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The Eleanor Roosevelt Story (1965)

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An admiring, uncritical biography of Eleanor Roosevelt, released three years after her death. The film focuses solely on her, beginning with her unhappy childhood after both her parents had... See full summary »



(as Archibald MacLeish)
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
Eric Sevareid ...
Narrator (voice) (as Eric Severeid)
Archibald Macleish ...
Narrator (voice) (as Archibald MacLeish)
Corinne Alsop Cole ...
Narrator (voice) (as Mrs. Francis Cole)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Herself (archive footage)
Himself (archive footage)


An admiring, uncritical biography of Eleanor Roosevelt, released three years after her death. The film focuses solely on her, beginning with her unhappy childhood after both her parents had died by the time she was 10. In 1905, she married her fifth cousin, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who was elected President in 1932. She always was concerned for the oppressed, and was a great supporter of civil rights, even if it was unfashionable. As First Lady, she traveled ceaselessly visiting the troops in the Second World War. After the war she became a US representative to the United Nations, and chair of the UN Commission on Human Rights, where she was a key contributor to the drafting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Written by Will Gilbert

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Release Date:

8 November 1965 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Erroneously listed as an AIP (American International Pictures) release in the AMPAS's award list. See more »

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User Reviews

Not really a biography but more of an uncritical and extremely effusive tribute
4 February 2011 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

I am NOT anti-Eleanor Roosevelt in any way, however, this Oscar-winning film is not something I could recommend. Why? Well, because the film does not seem like a biography at all--perhaps not even a documentary. Instead of giving a semi-balanced and occasionally critical analysis of her life, it's more an effusive tribute the the lady. While some like this sort of thing, I hate it for a film about anyone to be so gushing and fully of flowery prose (as the narration was written by a noted poet, Archibald Macleish). Heck, if I were Mrs. Roosevelt, I'd be turning in my grave or haunting those who made the film because it seems so unreal--like she was being nominated for sainthood! Her life was indeed fascinating and she was an admirable woman, so perhaps there is a better documentary you can find about her---I'd just steer clear of this one.

By the way, I did mention that this was an Oscar winner. Considering Eleanor Roosevelt had just recently died and was beloved by many, I can understand why the film was a winner. Today, however, I can't see it even being nominated because of its style. Plus, she is no longer held in such high regard as younger people have begun to forget who she was and her remarkable life.

Also, there was one portion of the film I did like--the discussion of her very bleak childhood. I really wanted to hear more about this and found a more human side to her here. Later, though, it got pretty bad.

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