The Case of the Legless Veteran: James Kutcher (1981)

Genres - History  |   Sub-Genres - Biography, Politics & Government, Social History  |   Run Time - 60 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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This documentary looks at the story of James Kutcher who was disabled in World War II (he lost both his legs) but since he was a member of the Socialist Workers Party, the U. S. government tried to stop his disability pension -- occasioning a long court battle. Kutcher also lost his job as a clerk in the Veterans Administration because of his political beliefs, and was categorized as a "subversive" by the Federal Employee Loyalty Program. His fight to get his pension back took place in the chilling environment of the McCarthy era, when blacklists were ending the careers of many people in the U.S., including well-known Hollywood stars and directors. The context of Kutcher's long fight is illustrated through newsreel footage, anti-communist rhetoric from President Harry Truman, and statements by Ronald Reagan. Eloquent commentaries on the long legal battle are offered by I.F. Stone, editor Simon Bloom, and lawyer Joseph L. Rauh, Jr.