“Apparently, Senator, you believe that anyone who disagrees with your point of view is a Communist.”
Response to Peary’s Review:
Though there are some dry patches in the film (especially while various participants in the trial read all the way through certain documents), this is more than made up for by countless too-good-to-be-true moments of drama and hilarity. Especially compelling is Boston lawyer Joseph Welch, who sits “in a slouch with hand on chin and wearing a bow tie”; indeed, Welch displayed such genuine presence during the hearings that he was drafted by Otto Preminger to star as the judge in his courtroom drama Anatomy of a Murder (1959).
De Antonio rightfully recognized that the true drama of the case lay not in its ostensible subject (whether McCarthy and his counsel, Roy Cohn, granted special favors to Pvt. G. David Schine), but in McCarthy’s spectacularly pigheaded behavior — the beginning of his final fall from grace. Point of Order remains a potent time capsule of this infamous event, and demonstrates de Antonio’s genius for crafting pre-existing footage into incisive political barbs. See also de Antonio’s Millhouse: A White House Comedy (1967) and In the Year of the Pig (1968).
Redeeming Qualities and Moments: