Zeitgeist Films | Mr. Conservative: Goldwater on Goldwater
Julie Anderson, CC Goldwater, Tani Cohen
Film Info
90 mins
In English
Rating: Not Rated

In 1964, a little girl appeared in a presidential campaign commercial on TV sets across the country. In the commercial, the girl slowly plucks the petals off of a daisy. A voice begins an eerie, monotonous countdown, and at zero, the picture dissolves into a nuclear detonation and its mushroom cloud after-effect. I always thought that little girl looked a lot like me. The commercial appeared only once, but its impact will never be forgotten. It was meant to be a direct attack on a man who was being vilified for his politics. That "dangerous" man, who many thought would destroy the world if elected President, was my grandfather, Senator Barry Goldwater.
- CC Goldwater

Producer, narrator and granddaughter CC Goldwater takes viewers on a cinematic journey into the life of Barry Goldwater in her first film, MR. CONSERVATIVE: GOLDWATER ON GOLDWATER. The film reveals Goldwater as a man either glorified or vilified by the American public. It traces the roots of Goldwater’s conservative philosophy, conveys how he united the conservative movement to lead the Republican Party into a new generation of politics and demonstrates how his consistently Libertarian mindset led him to diverge from the Conservative party orthodoxy in the ‘80s and ‘90s. As journalist George Will has said of Goldwater’s pivotal presidential race against Lyndon B. Johnson, “People say Goldwater lost in 1964. Some of us think Goldwater won. It just took 16 years to count the votes. In 1980, we finally got the results in. And conservatism had won.”

At the same time, the film demonstrates that Goldwater was personally liked by politicians on both sides of the aisle, in an era when there seemed to be more civil discourse between parties than there is today. To tell the story of this multi-faceted man, CC Goldwater includes home movies, intimate family stories, Barry Goldwater’s own extensive photography, archival footage of his public life, and interviews about his political and social life with prominent political faces from the past and present. Among those interviewed by CC Goldwater and director Julie Anderson are Hillary Clinton, Edward Kennedy, John McCain, John Warner, James Carville, Al Franken, John Dean, Ben Bradlee, Helen Thomas, Walter Cronkite, Andy Rooney, George Will, Bob Schieffer, Robert MacNeil, various Goldwater family members and members of Goldwater’s personal staff.

MR. CONSERVATIVE: GOLDWATER ON GOLDWATER is an HBO Documentary Films presentation; directed by Julie Anderson; produced by CC Goldwater and Tani Cohen. Composer, Joseph Vitarelli; director of photography, Tom Inskeep; editor, Juliet Weber; executive producer for Sweet Pea Films, CC Goldwater. For HBO: supervising producer, Nancy Abraham; executive producer, Sheila Nevins.


An article on the film in the Los Angeles Times