Character, History, and Politics

In Richard Leacock’s 1964 documentary Campaign Manager, a heated, mealtime strategy session slides into an equally intense argument over who ordered the medium-rare steak. A similar scene is dramatized in Michael Ritchie’s 1972 feature film The Candidate.1 Because these two films have virtually identical content, they enable us to study how mainstream scripts have traditionally transformed historical and political material into fiction. In this chapter, we pay particular attention to three transforming techniques—the filling in of missing spaces, the use of rhythm to heighten articulation, and the personalization ...

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