Point of Order!

Screening on Film
Directed by Emile de Antonio.
US, 1963, 16mm, black & white, 97 min.

After its successful debut at the first New York Film Festival, Point of Order! got a distribution deal (and an exclamation point). Rookie director de Antonio and his producer obtained from CBS 188 hours of kinescopes showing the 1954 Army-McCarthy senate hearings, and then spent three years culling the footage down to 97 minutes. A too-conventional cut narrated by Mike Wallace was junked; de Antonio supervised the innovative final version, edited by young neophyte Robert Duncan in his East Village apartment. Best known for its shunning of voice-over narration, the film actually begins with a minute of nothing but a narrator's voice (de Antonio himself), which explains, "Everything you are about to see actually happened…"

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