Sunrise at Campobello

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This article is about the 1960 film. For the 1958 play, see Sunrise at Campobello (play).
Sunrise at Campobello
Sunrise at Campobello film.jpg
VHS cover
Directed by Vincent J. Donehue
Produced by Dore Schary
Screenplay by Dore Schary
Based on Sunrise at Campobello (play)
1958 play 
by Dore Schary
Starring Ralph Bellamy
Greer Garson
Hume Cronyn
Music by Franz Waxman
Cinematography Russell Harlan
Edited by George Boemler
Distributed by Warner Bros.
Release date(s)
  • September 28, 1960 (1960-09-28)
Running time 144 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Sunrise at Campobello is a 1960 Warner Bros. biographical film telling the story of the struggles of future President of the United States Franklin Delano Roosevelt and his family when Roosevelt was stricken with paralysis at the age of 39 in August 1921. Based on Dore Schary's Tony Award-winning Broadway play of the same name, the film was directed by Vincent J. Donehue and starred Ralph Bellamy, Greer Garson, Hume Cronyn and Jean Hagen.

Produced with the cooperation of the Roosevelt family, Eleanor Roosevelt was present on the set during location shooting at the Roosevelt estate in Hyde Park, New York.

Plot[edit]

Beginning at the Roosevelt family's vacation home on Campobello Island, New Brunswick, Canada (on the border with Maine), in the summer of 1921, Franklin is depicted in early scenes as vigorously athletic, enjoying games with his children and sailing his boat.

Suddenly stricken with fever and then paralysis, subsequent scenes focus on the ensuing conflict in the following weeks between the bedridden FDR, his wife Eleanor, his mother Sara, and his close political adviser Louis Howe over FDR's political future. A later scene portrays FDR literally dragging himself up the stairs as, through grit and determination, he painfully strives to overcome his physical limitations and not remain an invalid. In the final triumphant scene, FDR is shown re-entering public life as he walks to the speaker's rostrum at a party convention, aided by heavy leg braces and crutches. His eldest son James pushed his father's wheelchair near to the podium.

The play and film both omit any mention of Warm Springs, Georgia and of Roosevelt's stay there, and of Roosevelt's creation of a rehabilitation center at Warm Springs.

Historical context[edit]

(l-r) Ralph Bellamy, Eleanor Roosevelt and Greer Garson at Hyde Park, NY, filming Sunrise at Campobello (1960)

Before and during Franklin D. Roosevelt's presidency, the extent of his disability was carefully concealed from the public. Sunrise at Campobello depicts the debilitating effects of FDR's illness to a greater extent than had been previously disclosed by the media.

FDR's attending physician, Dr. William Keen, believed it was polio and commended Eleanor's devotion to the stricken Franklin during that time of travail. "You have been a rare wife and have borne your heavy burden most bravely," he said, proclaiming her "one of my heroines".[1]

Cast[edit]

Awards[edit]

Greer Garson won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress - Motion Picture Drama.[2]

The film was also entered into the 2nd Moscow International Film Festival.[3]

Academy Awards[edit]

Nominations[4]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Lash, Joseph P. (1971). Eleanor and Franklin. W.W. Norton & Company. ISBN 1-56852-075-1. 
  2. ^ "NY Times: Sunrise at Campobello". NY Times. Retrieved 2008-12-24. 
  3. ^ "2nd Moscow International Film Festival (1961)". MIFF. Retrieved 2012-11-09. 
  4. ^ "Oscars.org -- Sunrise at Campobello". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Retrieved January 15, 2014.

External links[edit]