IMDb > "American Experience" T.R.: The Story of Theodore Roosevelt (Part I) (1996)

"American Experience" T.R.: The Story of Theodore Roosevelt (Part I) (1996)

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David Grubin (writer)
Geoffrey C. Ward (writer)
View company contact information for T.R.: The Story of Theodore Roosevelt (Part I) on IMDbPro.
Original Air Date:
6 October 1996 (Season 9, Episode 1)
User Reviews:
The first portion of a great biography on a very, very important American. See more (3 total) »


 (Episode Cast)
John Morton Blum ... Himself
John Milton Cooper ... Himself
Edith Derby Williams ... Herself
John Gable ... Himself
William Harbaugh ... Himself
Nancy Jackson ... Herself
Walter LaFeber ... Himself
David McCullough ... Himself

Jason Robards ... Narrator (voice)
Theodore Roosevelt IV ... Himself
Kermit Roosevelt ... Himself
P. James Roosevelt ... Himself

Theodore Roosevelt ... Himself (archive footage)
Tweed Roosevelt ... Himself
Jean Strouse ... Herself
William Howard Taft ... Himself (archive footage)
Woodrow Wilson ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)

Episode Crew
Directed by
David Grubin 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
David Grubin  writer
Geoffrey C. Ward  writer

Produced by
Judy Crichton .... executive producer
Margaret Drain .... executive producer
David Grubin .... producer
Larry LeCain .... field producer
Allyson Luchak .... coordinating producer
Bob M. McCausland .... field producer
Susan Mottau .... coordinating producer: American Experience
Chas Norton .... field producer
Mary Recine .... associate producer
Mark Samels .... senior producer: American Experience
Original Music by
Michael Bacon 
Cinematography by
James Callanan 
David Grubin 
William McCullough 
Alex Zakrzewski 
Film Editing by
Geof Bartz 
Howard Sharp 
Art Direction by
Michael Shaw 
Set Decoration by
Janine Michelle 
Production Management
Christine Larson .... unit manager
Art Department
George Apostol .... props
Shawn Carroll .... art assistant
Graydon Pihlaja .... props
Sound Department
John Bowen .... sound designer
Ken Hahn .... sound re-recording mixer
David Jaunai .... sound designer
Ray Palagy .... sound editor
Roger Phenix .... production sound
Tony Slocum .... sound designer
Tony Slocum .... sound editor
Visual Effects by
Ralph Pitre .... photo animator
Camera and Electrical Department
Frances Catalano .... grip
Neil Christie .... best boy
Nick Cupkovic .... gaffer (as Nicholas Cupkovic)
Rob Featherstone .... assistant camera
Don Grissom .... assistant camera
W.L. Jackson .... key grip
Gill McDowell .... gaffer
Jonathan Nichols .... key grip
Roger Phenix .... additional cinematographer
Paul Reuter .... assistant camera
William Rexer .... assistant camera
Michael Stiller .... gaffer
Tom Truitt .... best boy
Frank Vigilante .... grip
Editorial Department
Dale Boyce .... on-line editor
Diane Butler .... assistant editor
Jim Dalglish .... colorist
Riad Deeb .... editing intern
Pamela B. Jacobson .... post-production assistant: American Experience
Amina Megalli .... second assistant editor
Music Department
Paula Kimper .... score preparation
Charles Kuskin .... composer: theme music
Other crew
Michael Azevedo .... interactive media
Johanna Baker .... publicist
John Morton Blum .... advisor
Alan Brinkley .... advisor
Todd P. Burger .... film researcher
Rob Carson .... production assistant
John Milton Cooper .... advisor
Jonathan Daitch .... production secretary
Danielle Dell'Olio .... interactive media
Nancy Farrell .... project administration
Cheryl Gall .... additional photo researcher
Lewis Gould .... advisor
Diane Hamilton .... photo researcher
William Harbaugh .... advisor
Walter LaFeber .... advisor
Zachary Levy .... production assistant
Stephen Lyons .... proposal consultant
David McCullough .... advisor
Susan Nickerson .... film researcher
Daphne B. Noyes .... publicist
Bill Nye .... production assistant
Amanda Pollak .... research associate
Stacy Pucillo .... controller
Helen R. Russell .... project administration
Vincent J. Straggas .... on-air promotion
Jean Strouse .... advisor
Joseph Tovares .... series editor
Rosie Vanek .... post-production researcher
Midge Woolsey .... production executive

Series Crew
These people are regular crew members. Were they in this episode?
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Stephen Fitzmeyer  developer
Henry Hampton  creator

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

UK:110 min (2 parts)
Black and White | Color | Black and White (archive footage)


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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful.
The first portion of a great biography on a very, very important American., 9 September 2011
Author: planktonrules from Bradenton, Florida

This is part of a multi-part series on the life of Teddy Roosevelt from the PBS series "The American Experience". Considering what a complex and amazing man Roosevelt was, it's actually surprising to me that it took this long for the series to feature his life. It's not surprising, then, that the total story of his life was stretched out to nearly four hours--and could have EASILY been much longer.

The show was narrated by Jason Robards and features a variety of interviews--mostly by various grand and great-grandchildren of the man as well as a group of historians. And, along with these, a LOT of stock footage and family photos were used. Together, they did a great job in telling the story.

I do have a few small quibbles with this first portion--and it probably comes from my having read David McCullough's wonderful book about the early years of Theodore Roosevelt. So much that I loved about the book was not in the show--such as the possible psychosomatic basis of his asthma, his exploits while at Harvard and his reaction to the deaths of his wife and mother on the same day. I do understand why the show didn't go into all this--after all, it had to trim a bit to get the story told in its allotted time. But I sure would love to see a show based on the McCullough book (McCullough, by the way, did take part in the show and you see him interviewed several times). I think I wanted to see more of this because it really helped further explain the formation of his character and helped mold him into the great man that he was. I also was a bit surprised how quickly the film talked about Roosevelt's famed charge up San Juan Hill--there was MUCH more to it and lots of interesting yet insane aspects to it that weren't mentioned (such as this cavalry unit not having room on their hastily assembled boats for most of their horses!!).

It's a testament as to how good this show was that in spite of going too quickly through his early life that I still think it earns a 10. A superb show about one of the most complicated and interesting Americans in history. By the way, while quite good, part two feels a bit anticlimactic as you watch--though it's still very, very worth seeing.

By the way, at the 63 minute mark, look for the political cartoon featuring a bound Roosevelt being drug along with McKinley's political parade. It's really quite funny--and rather cute. Also, the images of J. P. Morgan later in the episode were VERY unusual. While it was not mentioned in the film, images of Morgan that were not retouched are very rare. This is because he had a disgusting nose--truly wretched looking due to Rhinophyma and because he was so incredibly rich and powerful, he had pictures of him fixed to hide this. An odd but true fact.

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