One Bright Shining Moment: The Forgotten Summer of George McGovern
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One Bright Shining Moment: The Forgotten Summer of George McGovern
In the spring and summer of 1972, George McGovern, a Democratic senator from South Dakota, achieved the seemingly impossible. Backed by a motley collection of Prairie populists, old-school liberals, and young people disenchanted with the war in Vietnam, McGovern overwhelmed longtime party favorites such as Hubert Humphrey and Edmund Muskie to win the Democratic nomination for the presidency of the United States. However, McGovern's triumph proved to be short-lived; after his initial running mate, Thomas Eagleton, was revealed to have a history of mental illness, the McGovern campaign went… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 83%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"... largely succeeds."
‑ Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times
"It's a deeply flawed film but also an important one; if it does nothing else it should bring this decent and courageous prairie populist, whose very name has become a patently unfair term of abuse, before at least a few members of a new generation."
‑ Andrew O'Hehir,
"An effort to secure former Sen. George McGovern's place in history, and it does a pretty good job."
‑ Chris Hewitt (St. Paul), St. Paul Pioneer Press
"In terms of recapturing the time that was, One Bright Shining Moment is rather effective -- although it feels to be revealing that time from certain distance."
‑ Kim Williamson, Boxoffice Magazine
"The documentary will appeal to those who like their political commentary with unbridled bite."
‑ Kent Turner,
"[A] surprisingly thorough film."
‑ Steven Mikulan, L.A. Weekly
"Parallels to the current day are plain to see, so Vittoria's insistence on juxtaposing images of contemporary politicians and an angry narration only undercut the power of his otherwise absorbing presentation."
‑ Elizabeth Weitzman, New York Daily News
"Just too hagiographic to engage anyone but the most nostalgic follower of the 1972 campaign."
‑ Eric Monder, Film Journal International
"[Goes] a long way to rehabilitating this unfairly maligned candidate."
‑ Ken Fox, TV Guide's Movie Guide
""The Establishment... has led us into the stupidest and cruelest war in all history. That war is political disaster - a terrible cancer eating away at the soul of our nation.""
‑ Brandon Judell, New York Theatre Wire
"The film builds a strong argument in favor of his quixotic idealism and the compassionate optimism that propels him against seemingly invincible social ills even today at age 83."
‑ Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune
"A wan but well-researched apotheosis of the former senator from South Dakota."
‑ Ned Martel, New York Times
"This is an excellent time to remind ourselves of this story. Another McGovern would have been a good thing to have the last five years."
‑ Joshua Tanzer, Offoffoff
"If you're a history-politics buff, you're gonna want to seize this Moment."
‑ , E! Online
"A Politics 101 view of a presidential candidate whose victory might have made America an object lesson in decency."
‑ Harvey S. Karten, Compuserve