Motion Picture MP78-2

Decision: The Conflicts of Harry S. Truman - No Greater Burden, Episode No. 1

Administrative Information

Original Format(s)
Motion Picture
907 feet
Running Time
25 minutes 11 seconds
Film Gauge
Black & White
Produced by
Columbia Pictures - Ben Gradus in association with Screen Gems and David Noyes

Episode 1. "No Greater Burden." This program deals with Truman's childhood and early life, and his assumption of the presidency when Franklin D. Roosevelt died. Each episode of this series features President Truman looking back on his life and presidency and describing why he made the decisions he made.


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Moving Image Type
Motion Picture

Shot List

  • Reel 1
0:07   Bell Chiming.
0:13   Crowd scenes of people reacting to death of Franklin D. Roosevelt.
0:25   New York Times front page - Roosevelt's death.
0:27   Sailors casting off wreath of flowers into ocean.
0:42   Harry S. Truman being sworn in as President.
0:49   Truman as an older man, walks to desk and recalls how he felt when he found out he had become the President of the U. S.
1:27   Credits begin
2:05   Roosevelt funeral scenes
2:18   Democratic National Convention in Chicago, 1944. Various scenes at the convention, showing Truman being nominated as Vice-President.
3:08   Truman, at desk, recalls nominating James Byrnes for Vice-President.
3:33   More convention scenes.
3:44   Alben Barkley makes speech nominating Roosevelt as President for the fourth term.
4:16   More scenes of convention.
4:36   Truman recalling being asked to be the Vice-Presidential nominee.
5:19   Picture of White House. Narration begins on Truman's early life.
5:27   Still photos of Truman as a baby, child, boy, and his parents.
5:52   Truman stands in front of picture of his father, talking about him.
6:06   Truman stands before a picture of his mother, talking about her.
6:47   Photo of Truman as a boy with his grade school class.
6:54   Several photos of the Clinton drug store, where Truman worked as a boy.
7:36   Truman at desk, recalling working at the drugstore.
7:55   Man rides up to bank in a Model T Ford. Truman begins discussing his job in a bank in Kansas City.
7:58   Begins showing various early twenties scenes of Kansas City, as Truman discusses his life in K. C. Scenes shown include an early Nickelodeon and scenes from a Charlie Chaplin Movie.
8:17   Photo of Truman with family members on Grandview farm.
8:18   Scenes showing an early cultivator
8:26   Scenes of early World War I.
8:31   Photo of Truman as a soldier in W. W. I, and of the 35th Division.
8:45   World War I scenes.
8:56   Truman speaks on World War I.
9:15   Soldiers coming home.
9:24   Truman in front of a picture of Bess: he discusses her and his happy marriage.
10:01   Photos of Haberdashery and Grandview Farm. Narrator discusses how he lost his money in the Haberdashery, then had to sell the farm to get out of debt.
10:29   Truman runs as Judge. Scenes show handbills and photos of Truman as Judge.
10:56   Truman stands in front of a picture of himself as Senator, and begins to discuss his running for Senate.
12:11   Truman walking out of Senate Building with a friend. Photos of Truman as a Senator, and of Senate.
12:37   Truman at desk recalling his realization of Roosevelt's illness.
12:57   Film clip of Franklin Roosevelt.
13:09   Roosevelt in a car, with Eleanor Roosevelt standing nearby. Roosevelt is greeting a soldier.
13:15   Truman at desk.
13:25   Democratic Convention scenes, 1944. Margaret and Bess Truman seen sitting with Truman.
13:45   Truman at desk speaking on his nomination to the Vice-Presidency.
14:13   Convention scenes; countdown, where Truman is declared the Vice-Presidential nominee.
14:34   Truman makes acceptance speech for his nomination as Vice- President (part of speech).
15:05   Truman shaking hands with constituents.
15:15   Truman and Bess arriving in car.
15:17   Truman at desk, discussing the fishbowl existence he and his family were suddenly swept into with this nomination. He begins to discuss his realization of Roosevelt's failing health.
15:49   Sign at White House: "Visitors Not Allowed".
15:50   Little White House in Warm Springs, Georgia. Scenes inside house.
16:01   Truman at desk, talking of when he was called to the White House.
16:34   Exterior of White House, and trees.
16:47   Truman at desk, continuing talking on this subject.
16:55   Cherry blossoms in Washington.
17:02   World War II scenes, narration relates news of World War II.
17:08   Scenes begin showing events in America, such as cities getting ready for Christmas, a lady buying a hat, etc.
17:37   Little White House. Narrator tells of Roosevelt's death.
17:42   Truman at desk tells of being notified of Roosevelt's death by Mrs. Roosevelt.
18:21   World War II scenes - airplanes, bombs, troops. Narrator describes World War II events around the world.
19:42   Truman being sworn in as President of the U. S.
19:54   Truman at desk speaks of what happened after he was sworn in, and his realization that he was the President.
20:22   Flag at half-mast.
20:26   Truman's first address after becoming President, to the Congress (part of speech).
20:54   Truman speaking on his administration. Photo of Lincoln and Andrew Johnson on screen: Truman talks on both.
21:58   Door of White House.
22:02   Truman in his Senate Investigation Committee. Narrator points out that the public was unfamiliar with him.
22:11   Truman and Bess. Narrator says he is now the man who will take on the responsibility of the President.
22:13   Scenes begin showing various events that needed to be dealt with, such as meeting with Churchill and Stalin, conducting the War, controlling Senator Joseph McCarthy, etc.
22:43   Roosevelt in a car overlooking a battlefield.
22:45   Scene of Truman taking the Oath of Office in 1949.
22:53   Narration begins discussing various world crises Truman must face. Scene shows Adolf Hitler.
22:59   Concentration Camp.
23:11   Bombed buildings, starving people, rubble, etc.
23:40   General Douglas MacArthur.
23:01   Senator Joseph McCarthy (at Senate hearing).
24:26   Atomic Bomb exploding.
24:41   Churchill arriving, being greeted at airport by Truman, and talking with him at the White House.
25.6   Truman, an old man, is at his desk, saying that he done his darndest.