This is a very ambitious project, one that will truly shine a light into a time that was holds very sad memories for those who remember where they were when JFK was shot. I was in kindergarten and home sick from school when my Mom came in the room and announced that John F. Kennedy had been assassinated. This film for me brings back all of those raw emotions. Unlike many other films that have documented this horrific time in our countries history, I felt all of those raw emotions came back, and cried my eyes out.
About the Film, the cast, directors, producers, and some of the back story:
As LBJ reveals, Lyndon Johnson was a masterful behind-the-scenes negotiator who lacked the leading- man looks and charisma of his presidential predecessor. “Hopefully, this movie will enable people to see LBJ in a more human light,” Reiner says. As co-founder of numerous political action groups including American Foundation for Equal Rights, which sponsored the successful constitutional challenge to California’s gay-marriage ban, Reiner envisions LBJ as an opportunity to re-assess Johnson’s pragmatism while in office. “Now that I’m older, having spent a lot of time in politics, I’ve come to understand more about what it takes to get things done,” he says. “I now admire LBJ a lot more than I used to.”
Filming on LBJ began in September 2015 in New Orleans and moved quickly under Reiner’s famously fast-paced directing style. “Rob’s incredible,” says Harrelson. “You come in thinking you’ve got a full day of work ahead of you, and you’re out by lunch.” Harrelson praises director of photography Barry Markowitz for keeping up with the no-nonsense director. “Barry is the fastest lighter I’ve ever worked with,” says the actor. “He uses mostly natural light and he’s brilliant.”
On the eve of the 1960 presidential primaries, Senate Majority Leader Lyndon Johnson (Woody Harrelson), the most powerful Democrat in Washington, underestimates the political skill of Massachusetts Senator John F. Kennedy (Jeffrey Donovan) and his shrewd campaign manager Bobby Kennedy (Michael Stahl- David). After losing the nomination to the telegenic junior senator, Johnson agrees to be Kennedy’s running mate, optimistic he can transform the vice presidency into a vital office. But when JFK wins the election, he and Bobby, the newly appointed attorney general, dismiss Johnson’s efforts to broker a compromise between Southern Democrat segregationists and the Administration over a groundbreaking Civil Rights Bill. Effectively sidelined and frustrated by his figurehead status, Johnson tells his closest advisors “My future is behind me.”
But everything changes on November 22, 1963, when Kennedy’s assassination in Dallas thrusts Johnson into the most powerful office in the world. While the nation mourns, President Johnson, with his devoted wife Lady Bird (Jennifer Jason Leigh) by his side, moves into the White House, re-igniting tensions with a grieving Bobby.
As Johnson tries to win over his predecessor’s formidable team of advisors, the first Southern President in a century faces a deeply divided country, torn between North and South, Democrat and Republican, black and white. With a lifetime of legislative experience and the future of his political life hanging in the balance, Johnson defies his longtime mentor, Georgia Senator Richard Russell (Richard Jenkins), and teams with Texas Senator Ralph Yarborough (Bill Pullman) to honor JFK’s legacy by championing passage of the historic Civil Rights Act of 1964.
LBJ is directed by Oscar® nominee Rob Reiner (A Few Good Men, When Harry Met Sally) and written by Joey Hartstone (Shock and Awe). The movie stars Emmy® winner and Oscar nominee Woody Harrelson (The People vs. Larry Flynt, “True Detective”), Michael Stahl-David (Cloverfield), Emmy winner and Oscar nominee Richard Jenkins (The Visitor), Oscar nominee Jennifer Jason Leigh (The Hateful Eight), Jeffrey Donovan (“Fargo,” “Burn Notice”), Bill Pullman (The Killer Inside Me, Independence Day) and Kim Allen (“Army Wives”).
In Theaters Nationwide – November 3, 2017
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