Big Lever: Party Politics in Leslie County, KY, The (full film, preserved in 2019)
Audio Visual Material
Morton, Frances (directed by)
Wooten, George (subject)
Muncy, C. Allen (subject)
Slone, Anthony (edited by)
Moving Image and Sound
Generation - General
Preservation digital access copy of The Big Lever: Party Politics in Leslie County, KY. Duplicate negative and new soundtrack made from original masters of the film, with support from the National Film Preservation Foundation and National Endowment for the Arts.
The Big Lever explores the backslapping, babykissing, gladhanding world of party politics as practiced in staunchly Republican, Leslie County, Kentucky. Leslie County came to national attention in July 1978 when Richard Nixon chose this small mountain county for his first public appearance since resigning the Presidency five years earlier. Footage of his visit introduces the film and sets the stage for its exploration of the nature of party loyalty and precinct-level politics.
The film focuses on the up-and-down career of the incumbent County Judge-Executive, C. Allen Muncy, who invited Nixon to Leslie County and whose admiration for Nixon is as disarming as it is revealing.