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Sunrise at Campobello (1960)

Not Rated | | Biography, Drama | 26 September 1960 (USA)
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In 1921, unsuccessful vice-presidential candidate Franklin D. Roosevelt contracts poliomyelitis and, with the help of his wife Eleanor Roosevelt and close friend Louis Howe, battles his newfound disability.

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Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Franklin Delano Roosevelt
... Eleanor Roosevelt
... Louis Howe
... Missy Le Hand
... Sara Delano Roosevelt
... Gov. Alfred E. Smith
... James Roosevelt
... Anna Roosevelt
... Dr. Bennett
Pat Close ... Elliott Roosevelt
Robin Warga ... Franklin D. Roosevelt Jr.
Tom Carty ... Johnny Roosevelt
... Mr. Brimmer
... Mr. Lassiter
... Capt. Skinner
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Storyline

The story of Franklin Roosevelt's bout with polio at age 39 in 1921 and how his family (and especially wife Eleanor) cope with his illness. From being stricken while vacationing at Campobello to his triumphant nominating speech for Al Smith's presidency in 1924, the story follows the various influences on his life and his determination to recover - based on the award winning Broadway play of the same name. Written by Ed Lorusso

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Taglines:

Ralph Bellamy as the man who never forgot how to smile...Greer Garson as the woman who never forgot how to love... See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

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Language:

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Release Date:

26 September 1960 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dez Passos Imortais  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Although actress Ann Shoemaker, who plays the mother of FDR (Franklin D. Roosevelt) Sara Delano Roosevelt [Sarah Roosevelt] in the film, was not in the original Broadway stage play on opening night, she was the first and only ever full-time replacement for Anne Seymour for that role in that production. See more »

Goofs

No competent orthopedist would have given Franklin D. Roosevelt crutches so short that he would have to lean forward and use them to walk on all fours, as Ralph Bellamy does. (Besides, the paralysis would have kept him from moving his legs.) Crutches should be long enough so that the user can stand up straight, support his weight on them and propel himself forward with his shoulder muscles. See more »

Quotes

Franklin Delano Roosevelt: I have no intention of retiring to Hyde Park and rusticating.
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Connections

Referenced in Meet Bob Shaye (2004) See more »

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User Reviews

 
FDR copes with polio
16 February 2014 | by See all my reviews

Sunrise is Campobello is a film adaptation of the play, which starred Ralph Bellamy as FDR and Mary Fickett, who became a soap opera star, as Eleanor. Here, Bellamy repeats his stage role, and Greer Garson is Eleanor. Bellamy would play FDR again in both The Winds of War and War and Remembrance.

The story takes place in 1921, when FDR first contracted polio. He believes that he will walk again. We do know he took pains not to be seen in a wheelchair, and he was a man of such power that no one ever refers to him as crippled. In War & Remembrance (I think) there is a very moving scene where Roosevelt walks onto a ship, with the aid of two crutches.

This film concentrates on FDR's young family and how the children, his wife, his good friend Louis Howe (Hume Cronyn), and his dedicated secretary Missy (Jean Hagen) cope with his illness. The family is portrayed as idyllic -- members of the family cooperated with the filming, and it's not surprising that darker aspects of his married life were not shown. It is hinted at, however, that FDR's mother was problematic in the marriage.

Ralph Bellamy had an amazing career spanning over 60 years in film, television, and theater, and here he does a great job portraying FDR's optimism, geniality, and charisma. I had a little more trouble with Greer Garson's portrayal of Eleanor. I think in 1960, when there were so many people who knew Eleanor Roosevelt's voice, that Garson didn't have any other choice but to mimic it, but today it comes off as put on and overdone. Jane Alexander did a better job with the voice in "Eleanor and Franklin." All in all, an interesting and sobering film, showing FDR's struggle with a debilitating illness that he brought with him to four terms as president. Interesting to note, FDR felt he had to serve a third time as the country was in the middle of the war, but he did not announce he would seek a fourth term. Instead, he was drafted by the convention and felt he had to serve. He died three months into his fourth term; it's obvious at the Yalta conference that he was extremely ill. A very rare kind of strength.


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