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Give 'em Hell, Harry!

Give 'em Hell, Harry!
Directed by Steve Binder (film)
Peter H. Hunt (stage)
Produced by Bill Sargent
Joseph E. Bluth
Written by Samuel Gallu
Starring James Whitmore
Release dates
September 18, 1975 (1975-09-18)
Running time
104 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Give 'em Hell, Harry! is a biographical play and 1975 film, written by playwright Samuel Gallu. Both the play and film are a one-man show about former President of the United States Harry S. Truman. Give 'em Hell, Harry! stars James Whitmore and was directed by Steve Binder and Peter H. Hunt.

The title comes from an incident that took place during the 1948 Presidential election campaign. In Bremerton, Washington, Truman delivered a speech attacking the Republicans. During the speech a supporter yelled out "Give 'em Hell, Harry!". Truman replied, "I don't give them Hell. I just tell the truth about them and they think it's Hell." Subsequently, "Give 'em Hell, Harry!" became a lifetime slogan for Truman supporters.

The play previewed in Hershey, Pennsylvania, followed by its official opening at Ford's Theatre in Washington, DC. Its April 17, 1975, premiere was hosted by Truman's daughter Margaret and attended by President Gerald Ford. The play then went on to a six-city tour, during which it was videotaped for film on the stage of the Moore Theater in Seattle, Washington, using a live editing process called Theatrovision.[1] James Whitmore was nominated for Best Actor by both the Academy Awards and the Golden Globes. It is only the third film to have its entire credited cast (Whitmore) nominated for an Academy Award, the first two being Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf in 1966 and Sleuth in 1972.[2] Whitmore was also nominated for, and won, a Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Recording.

Although the play has been regularly revived, it did not make its New York debut until July 2008 at St. Luke's Theatre.


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External links

  • Give 'em Hell, Harry at the Internet Movie Database
  • Department Of The Interior National Registry of Historic Places and B.P.O.E. #1181 / City of Bremerton plaques commemorating location of Truman's "Give Em Hell Harry" speech.
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