Tail Gunner Joe (1977)

TV Movie   |  Not Rated   |    |  Biography, Drama


Tail Gunner Joe (1977) Poster

A dramatization of the life of Joe McCarthy, the alcoholic senator from Wisconsin whose tactics of accusing prominent people of Communist sympathies were initially designed to give him a ... See full summary »

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6.7/10
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30 June 2001 | melkart
1
| A Hatchet Job on an easy target.
The title says it all. "Tail Gunner Joe" was a tag given to the Senator which relied upon the ignorance of the public about World War II aircraft. The rear facing moving guns relied upon a latch that would prevent the rear gunner from shooting off the tail of the airplane by preventing the gun from firing when it pointed at the tail. When the Senator was practicing on the ground one day, he succeeded in shooting off the tail of the airplane. He couldn't have done that if the gun had been properly aligned. The gunnery officer responsible for that admitted, in public, before a camera, that he was responsible -- he had made the error, not the Senator. The fact that the film did not report that fact, shows how one-sided it is. This film was designed to do one thing, destroy the reputation of a complex person.

A much better program was the PBS special done on him. He was a hard working, intelligent, ambitious politician who overcame extraordinary disadvantages to rise to extraordinary heights. He made some mistakes, some serious mistakes, but shooting the tail off an airplane was not one of them.

The popularity of this film is due to the fact that the public likes simple stories, one=sided stories, so that they don't have to think.

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