7.6/10
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38 user 31 critic

Warm Springs (2005)

Not Rated | | Biography, Drama | TV Movie 30 April 2005
The stirring true story of Franklin D. Roosevelt's battle with polio in 1921.

Director:

Joseph Sargent

Writer:

Margaret Nagle
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Nominated for 3 Golden Globes. Another 12 wins & 38 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kenneth Branagh ... Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Cynthia Nixon ... Eleanor Roosevelt
David Paymer ... Louis Howe
Tim Blake Nelson ... Tom Loyless
Matt O'Leary ... Fred Botts (as Matthew O'Leary)
Matt Malloy ... Lionel Purdy
Andy Davoli ... Jake Perini (as Andrew Davoli)
Nelsan Ellis ... Roy Collier
Jane Alexander ... Sara Delano Roosevelt
Kathy Bates ... Helena Mahoney
Melissa Ponzio ... Lucy Mercer
Quint Von Canon Quint Von Canon ... Stephen Teller
Mike Pniewski ... Hastings, Party Leader
Grayce Spence Grayce Spence ... League Member
Rand Hopkins Rand Hopkins ... Dr. Lovett
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Storyline

After polio threatens his political career in the early 1920s, Franklin D. Roosevelt (Sir Kenneth Branagh) desperately searches for a cure to his newly acquired disease, hoping to regain the use of his legs. He learns of a promising spa in Warm Springs, Georgia, and travels there, only to find it dilapidated. Determined to overcome polio, Roosevelt invests in the spa's revitalization, and sets about recovering, aided by the support of his wife and physical therapist. Written by Jwelch5742

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

FDR brought us out of the Depression and through a world war. But the greatest challenge he faced was the one we never saw. See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 April 2005 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Franklin D. Roosevelt. Un uomo, un presidente See more »

Filming Locations:

Atlanta, Georgia, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$13,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The automobile that Sir Kenneth Branagh drives at Warm Springs is the same auto that the real Franklin D. Roosevelt drove, complete with 1920s hand controls. The make and model of the real-life car that Franklin D. Roosevelt drove with the special hand controls, was a 1936 Ford Phaeton, and it is on display at the FDR Presidential Library & Museum in Hyde Park, New York. See more »

Goofs

At the 1924 Convention, several people are shown waving 50-star flags, not introduced until 1960. From 1912 through 1959 the flag had 48 stars. See more »

Quotes

Tom Loyless: You're gonna do great things, Franklin. This place has identity now, a purpose.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The 63rd Annual Golden Globe Awards (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Beautiful Dreamer
Written by Stephen Foster (uncredited)
Performed by Raul Malo
Danced by Felicia Day (uncredited) and Jody Thompson (uncredited)
See more »

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User Reviews

Mr. Branagh in Top Form as FDR!
30 April 2005 | by lavatchSee all my reviews

I can vividly recall my fifth grade teacher telling us (in the late 1950s) that if Franklin Delano Roosevelt were still alive, people would come out in droves to reelect him to a fifth term as President. The brilliant film "Warm Springs" demonstrates Roosevelt's strength of character, his human touch, and his courage to overcome his physical limitation due to polio.

Director Joseph Sargent carefully recreates the environment of the 1920s, capturing the political climate, as well as rural poverty and segregation in the Deep South. Screenwriter Margaret Nagle deserves credit for her detailed character portraits and crisp dialogue, based upon sound historical research. It was impressive that the character of Eleanor Roosevelt was substantially developed alongside that of her husband. The costuming, décor, and set-ups in this film were first-rate. In the artistic values, every moment of this film rang true.

Kenneth Branagh and a stellar supporting cast (Kathy Bates, Cynthia Nixon, David Paymer, and Tim Blake Nelson are all standouts) embody their characters with meticulous attention to historical detail and accuracy. The range is impressive, as the cast must depict both the patrician society of New York and the hardscrabble world of rural Georgia.

Branagh probes deeply into the emotional life of Franklin as he struggles to come to terms with his disability. FDR is remembered as a ruthless politician. But the film is remarkable for the sensitive and vulnerable side of this titanic figure, which is often downplayed by historians. The only shortcoming of Branagh's rich performance was in his inability to capture the stentorian voice and the melodious inflections of FDR. Given Branagh's background in the theatre and in performing Shakespeare, it was surprising that his voice was not a closer match to one of the most distinctive sounds of the past century, which kept the spirits of Americans buoyed with his regular radio fireside chats.

"Warm Springs" is a made-for-television movie with all of the attributes of an Academy Award-winning feature film. The story was taut and economical as it focused on the years at Warm Springs prior to FDR's political ascendancy. In those years, Roosevelt drew upon his administrative skills by raising consciousness about the therapeutic value of the hot waters in the treatment of polio, leading to the establishment of the nonprofit Warm Springs Foundation in 1927. It was in this period that a great American discovered within himself the personal resolve and courage that would lead Americans through the Great Depression and World War II. From start to finish, this powerful yet sensitive film walks tall just like our thirty-second President.


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