7.8/10
45
2 user 1 critic

A Paralyzing Fear: The Story of Polio in America (1998)

Not Rated | | Documentary | TV Movie 4 March 1998
Few know the story of how polio came to America in 1916 and grew into the frightening epidemics of the 1940's and 50's when the diseases crippled tens of thousands of children every summer.

Director:

Nina Gilden Seavey

Writers:

Stephan Chodorov (narration), Nina Gilden Seavey
Reviews
3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

Edit

Cast

Cast overview:
Olympia Dukakis ... Narrator (voice)
Edit

Storyline

Few know the story of how polio came to America in 1916 and grew into the frightening epidemics of the 1940's and 50's when the diseases crippled tens of thousands of children every summer.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary

Certificate:

Not Rated

User Reviews

 
a modern lesson in disease history
2 August 2005 | by jvframeSee all my reviews

This is a very clear and personalised presentation of the history and human impact of a seriously debilitating disease - one which we in the western world are too often tempted to think of in the past tense.

We're informed that a vaccine is considered "successful" if 85-90% of people acquire immunity as a result. So there is still ample room for polio to persist and do harm to individuals, but thankfully not on the scale that affected my parent's generation.

We also gain an insight into the struggle between two passionate scientists each of whom were devoted to proving their theories for the benefit of mankind.

On ABC Australian television we saw a 55 minute edited version, but it still packed a punch. It closed by pointing out that after decades of successful polio control in the western world, the vital need for vaccine in third world countries was only just starting to be addressed.

I expect that the full length version of this film would have included mention of the condition "post-polio syndrome" which I friend of mine suffers. Every few years she endures recurring bouts of severe weakness and agonising pain - and the big obstacle to finding treatment is that very few hospital personnel even know that the condition exists.


3 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 2 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 March 1998 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

We've Got Your Streaming Picks Covered

Looking for some great streaming picks? Check out some of the IMDb editors' favorites movies and shows to round out your Watchlist.

Visit our What to Watch page



Recently Viewed