American Experience (1988– )
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Truman: Part II 

He was a farmer, a businessman, an unknown politician who suddenly found himself president. Of all the men who had held the highest office, Harry Truman was the least prepared, but would ... See full summary »

Director:

David Grubin

Writers:

Nick Davis (script development), David Grubin
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Cast

Episode credited cast:
Jason Robards ... Narrator (voice)
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Storyline

He was a farmer, a businessman, an unknown politician who suddenly found himself president. Of all the men who had held the highest office, Harry Truman was the least prepared, but would prove to be a surprise. Acclaimed filmmaker David Grubin recounts his struggles and success as an army captain and marriage to his lifelong sweetheart, Bess. When he landed the vice presidency in 1944 he had no idea that his world was about to change forever. This is the second of two parts.

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Certificate:

TV-PG
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Details

Release Date:

6 October 1997 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

WGBH See more »
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Runtime:

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User Reviews

It picks up nicely where the first one left off....
16 October 2011 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

This is the second part of the exceptional and in-depth biography on Harry Truman that aired on PBS's "The American Experience". Part one ended with Truman as President at the end of WWII. Here, it picks up where part one left off and covers topics such as the spread of Russian-backed communism, the fall of the Chinese government, Truman's surprise victory in his re-election campaign and the Korean War. The 'Red Scare' is only mentioned in passing.

It is interesting to point out that almost all of this episode concerns the years 1946-1952. Very little of Truman's life following his presidency is covered and Truman as a man is difficult to see in this show. Part one seemed to capture more of him as a person--here, it's mostly just his presidency post-WWII and little more. As a result, the film feels a bit of a letdown near the end. I wanted to see and hear more about his post-presidency life and his relationship with his odd wife, Bess--who spent little time at the White House and hated the limelight. Still, apart from this, the film is about as perfect as you can get on this man.


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