Tom & Harry: The Boss and the President is the only feature length documentary film that goes into great detail about the complex relationship between Harry Truman and Political Boss Tom Pendergast and the political machine that had a vise-like grip on Kansas City in the 1920s and 1930s.
Tom Pendergast personally chose Harry Truman to run for the United State Senate in 1934. But by 1940, when Truman was seeking re-election, Pendergast was in prison and Harry Truman’s political future hung in the balance as his two democratic primary opponents roundly decried Truman’s association with the corrupt political machine.
Tom & Harry: The Boss and the President is chock-full of interesting film clips and photographs from the 19th century up to the 1940s. The film was released at four theaters simultanelously in Kansas City and is the definitiv telling of the Pendergast Machine and Harry Truman’s participation in it.
The documentary is for sale through this website and when you go to purchase it you will also be able purchase two other full-length feature documentaries on Kansas City history
1, Nelly Don: A Stitch in Time, the fascinating tale of the largest dress manufacturing company in the United States during the 20th century; and
2. Black Hand Strawman: The History of Organized Crime in Kansas City.
Together with Tom & Harry, these films comprise a trilogy of Kansas City history from Director Terence Michael O’Malley.