One PM Central Standard Time tells the story of the assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy, thirty-fifth President of the United States, as seen through the eyes of CBS News anchorman Walter Cronkite.
Narrated by George Clooney, this fascinating film details the challenges faced by Cronkite and his team in the CBS newsroom in New York. They wanted to be first with the news but they also had to get it right. In the hour after Lee Harvey Oswald shot the President during a trip to Dallas, Texas, Walter Cronkite would call upon his long experience and training as a wire-service reporter to ensure that his viewers received the best possible coverage. The film explores the events leading up to the assassination, particularly President Kennedy’s achievements. And it looks at the career of Walter Cronkite whose words “From Dallas, Texas, the flash – apparently official; President Kennedy died at 1.00pm Central Standard Time” will never be forgotten.
Contributors include reporters such as Dan Rather, Marianne Means and Robert MacNeil who were in Dallas on November 22nd, 1963; as well as some of those who surrounded Walter Cronkite in the CBS Newsroom in New York – including his chief writer, Ron Bonn. Others reflect on President Kennedy’s administration and his legacy, among them President Clinton and Thurston Clarke, author of JFK’s Last Hundred Days. One of the most poignant and moving interviews is with Bill Hampton who, as a 25-year old reporter in the United Press Dallas Bureau, took the phone call from UPI’s White House correspondent, Merriman Smith, alerting the world to the shooting.
George Clooney’s involvement came about because he knew and admired Cronkite, and because he has always been fascinated by the business of news: his father, Nick Clooney, was a well-known news anchor.