‘All the Way’ With LBJ: HBO’s Behind the Scenes Look at Lyndon Johnson’s First Year As President, 1963-64

All The Way offers a riveting behind-the scenes look at President Lyndon B. Johnson’s tumultuous first year in office after the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Staking his presidency on what would be an historic unprecedented Civil Rights Act, Johnson finds himself caught between the moral imperative of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the expectations of the southern Democratic Party leaders who brought Johnson to power. As King battles to press Johnson while controlling more radical elements of the Civil Rights Movement, Johnson navigates the bill through Congress, winning a landslide victory against Barry Goldwater, but causing the South to defect from the Democratic Party.”

The movie was originally a Broadway play starring Bryan Cranston in 2014.

PBS News Hour: “Actor Bryan Cranston is best known for his role on the hit AMC drama, “Breaking Bad.” But today he plays President Lyndon B. Johnson in the Broadway show, “All the Way.” In a candid interview, NewsHour’s Jeffrey Brown sits down with Cranston to discuss the actor’s transition from portraying the chemistry teacher turned drug lord, Walter White, to an American president in his first year in office.”

CBS Sunday Morning: “One of our most dynamic, powerful and controversial presidents, Lyndon Baines Johnson is on view in a new Broadway play, “All the Way.” David Martin sits down with star Bryan Cranston to talk about his transforming role as LBJ, and the larger-than-life man from Texas.”

Historian’s Evaluation

Cynical Historian: “Didn’t expect this one to be so good. HBO’s _All the Way_ is actually a worthwhile watch. Come see why this is probably Brian Cranston’s best role yet.”

References:

All the Way Took a Few Creative Liberties

LBJ, Civil Rights and Creative License

Excerpts

Frank Langella as Senator Richard Russell 

Comparisons

Lyndon Johnson and Martin Luther King, as depicted in news footage, “Selma” (2015) and “All the Way” (2016).

A Scene from “Path to War” (2002), a meeting between President Johnson and segregationist Alabama governor George Wallace, illustrating LBJ’s persuasive powers.

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