• Big Jim Folsom: The Two Faces of Populism

    Robert Clem's film portrait of a flawed yet courageous politician's dramatic rise and fall.  Winner of the 1997 International Documentary Association / ABC News VideoSource Award.

    Original music by Donald Stark.


    Big Jim Folsom: Alabama's Populist Revolt of 1946

    Part one of Robert Clem's award-winning 1997 film on controversial Alabama governor James E. "Big Jim" Folsom who in 1946 upset the power structure that had ruled the state since the end of Reconstruction, advocating the expansion of political rights to blacks and poor whites and using public funds for education, roadbuilding in rural areas, and other public works.

    Original music by Donald Stark.


    Big Jim Folsom, Part 2: The Race Issue

    Part two of Robert Clem's award-winning 1997 film Big Jim Folsom: the Two Faces of Populism considers how Alabama's populist governor, first elected n 1946, tried to use his landslide re-election in 1954 to stem the tide of segregationism and the Ku Klux Klan but was excoriated in the press when he dared to invite visiting black congressman Adam Clayton Powell to the governor's mansion for a drink.

    Original music by Donald Stark.


    Big Jim Folsom, Part 3: The Last Hurrah

    In the conclusion of Robert Clem's award-winning film on Alabama's populist governor Big Jim Folsom, he ends his second term bereft of power due to his stand on the race issue and descent into alcoholism. He makes a comeback attempt in the 1962 election, going head to head with his former ally George. Wallace. But in an election eve broadcast on statewide television, Folsom appears to be drunk and any chance he had of winning is destroyed. Some believe he was given a mickey, while others feel it was the inevitable end of a flawed hero.

    Original music by Donald Stark.


    APT TO MISBEHAVE

    Spot for upcoming broadcast on Alabama Public Television Sunday, September 2, 8 pm, and Monday, September 3 at 9 pm, for Robert Clem's 1-hour film about Mobile native Eugene Walter, who ran away from home at age 3, helped found the Paris Review in the 1950s, worked with Fellini and other Italian film directors as actor and translator, became famous as the author cookbooks and, on his return to Mobile in the ‘70s, was the focus of Mobile's art scene until his death in 1998. Some described him as magical; others, as a fraud, a 'moocher' who never had a dime of his own. “When all else fails, throw a party,” he would say.  When he died, Mobile's cathedral was packed to overflowing with those whose lives he touched with his charismatic charm.

    Original music by Donald Stark.

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