by Marshall Frady and Paul Monash, is based on the 1996 biography Wallace: The Classic Portrait of Alabama Governor George Wallace by Frady. Mare Winningham, Clarence Williams III, Joe Don Baker, Angelina Jolie, Terry Kinney, William Sanderson, Mark Rolston, Tracy Fraim, Skipp Sudduth, Ron Perkins, and Mark Valley also star.

George Wallace was highly praised by critics and received various accolades: including Emmy Awards for Outstanding Directing (Frankenheimer), Outstanding Lead Actor (Sinise), and Outstanding Supporting Actress (Winningham), and Golden Globes for Best Television Film and Best Supporting Actress (Jolie).


George Wallace portrays the political life of a complex man. Initially an ordinary Southern judge, Wallace transforms himself to achieve political success and glory, becoming one of the most reviled political figures in the U.S. Finally, a failed assassination attempt which leaves him paralyzed and in pain leads him to realize what he has become.

The film follows the story of Wallace's life from the 1950s, when he was a circuit court judge in Barbour County, to his tenure as the most powerful Governor in Alabama's history. The movie depicts his symbolic "Stand in the Schoolhouse Door", where Wallace attempted to block black students from entering the University of Alabama. It details his stance on racial segregation in Alabama at the time, which proved popular with his white constituents, and also depicts Wallace's rise as a presidential hopeful. This eventually leads to his attempted assassination—and his surprise victory in several states during the 1968 Presidential election.


Actor Role
Gary Sinise George C. Wallace
Mare Winningham Lurleen Wallace
Clarence Williams III Archie
Joe Don Baker Big Jim Folsom
Angelina Jolie Cornelia Wallace
Terry Kinney Billy Watson
William Sanderson T. Y. Odum
Mark Rolston Ricky Brickle
Tracy Fraim Gerald Wallace
Skipp Sudduth Al Lingo
Ron Perkins Nicholas Katzenbach
Mark Valley Robert F. Kennedy
Scott Brantley Arthur Bremer
Kathryn Erbe Mrs. Folsom
Steve Harris Neal
Bobby Kirby James Hood
Ketema Nelson Vivian Malone


The New York Times' Caryn James, wrote that events were "recreated with startling veracity and tension in the two-part mini-series called simply George Wallace." James wrote that Sinise was "amazing" and Mare Winningham was "extraordinary."[1]

Sinise reprised his role as George Wallace in Frankenheimer's 2002 television film Path to War, about the Johnson administration's entry into the Vietnam War.[2]

Awards and nominations[edit]

1998 American Cinema Editors (Eddies)

  • Won - Best Edited Episode from a Television Mini-Series — Antony Gibbs (for part 2)

1998 American Society of Cinematographers

  • Won - Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography in Mini-Series — Alan Caso

1998 Art Directors Guild

  • Won - Excellence in Production Design Award for a Television Movie or Miniseries — Michael Z. Hanan, Charles M. Lagola, Arlan Jay Vetter

1997 CableACE Award

  • Won - Best Actor in a Movie or Miniseries — Gary Sinise
  • Won - Best Directing a Movie or Miniseries — John Frankenheimer
  • Won - Best Makeup — Janeen Schreyer, John E. Jackson, Matthew W. Mungle, Patricia Androff, Jamie Kelman
  • Won - Best Miniseries — Mark Carliner, John Frankenheimer, Julian Krainin, Ethel Winant, Mitch Engel, James Sbardellati
  • Nominated - Best Supporting Actor in a Movie or Miniseries — Joe Don Baker
  • Nominated - Best Supporting Actress in a Movie or Miniseries — Angelina Jolie
  • Nominated - Best Art Direction in a Dramatic Special or Serires/Movie or Miniseries — Michael Z. Hanan, Charles M. Lagola, Douglas A. Mowat
  • Nominated - Best Editing a Dramatic Special or Series/Movie or Miniseries — Antony Gibbs
  • Nominated - Best Writing a Movie or Miniseries — Paul Monash, Marshall Frady

1998 Casting Society of America (Artios)

  • Won - Best Casting for TV Miniseries — Iris Grossman

1998 Directors Guild of America

  • Nominated - Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Dramatic Specials — John Frankenheimer

1998 Emmy Awards

1998 Golden Globe Awards

1998 Humanitas Prize

  • Won - PBS/Cable Category — Marshall Frady, Paul Monash

1998 Motion Picture Sound Editors (Golden Reel Award)

  • Nominated - Best Sound Editing - Television Mini-Series - Effects and Foley — Brady Schwartz

1997 Peabody Award

  • Won - Peabody Award — Mark Carliner

1998 Screen Actors Guild Awards

  • Won - Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a TV Movie or Miniseries — Gary Sinise
  • Nominated - Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a TV Movie or Miniseries — Mare Winningham

1998 Writers Guild of America Awards

  • Nominated - Best Screenplay Adapted Long Form — Paul Monash, Marshall Frady

See also[edit]


  1. ^ James, Caryn (August 23, 1997). "Going Beyond Just Facts To Show a Hollow Soul". The New York Times. Retrieved August 12, 2016.
  2. ^ Levesque, John (May 19, 2002). "LBJ's vile realities pave HBO's 'Path to War'". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved December 6, 2020.

External links[edit]