Synopsis by Hal Erickson
The life and times of demagogic Louisiana governor Huey Long has been fictionalized by two Hollywood films, All The King's Men (1949) and A Lion is in the Streets (1953). Made for television, The Life and Assassination of the Kingfish endeavors to tell the true story, with few names changed. Played by Edward Asner, Long rises to the top of state politics on such placebo-like programs as "Every Man a King" and "Share the Wealth." He remains an enigma to friends and enemies both: He cheats and lies his way to power even while providing such important benefits to Louisiana as a strong school system and network of highways; he plays the buffoon in public while behaving like a fascist dictator on the floor of the legislature; and so on. In 1935, Long, on the verge of running for president, is shot down by an old enemy. Director Robert Collins begins his script at this point, with Long's career related in flashback as he hovers between life and death in a hospital bed. Life and Assassination of the Kingfish was first aired March 21, 1977; eighteen years later, another Huey Long biopic, Kingfish, was presented on the TNT cable service, with John Goodman as Long.
assassination, governor, political-leader, political-machine, politician