Saturday, January 5, 2013


Springwood Estate in Hyde Park, NY (about 70 miles south of Albany) was the birthplace and lifelong home of FDR. He often stayed there as a vacation getaway even while serving as President.

Laura Linney: Margaret Suckley, distant relative of FDR
Elizabeth Wilson: the President’s mother Sara Ann
Bill Murray: Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 32nd President of the United States
Olivia Williams: the First Lady Eleanor
Samuel West: King George VI “Bertie”
Olivia Colmand: Queen Elizabeth
Elizabeth Marvel: Marguerite Missy LeHand, the President’s secretary

What a missed opportunity: rather than depicting FDR as a powerful man who was instrumental in getting the USA out of the Great Depression and the one who led the country to becoming the super power it is today, he is shown as nothing more than a womanizer. If we were looking for another example of immoral behaviour we could pick up a copy of the National Enquirer, that  trashy American tabloid found at check-out counters.
Another serious shortcoming is that very little is said about the circumstances for the visit by British royalty (the first ever) just months before war broke out in Europe and even less about the American political situation and the constraints imposed on FDR by the populace, both significant, both totally underdeveloped and both virtually ignored.

Case in point: FDR and the King are alone in his study having after-dinner drinks and instead of discussing the real reasons for the visit they spend their time blathering on about their respective handicaps and women.

Production values are first-rate but that is not reason enough to waste your time on this clunker.

for brief sexuality (but one more huge mistake, it should be PG at worst).

Although FDR wore rimless Pince-nez eyeglasses they were never perched on the end of his nose in such a jaunty manner.

The King and Queen are shown arriving at Springwood Estate being greeted by FDR sitting in front of the porch steps. In fact, the King and Queen after several days spent in Washington, DC accompanied FDR and Eleanor on the drive up to Hyde Park.

According to King George’s handwritten notes the Prime Minister of Canada, McKenzie King took part in the first conversation with the President but he is never even mentioned.

King George goes on to say they discussed “matters of extreme importance” not the light banter depicted in the movie.

The red telephone on FDR’s desk was a secure communication line first established in 1963 during the Cold War between the White House and the Soviet Union, some 23 years after these events took place.

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