- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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When they say splendid,exceptional,etc
You know the reviewer is a die hard democrat liberal- as all the cast no doubt were - when they over praiseeverything is great,the best,splendid and on and on I have seen this thing from late 60"s and it still screams STAGE!Maybe ten year later the die hards wouldn't be able to stop some thing with the truth in it. The accents yeech!
Greer Garson and Ralph Bellamy are magnificent. This movie is a reminder of the incredible challenges FDR faced when he was stricken with polio at age 39. There were moments when he, in the prime of life, almost surrendered to the crippling effects of polio but he discovered an inner strength he may not have known he possessed. Eleanor inspired him and Greer Garson is wonderful in this role. She conveys the joy, the sorrow and the frustrations of dealing with her huge family, demanding mother-in-law and her husband's illness. Ralph Bellamy captures FDR's tenacity and good cheer in spite of the polio. The scene where he crawls up the staircase at his home in Hyde Park is inspirational and it actually happened. I think of it whenever I visit his home. Hume Cronyn is excellent as Louis Howe, the strange political genius who envisioned FDR in the White House decades before it happened (and he looks very much like the real Louis Howe). Many historians believe that by facing his own crippling challenges, FDR was later able to inspire a nation that he could help it to overcome a crippling Depression. This is an inspirational movie.
What a super film this is on so many levels. The acting of both Greer Garson and Ralph Bellamy was superb, especially, Ralph Bellamy. Another level is the example of true family life. How we need examples like this. The father was clearly the head of the house. Yet, with the wife who can hardly be labeled weak.. The husband and wife complemented each other, each, with their own strengths, creating the family. What an environment to raise kids to hopefully do the same. I love this movie and watch it each time you show it. Thank you TCM. What a great night of films, "Before They Became President".
Get the pancakes out for this vat of syrup!
I Always Enjoy a Good Biopic
I really didn't know too much about the Roosevelts, so I enjoyed watching this film and learning more about them. The one thing that really stood out to me in a jarring way from the start was Green Garson's voice. I had never heard Eleanor Roosevelt talk so I just assumed that that must be how she talked, especially since Ms. Garson had been nominated for an Academy Award. Well, a little over half way through the film I just couldn't stand it anymore so I decided to see how Eleanor really did talk. I listened to a couple of her speeches on youtube and I could certainly see how Ms. Garson had tried to sound like her. But, what stood out to me about Eleanor was her sweetness and softness. When she smiled at me I found myself smiling back at her. So to me, how Eleanor pronounced her words was secondary to her gentle nature and that's where I think Ms. Garson kind of missed it. I had the wrong assumption from the movie that Eleanor was very stiff and forced in her dialect when in reality there was nothing abnormal about how she talked. I wish Ms. Garson had not focused so much on trying to sound like her because I think in doing so we missed out on the 'real' Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt in favor of some silly sounding pronunciations.
Sunrise at Campobello is the worst performance I've seen from Greer Garson. She must have been desperate to try and copy Eleanor . The only movie I ever saw her in that she was bad. Actually it's the best Ralph Bellamy could do. It's just awful.
- J Ben D.
I will keep this short and sweet. Not only is this film well made as a film in and of itself, the script is well written and the story is a delight to follow. It runs at a perfect length for telling a true-to-life story of FDR, his wife and family, and his political career and advisers. Inspiring and full of inspirational quotes -- even if you are not a progressive as FDR would call his followers..."God takes man into deep water not to drown him, but to cleanse Him..." --Greer Garson as "Babs" Eleanor Roosevelt
Greer Garson is Splendid
- David Atkins
Jack Warner was famous for filming classic and successful Boadway hits, and cast Greer Garson at first a surprise as Eleanor Roosevelt in the film version of Sunrise at Campobello.Ms. Garson is splendid and brought gravitas and Garson's worldwide boxoffice clout to this movie and won an Oscar nomination for her moving portrayal of Eleanor Roosevelt. A fine film and Ralph Bellamy is very fine as FDR.This film is a credit to the Warner studio
- Janet Miller
Superbly acted though I do agree with another reviewer's "stagy" comment. But I can remember sitting with my Dad on a snowy Sunday afternoon when I was about 13 watching this on TV and asking him questions about President Roosevelt - my Dad was about 15 when FDR died. I remember being so surprised when Dad said how the public never really knew the extent of his polio and its effect on his life - never really knew that someone who couldn't walk unaided was President. It seemed amazing at that time - and would be even more amazing now. This movie helps explain what a truly tremendous accomplishment FDR's recovery and ultimately, his Presidency were. Should be required curriculum for junior high social studies across the country.
Sunrise at Campobello (1960)
- James Higgins
Very long but an exceptional biography of Franklin D. Roosevelt and his wife Eleanor. The lead performances are truly great, especially Greer Garson as Eleanor. One drawback, it is very stagy. It may have been based on a play, but this is a movie, not a play.