Sunrise at Campobello (play)
|Sunrise at Campobello|
|Written by||Dore Schary|
|Characters||Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Sara Delano Roosevelt
|Date premiered||January 30, 1958|
|Place premiered||Cort Theatre
New York City, United States
|Subject||FDR's battle with polio|
|Setting||New Brunswick, Canada|
The original Broadway production was presented at the Cort Theatre by The Theatre Guild and Dore Schary and directed by Vincent J. Donehue. It opened on January 30, 1958 and closed on May 30, 1959 running for 556 performances. It starred Ralph Bellamy as Roosevelt. Bellamy won a Tony Award for Best Actor. Others in the cast included Henry Jones as Louis McHenry Howe; Mary Fickett as Eleanor Roosevelt; Anne Seymour as Sara Delano Roosevelt and, in his Broadway debut, James Earl Jones. Bellamy repeated his role in the film version of the play, but was not Oscar-nominated for his performance.
The production won three other Tonys including Best Play (producers were Lawrence Langner, Theresa Helburn, Armina Marshall and Dore Schary), Best Director of a Play (Vincent J. Donehue) and Henry Jones won for Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play. Mary Fickett was nominated for Best Supporting or Featured Actress in a Play.
Campobello Island was Roosevelt's summer home in New Brunswick, Canada. Most of the play's actions take place there, where we see Roosevelt struggle to overcome the paralysis of his legs. The play ends with the 1924 Democratic National Convention speech, which catapulted him back into politics after an absence of several years.
The film version, released by Warner Bros., in 1960, starred Bellamy again with Greer Garson as Eleanor and Hume Cronyn as Louis Howe. The film also starred Jean Hagen, Tim Considine and Lyle Talbot. Ann Shoemaker who played FDR's mother, also played that role on Broadway after the original actress left the show.
Schary, who began his career in Hollywood, wrote and produced the film which, like the stage version, was directed by Vincent J. Donehue.
Despite it being perhaps Bellamy's most famous role, it was Greer Garson who received the critical attention. She won the Golden Globe and National Board of Review Award for Best Actress. The film received four Academy Award nominations: Best Actress (Garson), Art Direction, Sound and Costume Design.
In 2005, HBO premiered an original made-for-television film called Warm Springs, which was also based on FDR's struggle to overcome polio. It too, had a splashy ending at the Democratic National Convention (the 1928 Houston convention, not the 1924 New York City convention of Sunrise at Campobello), but was otherwise almost completely different from Sunrise at Campobello, which had omitted the entire Warm Springs portion of FDR's life. It starred Kenneth Branagh as FDR and Cynthia Nixon as Eleanor. The film won several Emmy Awards, including one for Best Made-for-Television Film.
Awards and nominations
- 1958 Tony Award for Best Play
- 1958 Tony Award for Best Actor in Play - Ralph Bellamy
- 1958 Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play - Henry Jones
- 1958 Tony Award for Best Director - Vincent J. Donehue
- 1958 Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play - Mary Fickett
- Sunrise at Campobello at the Internet Broadway Database
- Sunrise at Campobello (film) at the Internet Movie Database