Watch Eleanor and Franklin
Eleanor and Franklin is a 1976 television movie that explores the private and public lives of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and her husband, President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The film depicts their relationship and the challenges they faced during their public service, including navigating the Great Depression and World War II. David Huffman plays the role of President Franklin D. Roosevelt perfectly, portraying the charismatic leader who continued to inspire hope during a time of uncertainty. He expertly captures Roosevelt's charming personality, physical limitations due to polio, and his struggles to lead the country through the toughest times. Mackenzie Phillips performs admirably as Eleanor Roosevelt, capturing the First Lady's trademark warmth and passion for social justice. She impressively portrays Eleanor's strong spirit and unwavering dedication to fighting for the rights of women and minorities.
The movie beautifully depicts their unconventional relationship, emphasizing the love and deep respect they had for each other. The film also explores Franklin's extramarital affairs, which was a significant source of tension in their marriage. Eleanor, while hurt by Franklin's infidelities, remained devoted to him and prioritized supporting his public service work.
The film further explores Eleanor's activism and her efforts in several fields, including the fight against racial discrimination and her fight for the advancement of women's rights. Her importance in Franklin's presidency cannot be overstated, as she authored significant social and economic initiatives and played a vital role in establishing the United Nations. Eleanor was a trailblazer, advocating for social justice before her role as First Lady and continuing to do so long after Franklin's presidency ended.
The movie also delves into Franklin's presidency, showcasing his leadership skills and the challenges he faced during his tenure. It illustrates his ability to communicate with people of all backgrounds and how he preemptively helped avoid economic collapse by introducing the New Deal. The film also portrays his decision to enter the United States into World War II following the horrific attack on Pearl Harbor and his leadership during the conflict.
The film's supporting cast also deserves credit for their performances, particularly Lilia Skala, who plays Franklin's mother, Sara Roosevelt. Skala brilliantly captures the formidable and protective mother who held great influence over her son's career and personal choices.
Overall, Eleanor and Franklin is an outstanding movie that captures the personal and political lives of two of America's greatest public servants. The film accurately portrays their relationship, highlighting their love for each other and their devotion to serving the country. Furthermore, the movie shows the significant social and economic changes that the couple implemented, changes that continue to impact American society profoundly. Eleanor and Franklin remain two of the most significant political figures in American history, and this film captures both their accomplishments and their flaws.