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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 follows the history of its namesake, commencing in 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 film portrays Wallace as a complex man, detailing his stance on racial segregation in Alabama at the time, which proved popular with his white constituents. It also depicts Wallace's rise as a presidential hopeful—eventually leading to his attempted assassination—and his surprise victory in several states during the 1968 Presidential election. The movie also depicts his symbolic "Stand in the Schoolhouse Door", where Wallace attempted to block black students from entering the University of Alabama.
Historical Inaccuracies: In a sequence taking place in 1955 introducing Cornelia Wallace Nee Snively despite her in real life being 16 she is shown carried on the arms of Governor Jim Folsom at a much younger age.
The film was shot in California because the then-Governor of Alabama, Fob James refused to cooperate with location shooting in Wallace's home state.