Biographical account of America's President for the latter part of WWII. Shows Truman's rise from small-town nobody to leader of the USA, his decision to use the Atomic Bomb against Japan, and subsequent election as the US' post-war President.Written by
The scenes of Truman's election night were filmed exactly where Harry Truman spent his election night. Truman went to bed on election night with reports predicting his defeat by Dewey at the Elm's Hotel Resort and Spa in Excelsior Springs, Missouri, USA. See more »
Incorrectly regarded as goof: "Harry Truman was left-handed but the film shows Gary Sinese writing right-handed." Truman was born naturally left-handed, but he was raised to be right-handed. Truman in fact wrote right-handed, and there are many photos of Truman showing him at his desk with a pen in his right hand. See more »
[Upon taking the presidential office after Roosevelt's unexpected death]
Harry S. Truman:
I don't know if any of you have had a bale of hay fall on you. Well, I feel like the sun, the stars and all the planets just fell on me. Don't expect too much of me.
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Based on David McCullough's weighty biography of Harry S Truman, this film is a fascinating and gripping 'biopic'. By refusing to resort either to simple hagiography or revisionist 'debunking', Frank Pierson has directed an excellent account of Truman's road to and period in the White House. He lets characters and events speak for themselves rather than imposing on them some wayward, overly-personal, directorial interpretation (who knows what Oliver Stone would have made of this one). In an age when all politicians, whatever their merits, are usually the targets of ridicule, it was interesting to watch a film which portrayed the difficult, if not impossible, decisions with which political leaders are routinely faced (the use of the Atomic Bomb, the Korean War and recognition of the state of Israel were just some of problems with which Truman had to grapple). Of course, the director's job was made a great deal easier by an excellent cast and flawless acting. 'Acting' is not really an accurate or adequate way to describe Gary Sinise's portrayal of the former President and the word 'performance' suggests impersonation - on the contrary, he seems simply to have 'become' Harry Truman for the duration of the film.
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