New on DVD: George Wallace

New on DVD: George Wallace

Theatrical screens are usually reserved for biopics about presidents, athletes and, recently, authors. All others visit the small screen via a miniseries. George Wallace is not a well-known name but he is a significant figure in American history. Wallace (Gary Sinise) was the governor of Alabama at the height of the civil rights movement. And […]


Theatrical screens are usually reserved for biopics about presidents, athletes and, recently, authors. All others visit the small screen via a miniseries. George Wallace is not a well-known name but he is a significant figure in American history.

Wallace (Gary Sinise) was the governor of Alabama at the height of the civil rights movement. And even though he had renounced the KKK, he represented his constituents by standing firmly against integration. He may have even become the next President of the United States, but he was shot five times and paralysed while on the campaign trail. The suffering he endured forced him to look at the pain he’d caused others. This led to a life of repentance and he slowly attempted to right the many wrongs he inflicted.

The acting is very sincere. CSl: NY‘s Sinise portrays Wallace as a charming man sure of his position and unwilling to budge. At the same time, he is shown to be caring towards his wife and surprisingly friendly with his black servant (Clarence Williams III). His first wife is played by Mare Winningham. She shows a woman who dedicated her life to her husband, even risking her own health to further his career. A young Angelina Jolie credibly portrays his second wife, who eventually drifted from his side to more frivolous pursuits.

The picture looks historically accurate, which is often accomplished through the use of black-and-white footage. However, the timeline can be confusing. It shifts subtly between past and present but the change is not always immediately obvious.

The 2-disc DVD is a release of a 1997 miniseries. The bonus feature is an exploration of the production titled “Vision and Conflict: Collaborating on the Wallace Saga.” It contains interviews with all the key players in making the film, including Sinise, Winningham, Jolie and director John Frankenheimer.