7.7/10
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37 user 31 critic

Warm Springs (2005)

Not Rated | | Biography, Drama | TV Movie 30 April 2005
The stirring true story of Franklin D. Roosevelt's battle with polio in 1921.

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Nominated for 3 Golden Globes. Another 12 wins & 38 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Tom Loyless
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Fred Botts (as Matthew O'Leary)
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Lionel Purdy
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Jake Perini (as Andrew Davoli)
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Roy Collier
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Helena Mahoney
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Quint Von Canon ...
Stephen Teller
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Hastings, Party Leader
Grayce Spence ...
League Member
Rand Hopkins ...
Dr. Lovett
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Storyline

After polio threatens his political career in the early 1920s, Franklin D. Roosevelt desperately searches for a cure to his newly acquired disease, hoping to regain the use of his legs. He learns of a promising spa in Warm Springs, Ga., and travels there, only to find it dilapidated. Determined to overcome polio, Roosevelt invests in the spa's revitalization and sets about recovering, aided by the support of his wife and physical therapist. Written by Jwelch5742

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A new movie by HBO Films. See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

30 April 2005 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

I psyhi enos igeti  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$13,000,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Writer Margaret Nagle was the winner of the 2006 WGA TV Writers Guild Award for Outstanding Achievement in Writing for a Long Form (Original) written work awarded by the Writers Guild of America (WGA) for this film. See more »

Goofs

In the opening scene, which purports to be a newsreel from November 1920, we can hear FDR talking and people cheering as part of the film. Film with sound wasn't invented until 1927. See more »

Quotes

Eleanor Roosevelt: [a medical convention is to be held in Atlanta] I'm suggesting we crash the party.
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Connections

References Love's Labour's Lost (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Beautiful Dreamer
Written by Stephen Foster (uncredited)
Performed by Raul Malo
Danced by Felicia Day (uncredited) and Jody Thompson (uncredited)
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User Reviews

 
Mr. Branagh in Top Form as FDR!
30 April 2005 | by (Twin Cities, Minnesota) – See all my reviews

I can vividly recall my fifth grade teacher telling us (in the late 1950s) that if Franklin Delano Roosevelt were still alive, people would come out in droves to reelect him to a fifth term as President. The brilliant film "Warm Springs" demonstrates Roosevelt's strength of character, his human touch, and his courage to overcome his physical limitation due to polio.

Director Joseph Sargent carefully recreates the environment of the 1920s, capturing the political climate, as well as rural poverty and segregation in the Deep South. Screenwriter Margaret Nagle deserves credit for her detailed character portraits and crisp dialogue, based upon sound historical research. It was impressive that the character of Eleanor Roosevelt was substantially developed alongside that of her husband. The costuming, décor, and set-ups in this film were first-rate. In the artistic values, every moment of this film rang true.

Kenneth Branagh and a stellar supporting cast (Kathy Bates, Cynthia Nixon, David Paymer, and Tim Blake Nelson are all standouts) embody their characters with meticulous attention to historical detail and accuracy. The range is impressive, as the cast must depict both the patrician society of New York and the hardscrabble world of rural Georgia.

Branagh probes deeply into the emotional life of Franklin as he struggles to come to terms with his disability. FDR is remembered as a ruthless politician. But the film is remarkable for the sensitive and vulnerable side of this titanic figure, which is often downplayed by historians. The only shortcoming of Branagh's rich performance was in his inability to capture the stentorian voice and the melodious inflections of FDR. Given Branagh's background in the theatre and in performing Shakespeare, it was surprising that his voice was not a closer match to one of the most distinctive sounds of the past century, which kept the spirits of Americans buoyed with his regular radio fireside chats.

"Warm Springs" is a made-for-television movie with all of the attributes of an Academy Award-winning feature film. The story was taut and economical as it focused on the years at Warm Springs prior to FDR's political ascendancy. In those years, Roosevelt drew upon his administrative skills by raising consciousness about the therapeutic value of the hot waters in the treatment of polio, leading to the establishment of the nonprofit Warm Springs Foundation in 1927. It was in this period that a great American discovered within himself the personal resolve and courage that would lead Americans through the Great Depression and World War II. From start to finish, this powerful yet sensitive film walks tall just like our thirty-second President.


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