George Wallace (film)

George Wallace
George Wallace DVD Cover
Based onWallace: The Classic Portrait of Alabama Governor George Wallace
by Marshall Frady
Screenplay byPaul Monash
Marshall Frady
Story byPaul Monash
Directed byJohn Frankenheimer
StarringGary Sinise
Mare Winningham
Clarence Williams III
Angelina Jolie
Joe Don Baker
William Sanderson
Terry Kinney
Tracy Fraim
Theme music composerGary Chang
Original language(s)English
Executive producer(s)Mark Carliner
Producer(s)John Frankenheimer
Julian Krainin
Ethel Winant (co-producer)
Mitch Engel (line producer)
James Sbardellati (line producer)
CinematographyAlan Caso
Editor(s)Antony Gibbs
Running time178 minutes
Production company(s)TNT
Original networkTNT
Original releaseAugust 24, 1997

George Wallace is a 1997 television film starring Gary Sinise as George Wallace, the former Governor of Alabama. It was directed by John Frankenheimer, who won an Emmy award for it; Sinise and Mare Winningham also won Emmys for their performances. The film was based on the 1996 biography Wallace : The Classic Portrait of Alabama Governor George Wallace by Marshall Frady, who also co-wrote the teleplay.

Frankenheimer's film was highly praised by critics: in addition to the Emmy awards, it received the Golden Globe for Best Miniseries/Motion Picture made for TV. Angelina Jolie also received a Golden Globe for her performance as Wallace's second wife, Cornelia.


George Wallace portrays the political life of a complex man. Initially an ordinary Southern judge, Wallace transforms himself to achieve political success and glory, becoming one of the most reviled political figures in the U.S. Finally, a failed assassination attempt which leaves him paralyzed and in pain leads him to realize what he has become.

The film follows the history of its namesake, from the 1950s when Wallace was a circuit court judge in Barbour County, to his tenure as the most powerful Governor in Alabama's history. The movie depicts his symbolic "Stand in the Schoolhouse Door", where Wallace attempted to block black students from entering the University of Alabama. It details his stance on racial segregation in Alabama at the time, which proved popular with his white constituents, and also depicts Wallace's rise as a presidential hopeful. This eventually leads to his attempted assassination—and his surprise victory in several states during the 1968 Presidential election.