THE GREATEST CHALLENGE FDR FACED WAS THE ONE WE NEVER SAW.
A genial TV movie about a chapter in Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s life that usually falls in the shadow of his accomplishments as President. It’s the story of how he contracted polio in the early 1920s and found a spa in Georgia that had a positive effect on his legs. We follow him and Eleanor as they more or less wittingly take the first steps on the road to the White House. Kenneth Branagh may not exactly look like Roosevelt, but he nevertheless delivers a good performance. Still, there are few things in this TV movie that lift it out of the ordinary.
2005-U.S. Made for TV. 121 min. Color. Directed by Joseph Sargent. Cast: Kenneth Branagh (Franklin D. Roosevelt), Cynthia Nixon (Eleanor Roosevelt), David Paymer (Louis Howe), Tim Blake Nelson, Jane Alexander, Kathy Bates.
Trivia: Alexander plays Roosevelt’s mother; she was Eleanor Roosevelt in the TV movies Eleanor and Franklin (1976) and Eleanor and Franklin: The White House Years (1977).
Emmys: Outstanding Made for Television Movie, Supporting Actress (Alexander).