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Sunrise at Campobello (1960)

Not Rated | | Biography, Drama | 26 September 1960 (USA)
3:32 | Trailer

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In 1921, unsuccessful vice-presidential candidate Franklin D. Roosevelt contracts poliomyelitis and, with the help of his wife Eleanor Roosevelt and close friend Louis Howe, battles his newfound disability.



(screenplay), (story)
Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Missy Le Hand
James Roosevelt
Anna Roosevelt
Dr. Bennett
Pat Close ...
Elliott Roosevelt
Robin Warga ...
Franklin D. Roosevelt Jr.
Tom Carty ...
Johnny Roosevelt
Mr. Brimmer
Capt. Skinner


The story of Franklin Roosevelt's bout with polio at age 39 in 1921 and how his family (and especially wife Eleanor) cope with his illness. From being stricken while vacationing at Campobello to his triumphant nominating speech for Al Smith's presidency in 1924, the story follows the various influences on his life and his determination to recover - based on the award winning Broadway play of the same name. Written by Ed Lorusso

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


It began with a sunrise at Campobello . . . and out of it rose a love that could move mountains . . . a faith that could shake the earth . . . and a laughter of children that was a miracle of its own! See more »


Biography | Drama


Not Rated | See all certifications »





Release Date:

26 September 1960 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dez Passos Imortais  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show more on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The setting of the film's source stage play of the same name by Dore Schary in its introduction states: "The home of Franklin Delano Roosevelt [Franklin D. Roosevelt] at Campobello, New Brunswick, Canada (1921); and New York (1922-1924)." See more »


In January 1922, Franklin D. Roosevelt says Eleanor Roosevelt loves reading about the Teapot Dome scandal. Teapot Dome did not become public news until the latter half of 1923. See more »


Franklin Delano Roosevelt: Good morning to you, Mr. Howe. You're looking your usual dyspeptic self.
Louis Howe: None of your amiable chatter, please.
See more »


Version of Warm Springs (2005) See more »

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User Reviews

FDR copes with polio
16 February 2014 | by See all my reviews

Sunrise is Campobello is a film adaptation of the play, which starred Ralph Bellamy as FDR and Mary Fickett, who became a soap opera star, as Eleanor. Here, Bellamy repeats his stage role, and Greer Garson is Eleanor. Bellamy would play FDR again in both The Winds of War and War and Remembrance.

The story takes place in 1921, when FDR first contracted polio. He believes that he will walk again. We do know he took pains not to be seen in a wheelchair, and he was a man of such power that no one ever refers to him as crippled. In War & Remembrance (I think) there is a very moving scene where Roosevelt walks onto a ship, with the aid of two crutches.

This film concentrates on FDR's young family and how the children, his wife, his good friend Louis Howe (Hume Cronyn), and his dedicated secretary Missy (Jean Hagen) cope with his illness. The family is portrayed as idyllic -- members of the family cooperated with the filming, and it's not surprising that darker aspects of his married life were not shown. It is hinted at, however, that FDR's mother was problematic in the marriage.

Ralph Bellamy had an amazing career spanning over 60 years in film, television, and theater, and here he does a great job portraying FDR's optimism, geniality, and charisma. I had a little more trouble with Greer Garson's portrayal of Eleanor. I think in 1960, when there were so many people who knew Eleanor Roosevelt's voice, that Garson didn't have any other choice but to mimic it, but today it comes off as put on and overdone. Jane Alexander did a better job with the voice in "Eleanor and Franklin." All in all, an interesting and sobering film, showing FDR's struggle with a debilitating illness that he brought with him to four terms as president. Interesting to note, FDR felt he had to serve a third time as the country was in the middle of the war, but he did not announce he would seek a fourth term. Instead, he was drafted by the convention and felt he had to serve. He died three months into his fourth term; it's obvious at the Yalta conference that he was extremely ill. A very rare kind of strength.

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