"All the Way"
Premieres Saturday, May 21 at 8 PM ET/PT on HBO
until opportunity is unconcerned with the color of men’s skins,
emancipation will be a proclamation, but not a fact.”
-- Lyndon B. Johnson
Following its critically acclaimed, award-winning Broadway run, "All the Way," a riveting behind-the-scenes look at President Lyndon B. Johnson’s tumultuous first year in office in the wake of President Kennedy’s assassination, comes to HBO on SATURDAY, MAY 21 (8:00-10:15 p.m.). Bryan Cranston (four-time Emmy® winner for “Breaking Bad”) reprises his Tony Award-winning role for the HBO Films presentation, which is directed by Jay Roach (“Trumbo”; Emmy® winner for HBO’s “Game Change” and “Recount”) from a screenplay by Robert Schenkkan (Pulitzer Prize winner for “The Kentucky Cycle”; two-time Emmy® nominee and Writers Guild Award winner for HBO’s “The Pacific”), who has adapted his Tony Award-winning play of the same name.
Additional cast members include Joe Morton (Roy Wilkins), Stephen Root (J. Edgar Hoover), Marque Richardson (Bob Moses), Aisha Hinds (Fanny Lou Hamer), Todd Weeks (Walter Jenkins), Mo McRae (Stokely Carmichael) and Spencer Garrett (Walter Reuther).
The HBO Films presentation follows LBJ during his early administration, as he stakes his presidency on what would be an historic, unprecedented Civil Rights Act. Johnson finds himself caught between the moral imperative of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the expectations of the southern Democratic Party leaders who brought Johnson to power. As King battles to press Johnson while controlling more radical elements of the Civil Rights movement, Johnson navigates the bill through Congress, winning a landslide victory against Barry Goldwater, but causing the South to defect from the Democratic Party.
Raised in Texas, writer Robert Schenkkan’s interest in LBJ goes much deeper than a playwright’s search for theatrical fodder. His father knew Johnson when he was a senator and sought his support in creating the first public television and radio station in the Southwest. There are stories of visiting LBJ’s ranch, where, on one occasion, the family station wagon was pushed out of a muddy ditch by the man himself. As a young boy, Schenkkan volunteered at Johnson campaign headquarters with his mother and watched his family celebrate Johnson’s 1964 win over Barry Goldwater.
That year marked a critical moment in U.S. history. Segregation was being rocked by a strong counter-movement of social justice. Change was no longer just a possibility, but a necessity. A large cast of players, who would do battle and set the stage for this social shift, surrounded Johnson, including Dr. Martin Luther King, Bob Moses, Stokely Carmichael, Sen. Hubert Humphrey, Gov. George Wallace, Sen. Richard Russell, J. Edgar Hoover, Sen. Everett Dirksen and Ralph Abernathy. Strong women such as Lady Bird Johnson and Fannie Lou Hamer made their voices heard and helped to change the course of events.
“All the Way” was not just LBJ’s campaign slogan, but also captured the do-or-die mentality of all the players on the political battlefield. To what lengths would they go? What lines – political, legal and moral – were they prepared to cross? And at what cost? Each character in the film wrestles with these questions, and many are surprised by the personal discoveries they make.
Other HBO playdates: May 21 (12:55 a.m.), 22 (6:45 p.m.), 24 (1:30 p.m., 11:30 p.m.), 26 (8:00 p.m., 1:45 a.m.) and 30 (10:45 a.m., 10:00 p.m.), and June 5 (7:45 a.m., 4:15 p.m.), 8 (1:00 p.m., 12:40 a.m.), 11 (5:45 p.m.) and 14 (6:45 p.m.)
HBO2 playdates: May 23 (11:00 a.m., 9:30 p.m.), 25 (4:40 p.m., 3:05 a.m.), 29 (9:45 a.m.) and 31 (12:30 p.m., 11:35 p.m.), and June 2 (11:30 a.m.), 12 (9:50 a.m.) and 15 (8:00 p.m., 4:05 a.m.)