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
Where General Marshall and President Truman are talking on the lawn in Potsdam, part of Marshall's lapel brass includes crossed rifles, which indicates the wearer belongs to the infantry. General officers do not have a branch of service or wear lapel brass indicating such. The Chief of Staff, however, does wear a star-shaped device on his lapels indicating his office. The Marshall character should have been wearing these. See more »
Harry Truman was an American president of rare integrity. Steadfastly honest and loyal to his friends, his causes, and his own heart, and born into a lower middle class farming family, Truman stands out as a real anomaly in 20th century American politics. Like similar men of profound integrity, such as John Adams, his presidency was a turbulent time of great triumphs for freedom and democracy and huge problems for ethics, nationalism and human rights. And as the symbol and scapegoat of those times, Truman, again like Adams, played his role - whether cast as hero or villain - with profound dignity. This film tells his story from his enlistment in the armed forces during World War One, at the age of 33, to his retirement from politics about 35 years later.
The characters of this film are portrayed sensitively and authentically. Truman and his wife, and the controversial Generals Marshall and MacArthur are particularly impressive. In some cases - particularly the Trumans themselves - this must have been a fairly difficult effort. Truman was not a very dramatic and flashy person, and his wife was fairly detached and private. Sinise and Scarwid play the parts and the relationship perfectly.
Since the study of history is a big part of my career, I am writing from a slightly unusual perspective. "Truman" has all the pedigree for what should have been a really powerful biographical film - a great lead actor, a solid supporting cast, a good production team, a great story and a very strong writing team. And it is refreshing to see such an accurate portrayal of a true hero of American politics and such a vivid realization of his times. Despite all of this, I feel that Truman could have been a better film - more dramatic, more visually powerful and more poignant. Somewhere between the script and the directing, a bit of cinematic art was lost and never quite recovered. Historiographically, this is a satisfying film, but it does not go too far past "satisfying".
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