One Bright Shining Moment: The Forgotten Summer of George McGovern (2005)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

One Bright Shining Moment: The Forgotten Summer of George McGovern Videos

One Bright Shining Moment: The Forgotten Summer of George McGovern Photos

Movie Info

In the spring and summer of 1972, George McGovern, a Democratic senator from South Dakota, achieved the seemingly impossible. Backed by a motley collection of Prairie populists, old-school liberals, and young people disenchanted with the war in Vietnam, McGovern overwhelmed longtime party favorites such as Hubert Humphrey and Edmund Muskie to win the Democratic nomination for the presidency of the United States. However, McGovern's triumph proved to be short-lived; after his initial running mate, Thomas Eagleton, was revealed to have a history of mental illness, the McGovern campaign went into a tailspin from which it would never recover, with the incumbent Richard Nixon winning the 1972 election by a landslide. However, McGovern's campaign is still remembered by many as one of the last examples of a candidate truly triumphing through the will of the people rather than working the party political machine, and given the scandalous downfall of Nixon following his re-election, many have wondered what America would be like today if McGovern, once described by Robert F. Kennedy as "the most decent man in the Senate," had won. One Bright Shining Moment: The Forgotten Summer of George McGovern is a documentary which looks back at the McGovern campaign and explores what went right, what went wrong, and what was McGovern's true legacy. The film includes interviews with Howard Zinn, Gloria Steinem, Gary Hart, Frank Mankiewicz, Warren Beatty, Gore Vidal, Ron Kovic, and McGovern himself.
Rating:
NR
Genre:
Documentary , Special Interest
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 wide
On DVD:
Runtime:
Studio:

Cast

Critic Reviews for One Bright Shining Moment: The Forgotten Summer of George McGovern

All Critics (18) | Top Critics (8)

... largely succeeds.

Full Review… | November 23, 2005
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

[A] surprisingly thorough film.

Full Review… | November 17, 2005
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic

The film builds a strong argument in favor of his quixotic idealism and the compassionate optimism that propels him against seemingly invincible social ills even today at age 83.

Full Review… | October 20, 2005
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic

It's a deeply flawed film but also an important one; if it does nothing else it should bring this decent and courageous prairie populist, whose very name has become a patently unfair term of abuse, before at least a few members of a new generation.

Full Review… | September 16, 2005
Salon.com
Top Critic

Parallels to the current day are plain to see, so Vittoria's insistence on juxtaposing images of contemporary politicians and an angry narration only undercut the power of his otherwise absorbing presentation.

Full Review… | September 16, 2005
New York Daily News
Top Critic

A wan but well-researched apotheosis of the former senator from South Dakota.

September 16, 2005
New York Times
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for One Bright Shining Moment: The Forgotten Summer of George McGovern

Oh, how badly I wanted to enjoy this. But I can't shake the feeling that George McGovern deserved better than bitter polemics and tired hippie reminiscences. It's a tragedy that the bums lost, but maybe the bums aren't the ones to dissect the reasons for their loss.

Yama Rahyar
Yama Rahyar

Like any Liberal documentary you get a lot of the good vs. evil stuff and McGovern is painted in totally rosy colors, but I think the film had a point about the brilliance and failure of his 1972 bid for the presidency.

Sean Chick
Sean Chick

I would not have automatically guessed it, but this is not what you would call an objective documentary. Of course I did guess pretty quickly that objectivity was not the purpose of this documentary, given the immediate injection of very subjective commentary by Amy Goodman -- whom, as the founder of Democracy Now!, I very much admire. As narrator, she definitely sets the tone for a heavily one-sided view of George McGovern. Fortunately, Ms. Goodman is preaching to the choir here, because I too believe that had McGovern been elected president, we would not find ourselves in this morass which we currently enjoy under the Bush administration -- which will finally go away in eleven months, only to be remembered forever as the most disastrous administration in the history of the United States of America.

If you are looking to learn something about this remarkable man, this is for you. If you are looking for a balanced view of George McGovern, this is probably not for you. If you love George McGovern, as I do, then you will love this documentary.

Lanning : )
Lanning : )

Super Reviewer

Discussion Forum

Discuss One Bright Shining Moment: The Forgotten Summer of George McGovern on our Movie forum!

News & Features