For more than thirty years, Eleanor Roosevelt was America's most powerful woman. Millions adored her, but her FBI file was thicker than a stack of phone books. She spoke out fearlessly for ... See full summary »

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David McCullough ...
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For more than thirty years, Eleanor Roosevelt was America's most powerful woman. Millions adored her, but her FBI file was thicker than a stack of phone books. She spoke out fearlessly for civil rights, and the KKK put a price on her head. She helped Franklin D. Roosevelt rise to power and was one of his most valuable political assets, but the media satirized her as an ugly busybody. Drawing on interviews with her closest relatives, friends, and biographers, as well as rare home movie footage, the film reveals the hidden dimensions of one of the century's most influential women. She was born to wealth and power but orphaned at the age of 10. Her private life was marked by tragedy, infidelity, and a never-ending search for intimacy. Yet she persevered, fighting tirelessly for social justice for all and taking a lead role in the United Nations landmark Declaration of Human Rights. Written by Fiona Kelleghan <fkelleghan@aol.com>

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10 January 2000 (USA)  »

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Exceptional.
17 November 2011 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

When "The American Experience" did an in-depth biography of Franklin Roosevelt, I noticed that the film really didn't talk very much about his wife, Eleanor. Fortunately, this film corrects this oversight and focuses on an extraordinary woman.

I watched this film with my wife and for both of us, what we took away from this film more than anything else was a sense of sadness concerning Eleanor Roosevelt. Her childhood was truly awful and throughout her life she was, despite her very public image, a lonely and sad lady. I've known for some time about her husband's infidelities but in watching this film brings it all home. Because of an uncaring husband, you can understand all the rumors concerning her and her good friend, Hick as well as a few male friends. In her situation, I certainly would expect a woman to be lonely.

Of course, there is a lot more of the film that focuses on the conscience of this remarkable lady. Her tireless efforts for equal rights are laudable when seen today--but at the time, she didn't need to do this--she did it because it was the right thing to do. This strong sense of social commitment comes through loud and clear.

Overall, this is an exceptional film. It's long enough that enough time can be devoted to her without seeming overly long or too superficial. Compelling throughout and one of the better installments in "The American Experience".


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