Five day bicycle race, part 5

A documentary made at and about the 1976 Democratic National Convention in New York City, which was produced as a live 3-hour cablecast for five days during the convention. It was subsequently broadcast on WTTW and other PBS stations. It chronicles the events on in and around the convention, and includes interviews with various delegates, politicians, members of the media, and people connected to Jimmy Carter, including Rosalynn Carter and Jeff Carter (Jimmy's son). It also includes footage from the convention floor, and demonstrators outside the convention, led by Ron Kovic.

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00:08Copy video clip URL On the streets of New York, outside Madison Square Garden, a Dixie band plays as older couples dance and sing. A man dressed as Uncle Sam dances too. A crowd of onlookers watch. Various shots of the crowd, the dancers, and the band. Uncle Sam tries dancing with a toddler who cries. The dancers sing “America the Beautiful.” A woman says, “I love my country and I honor my flag.” A man sings a song he wrote for the Bicentennial: “I love the whole United States, from Boston, Massachusetts to Frisco’s Golden Gates…I love the whole United States.” A Southern delegate, Shirley Love, says he and his group had a ball at Bloomingdale’s, at Staten Island, the World Trade Center. “Never have we received such hospitality as we’ve received here in New York.” He records an intro for the show welcoming television audiences to the Five Day Bicycle Race.

08:50Copy video clip URL Inside the Democratic National Convention, the cameraman tries to push through a crowd to the New York delegation. A woman asks what happens if a person gets sick on he floor? How do they get them out? An interviewer approaches Representative Bella Abzug (D-NY). “How’s your head?” “My head is fine. I never get headaches. I give other people headaches.” “What do you what to know?” “Tell us something.” Abzug says, “We’re about to have a nomination of Vice President and President that will lead our country to change. It’s overdue. We’re going to deal with the human needs this country has.” When asked what she’s doing tonight, Abzug says she’s going home “to soak my corns.” “We work hard here. We did have an ice cream party, though.”

13:37Copy video clip URL In the studio, Nancy Cain takes a phone call from a viewer. The caller says “your coverage is fantastic! It’s truly alternative coverage. It’s been a delight, and educational. I want to thank you. You’ve made the DNC enjoyable.”

15:27Copy video clip URL Back at MSG, Chevy Chase records a greeting with Skip Blumberg. “Hello and welcome to the Five Day Bicycle Race. We find it exciting, volatile, and a tremendous celebratory bore… I don’t give a shit, really. What was the question? I want to say this about your show… uhm…. I don’t know. Never mind.”

16:50Copy video clip URL Back in the studio, Cain explains, “Bart [Friedman] and I went to get Governor Jerry Brown for an interview. We waited all day. Nothing was happening. We were allowed to watch him with a group of children.” They cut to footage of Brown talking with a group of children. The kids are interviewing the Governor. “Is it true you want the government to spend less money?” “I want the mindless growth of government to be curbed and scrutinized.” “Why did you want to get into politics instead of being a priest?” “I didn’t make the leap from one to the other. I left one to go to college and become a lawyer. Only after eight years did I decide to get into politics by way of speaking out against the war in Vietnam.” “Why did you want to become a priest?” “I thought that was a vocation where I could make the most contribution.” “What was your most embarrassing moment?” “Did you write all these questions? I haven’t had too many yet but I’m sure there are some coming down the road.”

20:47Copy video clip URL Cain and camera follow Brown as he walks through a building to his next appointment. She gets Brown to say a close for the show. Brown says, “I don’t see this as a bicycle race, I see it as a pilgrimage. This is like the Canterbury Tales.” Brown takes the microphone and interviews Cain. “Where are you from?” “New York.” Brown gets into a car and leaves. Supporters approach him and wish him well. He signs autographs. Cain signs off.

23:43Copy video clip URL In studio Joel Gold says this has been five days of confusion and gratification, and I’m sure very heavy experiences for all of us here. The crew is all sitting on a couch in the studio. Credits roll. End of part five. Tune in to Mock Turtle Soup.

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