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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 <email@example.com>
As the Wilsons tour the White House on their first day, they stop to admire the official portrait of President Taft. As Taft had left office only that day, no official portrait of him would as yet have been painted or hung. See more »
[Reading a newspaper clipping]
A weak and imbecile man, the weakest I've ever knew in a high place. If I wanted to paint a despot, a man perfectly regardless of every Constitutional right of the people, I would paint his hideous form.
When he goes out of office next March, the whole country except thieves, cowards, public plunderers, office holders, and traitors will rejoice.
Edith Bolling Galt:
[Slamming down a coffee pot]
Woodrow, that's the last straw! You've got to do something about it. ...
[...] See more »
"Wilson" is in the grand tradition of biopics of great men in which the subject has no significant faults and only a few foibles, and those serve mainly to humanize him. This is an extremely well-made movie on just about every level. It largely gets the history right, except where things have to be fudged to maintain the great man's image. One fact that's never mentioned, for example, is Wilson's reimposition of Jim Crow laws in the District of Columbia.
Perhaps most interesting is how the film handles Wilson's remarriage. His first wife died in 1914, and Wilson remarried in less than two years. His new wife was younger and more glamorous than the first Mrs. Wilson. The filmmakers include a scene in which the dying Mrs. Wilson tells her daughters that their father is a strong and good man, but that he needs the love of a woman. She thus exculpates Wilson from the unseemliness attendant with remarrying so quickly (though this haste was the subject of considerable gossip at the time).
"Wilson" is a well-made, entertaining and interesting period piece that provides some accurate history. Compare its treatment of President Wilson with the way in which presidents are depicted in film today -- Oliver Stone's "Nixon," for example. And can you imagine a widower president carrying on a romance in the White House in today's intolerant political and moral climate?
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