Big Lever (Film)

Big Lever

  •  Frances Morton
  •  1982
  • Color IconColor
  •  54:17
  •  16 mm film
Film Description
For Nixon's first public appearance since resigning the presidency, Richard Nixon chose the small mountain community of Leslie County, Kentucky. Priceless footage of Nixon's 1978 visit introduces this incisive and sometimes hilarious look at the engines that drive American politics. The film explores the machinations of party politics in this rural and staunchly Republican county: hollow to hollow vote-hunting; family squabbles over candidates; patronage promises; speech-making on the courthouse steps; and the up-and-down career of the incumbent county Judge-Executive who sought re-election while under indictment for vote fraud conspiracy.

Screenings & Festivals
  • American Film Festival
  • Film Festival Rotterdam
  • Houston International Film Festival
  • San Francisco International Film Festival

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“Powerfully telling … thoroughly engrossing … a microcosm of U.S. political tactics — both legal and illicit.” — Booklist
“The Big Lever is compelling political drama. A skillful presentation.” — National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered”
“Authentic down-home Americana and thoroughly entertaining.” — Variety
“The best comment I have ever seen on Watergate. It explains how deeply corruption is engrained in the political life of America. A terrifyingly real film.” — University of Richmond