6.8/10
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43 user 16 critic

Wilson (1944)

A chronicle of the political career of US President Woodrow Wilson.

Director:

Henry King

Writer:

Lamar Trotti (screenplay)
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Won 5 Oscars. Another 2 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Alexander Knox ... Woodrow Wilson
Geraldine Fitzgerald ... Edith Bolling Galt
Thomas Mitchell ... Joseph Tumulty
Ruth Nelson ... Ellen Wilson
Cedric Hardwicke ... Senator Henry Cabot Lodge (as Sir Cedric Hardwicke)
Charles Coburn ... Professor Henry Holmes
Vincent Price ... William Gibbs McAdoo
William Eythe ... George Felton
Mary Anderson ... Eleanor Wilson
Ruth Ford Ruth Ford ... Margaret Wilson
Sidney Blackmer ... Josephus Daniels
Madeleine Forbes Madeleine Forbes ... Jessie Wilson
Stanley Ridges ... Dr. Cary Grayson
Eddie Foy Jr. ... Eddie Foy
Charles Halton ... Colonel House
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Storyline

The political career of Woodrow Wilson is chronicled, beginning with his decision to leave his post at Princeton to run for Governor of New Jersey, and his subsequent ascent to the Presidency of the United States. During his terms in office, Wilson must deal with the death of his first wife, the onslaught of German hostilities leading to American involvement in the Great War, and his own country's reticence to join the League of Nations. Written by Shannon Patrick Sullivan <shannon@mun.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

DRAMA AND SPECTACLE UNPARALLELED! ENTERTAINMENT UNDREAMED OF! 12,000 PLAYERS! 200 MIGHTY SCENES! TOLD TO THE TUNE OF 87 BELOVED SONGS! (original ad - all caps)


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

August 1945 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Darryl F. Zanuck's Wilson See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$2,000,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)| Black and White

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Woodrow Wilson's daughter, Eleanor Wilson McAdoo, served as technical advisor on the film. See more »

Goofs

At 2:11:00 of the movie, Wilson (Alexander Knox) signs the Treaty of Versailles, a stage prop which contains a number of errors: (1) In the real document, the real Wilson's signature appears on a blank page following the end of Article 440, not immediately beneath the article. (2) In the real document, the word "transmitted" isn't hyphenated across a line break. (3) In the stage prop, the word "transmitted" is incorrectly hyphenated "tran-smitted" - it should be "trans-mitted". See more »

Quotes

Professor Henry Holmes: Now I know why the Democratic Party chose a jackass for a mascot.
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User Reviews

A Nice Tribute, but is it history?
12 April 2004 | by theowinthropSee all my reviews

Let us be certain of one thing: Thomas Woodrow Wilson (1856 - 1924), Academician, Historian, Orator, President of Princeton University, Governor of New Jersey, and 28th President of the United States is a very important political figure in American History. He is usually credited to be one of the top ten great Presidents of our history, but these lists of historians are prone to change when new research shows previous ideas were wrong or too hagiographic towards the former President. In Wilson's case historians of his period are confronted with the problem that he had a great contemporary rival, the 26th President Colonel Theodore Roosevelt. Both men at their best were terrific figures, who accomplished a great deal of positive social legislation (they and Robert LaFollette dominate this period: the Progressive Era), and both (with Roosevelt's predecessor William McKinley) made America a great power. But T.R. and W.W. were both great egotists, and had defects in personality and views that make their achievements questionable. T.R. loved the strenuous life, but he also loved war too much - to the point that his youngest son got sacrificed in France in the First World War. Wilson helped get the Clayton Anti-Trust Act and the Federal Reserve set up, but he was a Southerner who backed Jim Crow Laws. He did try to keep America out of World War I (as a boy he lived in Virginia and South Carolina during the Civil War, and saw Columbia, South Carolina destroyed - probably by Sherman's men). But he was willing to use our troops to "straighten out" Latin American countries: Mexico (twice), Haiti, the Dominican Republic. His creation of the first international peace organization, the League of Nations, was great, but flawed due to the U.S. not becoming a member - a flaw that Wilson's egotistic fight with Senator Henry Cabot Lodge over accepting the Treaty of Versailles guaranteed.

This film was made in 1944 by Zanuck, a Democrat. It emphasized Wilson as the far-sighted peace seeker, the forerunner of FDR (who was planning the United Nations). FDR actually was in Wilson's administration (he was Assistant Secretary of the Navy, like his cousin TR had been in 1897 under McKinley). The audience of the time would have been aware of this. As most of the audience would be white, Protestant, and of anglo-saxon background, it would be assumed that the film would be well received. Actually it wasn't. In the midwest, with the heavy connections to Germany or Middle-Europe, and in Irish-American centers (Wilson was cool towards Irish nationalism)the audiences recalled the unpleasant intransigence and pig-headedness of the President. Zanuck had the film opened in his home town in Nebraska, only to find that few were interested in the premier of the film - they told him they had not liked Wilson while he was in office.

As it is the film is excellent in terms of production and cast, starting with Alexander Knox as the President. His is a great performance, which merited his Oscar nomination. But the film is only positive about Wilson (and correspondingly unfair to Lodge, who may have had doubts about the Treaty of Versailles, but was not conspiring to destroy Wilson - he only had to let Wilson do himself in!). As for the racist side of Wilson, to get a glimpse of it see THE GREAT WHITE HOPE, where the Wilson administration is determined to drive the black heavyweight champion (based on Jack Johnson, and played by James Earl Jones) out of the title he deserves to keep.


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