Politics | 1960 | Sound | B/W
In World War Two and in Missouri. Swearing in ceremony , marching parade, life as the American president winding up speech and opening of the Harry S. Truman library.
Opens with a shot of Truman writing at his desk. Truman is wearing a dark suit, behind him are framed photographs, at the same time a voice over comes up announcing "Harry Truman, born May 8th 1884". The narrator has a well-spoken American accent. Cuts to a shot of a pretty three-story house with trees to both sides of it, in the middle distance are people sitting on the grass field in front of the house. We are told that Truman's life is the "typical American story". Moves to a closer shot of the house looking it side on, there are three people walking in front of the house, from the right to the left, one male two female, the narrator talks of Truman being a Missouri farm boy who rose to be the 33rd president of the United States. There is then a still photograph of four men standing looking at the camera; they are dressed in soldier’s uniforms. We are told that Truman saw action in San Miguel and the Argon and attained major's rank. The film moves to a close shot of the photograph, we see a young Truman who is one of the soldiers. He has a close haircut and round spectacles on.
The next shot is of a middle aged Truman outside wearing a white suit, with a black tie. Behind him is a crowd of people; most appear to be elderly and dressed in clothes typical of the 30's to 40's period. He is talking to a woman who is on the right of the shot; in his hands are two statues. Truman appears looking straight at the camera, still holding the statues; behind him is a group of women wearing large sun hats and a balding man in a suit. The narrator says that his farm background, war record and farm background made him a natural for politics.
We then see Truman smiling and looking at the camera, Truman appears to look older now and is dressed in a dark suit, he now has thinning grey hair. The man sitting next to him has a piece of paper with the word Truman written on it, the narrator tells us that Truman became the senator for Missouri in 1934. The next shot is of Truman standing elavated from a crowd. The crowd in front of him are holding placards saying Truman for vice-president, around Truman are suited men who look to be congratulating him, one is in a light suit shaking his hand.
The narrator tells us that his leadership on the "Truman committee on defence expenditure" made him a natural choice for the vice president nomination. This is said over a shot of him sitting outside with President Franklin Roosevelt. They are sitting outside, and both are dressed in suits although they are not wearing suit jackets. Roosevelt has a black bow tie on instead of a tie. A close shot of the men talking follows with the camera moving from Roosevelt who is on the right to Truman who is on the left. Roosevelt appears quite old and frail. The narrator tells us that Truman has been chosen as Roosevelt’s running mate for the year 1944, and ahead lay "a notable rendezvous with history".
Now a shot of Truman shaking hands with a well dressed lady as he walks away from a large house, he is walking along a pavement that leads to the house with grass on either side, on the left of the shot is a 40's style car. Truman himself is wearing a smart hat and carrying a walking stick. Behind him is a large group of men all wearing coats, with suits underneath. As Truman walks past the woman he takes of his hat to the woman and puts it back on. Truman walks past the camera, which moves, following him as he walks past a house. Moves to Truman shaking hands with an African American man, the narrator says that Truman is cast in the pioneering mode. Behind them is a crowd and in the distance there are two churches on either side of the road. Truman then shakes hands with a little girl who is standing to the side of the African American man. The next shot is of Truman shaking hands with a man in a dark hat, shirt and suspenders. The narrator tells us that he is also a friend of the common man; the two of them appear to be standing in a paved area with contemporary cars behind them. A photographer runs into shot and stands in the middle distance between them. He is carrying a flash bulb camera and takes a shot of them talking.
This cuts to a shot of the globe laid flat against the screen, the globe is white and the word 'commercial' is superimposed in black over it. Screen fades into a shot of the Capitol building located in Washington D.C., in the foreground are white stairs leading to it. Narrator states that "only 88 days after the start of FDR's first term death claimed the chief executive," as this is said there is a side on shot of Truman being sworn into office, his hand on the bible and the other in the air. He is surrounded by a group of officials. Then a close up of Truman being sworn in with flash bulbs reflecting against him and several men in the background. Then a shot of Truman looking up as he finishes being sworn in, he kisses the bible as the man who swore him in offers his hand in congratulations. Truman then looks up and shakes the other mans hand.
Narrator announces that Truman saw "war and victory and the birth of the United nations" then we see a ticker tape parade for Truman. A convertible car is on the right of the shot with two flags at the front, one the United States flag. There is a very large crowd in the background, some of the crowd are holding American flags. Truman gets out of the car to shake some ones hand. There is also a man holding a camera on the road in front, a man dressed in a service uniform and several men by the side of the car dressed in suits and hats. Truman moves to the soldiers marching behind the car and the camera follows, the voice over informs us that the soldiers are his former "war buddies". Truman looks relaxed and is looking straight at the cameraman. Close up of Truman as he marches, turning a corner to a different street, the music is triumphant and and brassy. Truman himself is wearing a light suit and glasses; he also waves to the camera and appears to have a mourning band round his arm.
Shot of a large hall where a large group of people are stood clapping. Cuts to a shot of a large board which has the title 'state chart' on top four men are standing at the board which has been divided into four and are writing the word Truman across there sections. The narrator tells us that Truman scored an upset victory against Dewy in the 1948 presidential election. Close up of the men who were writing on the boards, they are standing against the boards, which say 'Truman' they are wearing earphones and appear in a dark uniform. Shot of Truman walking with another out of what is presumably the gates of the White house, as the narrator informs us that his morning walks were a trade mark of his. Close up of Truman walking with the same man past the camera, Truman is smiling. Close up of Truman and his companion’s legs as they walk. The voice over tells us that newsmen and the secret service will tell you that keeping up with Truman is "no easy chore". Camera moves up so that we see the back of Truman and his companions head as they walk along a curved path in what looks to be a park. To their right looking at the camera is a camera man. Shot of Truman and his companion walking by the side of a building towards the camera.
Shot of the White House over looking its lawn, voice over tells us that in January 1953 Truman relinquished his 'high office'. Shot of Truman sitting down in what looks to be the Oval room, looking towards the camera while reading from notes. He is giving a farewell speech which we hear, he says that he has "no regrets" and feels he has done his "public service", ends by saying "goodnight and God bless you".
Shot of a large number of cars parked on a gently sloping hill; in the background is the Harry S. Truman Library. Truman walks through the middle of a large sat crowd who are clapping, Truman walks to an elevated part as the camera follows. The narrator tells us that one of Truman's greatest dreams was realised in July 1957, when the Harry S Truman library was dedicated at Independence Missouri. Shot of Mrs Truman who is seated with a large crowd in the background. Mrs Truman is dressed smartly with a white hat on. Shot of Eleanor Roosevelt fanning herself while sitting next to Basil O’Connor, they are also at the library dedication and look to be in the same section as Mrs Truman. Then a shot of Herbert Hoover shaking Truman's hand, they are both looking at the cameras who are off screen and are standing in front of the libraries entrance, the library appears to be a large and grand building. Behind them are a large crowd of well-dressed men and women. Interior shot of the library, a large room which has several protected exhibits in. Large windows to the left and photos hanging on the right. Close up of a photo of Truman standing next to Winston Churchill. Truman is smiling at the camera and holding Churchill's hand as Churchill looks down. Close up of another photo, Truman holding aloft a paper saying Dewy defeats Truman, we are told that this is a personnel moment.
Close shot of Truman standing in front of some stairs, looking straight at the camera and holding his hat aloft. Behind him are people walking down the stairs.
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