|SUNRISE AT CAMPOBELLO
J. Donehue; screenwriter: Dore Schary/based on his play
of the same name; cinematographer: Russell Harlan;
Boemler; music: Franz Waxman; cast: Ralph Bellamy (Franklin D.
Roosevelt), Greer Garson (Eleanor Roosevelt), Hume
Cronyn (Louis Howe), Jean Hagen (Missy Le Hand,
secretary), Ann Shoemaker (Sara Roosevelt), Alan Bunce
(Al Smith); Runtime: 155; MPAA Rating: NR;
"Inspirational biopic on the only American president to be elected for four terms."
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Television director and director of the Broadway play the film is based on, Vincent J. Donehue ("Lonelyhearts"), in his first Hollywood directorial effort, does a splendid job in this inspirational biopic on the only American president to be elected for four terms. Former MGM studio executive Dore Shary's Tony Award-winning Broadway play is the basis for the biography of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, honing in on his early life and gritty battle against infantile paralysis and with his triumphant return to politics. Ralph Bellamy reprises his Tony-winning Broadway role of FDR, a role that became the veteran actor's signature role.
It opens in August 1921 at the
Roosevelt family's New Brunswick, Canada summer home,
on the island of Campobello, where Roosevelt is
getting over he was the Democrat Party's
vice-presidential candidate under Cox that lost in their bid to
run the country to Harding. FDR is surrounded by his
wonderful supportive wife Eleanor (Greer Garson) and
his four young boys and daughter. Also present is his
asthmatic guest and wise political adviser and loyal
his concerned imperious mother Sara (Ann Shoemaker), who considers politics
beneath her son, returning from a vacation abroad. The
joyous summer vacation is spoiled by FDR's polio, and
what follows is his lengthy hard fought battle to not
let the illness take away his will to live as he takes
up residence in his NYC residence and this time goes
for his summer vacation to his residence in Hyde Park.
The pic follows FDR dealing with the illness as best
as he could until he reemerges in public some three
years later to again successfully pick up his career
in politics, as he accepts New York Governor Al
Bunce) offer to place his name in
nomination for president at the 1924 Democratic
National Convention at Madison Square Garden. The
frenzied scene at the convention makes for an exciting
climax, as FDR leaves his wheel-chair and while at the
podium hands his crutches to his oldest son James and
prepares to speak for 45 minutes in favor of the first
Catholic nominated for president.
REVIEWED ON 11/16/2011 GRADE: B
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ