The political career of Woodrow Wilson is chronicled, beginning with his decision to leave his post at Princeton to run for Governor of New Jersey, and his subsequent ascent to the Presidency of the United States. During his terms in office, Wilson must deal with the death of his first wife, the onslaught of German hostilities leading to American involvement in the Great War, and his own country's reticence to join the League of Nations. Written by
Shannon Patrick Sullivan <email@example.com>
Character actor Dwight Frye was originally going to play Secretary of State Newton D. Baker, however he passed away following a heart attack three days before filming was supposed to begin. Afterwords, the character was written out of the script. See more »
In the establishing shots of Washington, D.C., which are supposed to be on Wilson's inauguration day (March 4, 1913), the trees and grass are green and in full flower, which they would not have been in March, and in particular on the day Wilson was sworn in, which was cold and blustery with snow showers. See more »
Woodrow Wilson was not considered a very successful President before he was "rehabilitated" by FDR during World War II as part of a campaign to show the mistakes the US had made a generation before. This film's glorification of Wilson was clearly part of that war propaganda effort.
Alexander Knox is perfectly cast in this effort, he physically looks just right, and has all the mannerisms. Of course the character is shifted from the reality (a stunningly racist, intellectually isolated scholar) to a "pre-FDR" who talks of "all races working together" and whose every motive is pure and well thought out. The Wilson of this film is pure hero, and always right, if shown as a touch stubborn.
But I was engaged despite it all. And the 1912 Convention scenes early in the film are brilliantly done. Check out Vincent Price as a campaign lieutenant. And Cedric Hardwicke is great as the villainous Republican Henry Cabot Lodge.
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