Adventures on the New Frontier

1961, 52 mins

Credits

Robert Drew

Executive Producer

Richard Leacock

Filmmaker

D.A. Pennebaker

Filmmaker

Albert Maysles

Filmmaker

Kenneth Snelson

Filmmaker

Lee Hall

Correspondent

Gregory Shuker

Correspondent

David Maysles

Correspondent

Gerald Feil

Reporter

Jean Snow

Reporter

Joseph Julian

Narrator

U.S. Marine Band

Inaugural music

McGeorge Bundy

Himself

Paul b. Fay Jr.

Himself

John Kenneth Galbraith

Himself

Arthur Goldberg

Himself

Richard Goodwin

Himself

Albert Gore Sr.

Hielf

Walter W. Heller

Himself

Hubert H. Humphrey

Himself

Eunice Kennedy Shriver

Herself

Jacqueline Kennedy

Herself

John F. Kennedy

Himself

Robert F. Kennedy

Himself

Evelyn Lincoln

Herself

John J. McCloy

Himself

Kenneth P. O'Donnell

Himself

Pierre Salinger

Himself

Halie Selassie

Himself

Theodore Sorensen

Himself

John Steinbeck

Himself

Gerhard Mennan Williams

Himself

A portrait of John F. Kennedy’s inauguration and early days in office offers an unprecedented look inside the workings of the White House. Robert Drew made the film as a test to see if President Kennedy could forget the cameras as he had done when Drew produced the breakthrough 1960 film “Primary,” which for the first time followed characters with sync-sound cameras through an ongoing story. Drew and Kennedy had an understanding that Drew might later make a film that captured Kennedy as he made substantive decisions from the Oval Office. That understanding became reality in the 1963 film, “Crisis: Behind a Presidential Commitment.”

Adventures on the New Frontier is a smorgasbord of a film, with many tidbits. One: a scene in which John Kenneth Gailbraith, the economist and then-presidential speechwriter (Kennedy soon appointed him U.S. ambassador to India), and writer John Steinbeck are in a limousine with their spouses dissecting Kennedy’s inaugural speech. Another: Kennedy’s sister Eunice Shriver arrives in the Oval Office to help him autograph photos for nieces and nephews. Other scenes include Kennedy meeting with John J. McCloy, his disarmament advisor; Walter Heller, the chairman of his Council of Economic Advisors, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

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