Blaze (1989)




Director:     Ron Shelton.

Starring:     Paul Newman (Gov. Earl K. Long), Lolita Davidovich (Blaze Starr), Jerry Hardin (Thibodeaux), Gailard Sartain (LaGrange), Jeffrey DeMunn (Eldon Tuck), Garland Bunting (Doc Ferriday), Richard Jenkins (Picayune), Brandon Smith (Arvin Deeter), Jay Chevalier (Wiley Braden), Robert Wuhl (Red Snyder), Michael Brockman (Bobby), Eloy Casados (Antoine), James Harper (Willie Rainach), Teresa Gilmore (Tamara Knight), Dianne Brill (Delilah Dough).

Blaze Starr (Lolita Davidovich) was a famous stripper.  Earl Long (Paul Newman), Governor of Louisiana in the 1950s, falls in love with her.  The real Blaze Starr appears in the film briefly as Lily, the stripper, whose shoulder Newman kisses backstage.



Spoiler Warning:





Historical Background:

1895 August 26  --  born. He was a brother of the infamous governor of Louisiana Huey P. Long.

1935 -- Senator Huey P. Long assassinated.

Long serves as Lieutenant Governor of Louisiana.

1939  -- Governor Richard W. Leche forced to resign because of political scandals.

1939-1940 --  Earl Long becomes Governor of Louisiana.

1940  --  Sam Jones and reform forces defeat the Long political machine.

1948  --  Long machine regains control when Earl Long defeats Sam Jones for governor.

1948-1952 --  Governor of Louisiana.

1952  --  unable to succeed himself, Earl Long supports Judge Carlos G. Spaht of Baton Rouge for governor.

1956-1960  -- Governor of Louisiana.

1959  --  after making a speech defending the rights of blacks to vote,  his wife Blanche commits him to the state mental hospital in Mandeville.  He demanded to be released. They refused, so he fired the institution's administrator, replacing him with an administrator who released him.
He liked to visit the New Orleans hot spot Bourbon Street. He even started an affair with famous stripper Blaze Starr of the Block in Baltimore.  This obviously caused another scandal.

1960  -- while running for election as U.S. Representative from Louisiana 8th District, he suffers a heart attack.  

1960 September 5  --  a few days after refusing medical attention for his heart attack until the polls closed, he dies in Alexandria, Louisiana.


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