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American Experience - Eleanor Roosevelt (2000)

David McCullough , Alfre Woodard , Sue Williams  |  NR |  DVD
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: David McCullough, Alfre Woodard
  • Directors: Sue Williams
  • Writers: Sue Williams
  • Producers: Sue Williams, Bob M. McCausland, Chas Norton, Hilary Klotz, Judith Vecchione
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: PBS
  • DVD Release Date: January 10, 2006
  • Run Time: 150 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #48,358 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "American Experience - Eleanor Roosevelt" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

She was the nation's conscience, a tireless advocate for America's disadvantaged. Controversial First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt influenced American social policies for decades and helped create the first international charter on human rights. Despite a painful childhood, shy nature, and difficult marriage, she rose to become one of America's admired women. This intimate biography explores her secretive, surprising private life.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
40 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a woman she was! February 23, 2002
Format:VHS Tape
As a history minor in college and one who has remained very interested in the field, I have occasionally read material about Eleanor Roosevelt. However, it was always on the periphery of my main interests, so I had no idea what I was missing until I saw this tape. She was one of the most dynamic and influential people that this country has produced. Having had a miserable childhood, where even her mother commented that she was ugly, she seemed destined to take up a life as a dutiful wife to a successful husband. However, and fortunately, that was not to be as she found herself and began a life of activism that made her enemies, but also made her the most powerful woman of the first half of the twentieth century. In many ways, she was the perfect counter to her husband, as she could go out and take the heat for actions that FDR simply could not do.
In this tape, stocked with newsreel footage, photographs and interviews with relatives and family friends, you learn much about what drove her to succeed. As seems so common, it was partly due to deep-seated feelings of early inadequacy and her hectic pace was the preventive cure from having to stop and perhaps be overcome by depression. Nothing is kept from you, even the supposedly platonic love affairs she had with men and women.
Her relationship with FDR was interesting, but probably not all that unique. As the story unfolds, it reminds you in many ways of the relationship that must exist between Bill and Hillary Clinton. Certainly, if times had been different, Eleanor could also have served in Congress.
Eleanor Roosevelt was one of the bravest, most dedicated people the world has ever seen. Sure she made enemies, but being hated by the likes of bigoted segregationists and J. Edgar Hoover is a point of commendation. The most interesting fact in the tapes is that Hoover hated her and her FBI file is one of the thickest on record. But then, so is her record of achievement.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Misunderstood First Lady" September 2, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
A very interesting biography. Through interviews with friends and family members and extensive excerpts of her own writings and quotes, the viewer will come to know facts about Mrs. Roosevelt not known before. Scorned by her mother and betrayed by her father and husband, she was a remarkable woman nonetheless. Although rich in material things, she was very fragile emotionally. Watching this video will convince the viewer that Mrs. Roosevelt was this country's most controversial and hardest-working First Lady.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "FIRST LADY OF THE 20th CENTURY" August 9, 2007
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I have found the entire PBS American Experience series to be nothing short of excellent, both in the accuracy of the historical facts of it's subjects as well as the candid and plain truth about their lives, all in unvarnished detail. The latest one I purchased and watched was on Eleanor Roosevelt, the First Lady of FDR and the Champion of Human Rights for all People. Both educational as well as fascinating, if you are a history buff and are intrigued by the gifted lives and legacies of these historical figures whose stories are told in a rich narrative accompanied by a beautiful and awesomely appropriate musical sountrack, then any one episode of this series is for you!! I now own PBS AE documentaries on Bobby Kennedy, Jackie Kennedy, LBJ, Harry Truman, Jimmy Carter, Huey Long, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt, Malcolm X, Teddy Roosevelt, Mao Tse Tung, as well as a couple of others I can't recall at the moment! Do yourself a favor history lover, get a copy of the life stories well told of one of these great people of the past and present, you won't regret it!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A retread of the FDR series February 8, 2010
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I am a great admirer of this wonderful women and the place she deserves in history. The other reviewers have gone into detail about what the PBS documentary covers so I will not repeat that in this review. Since this is an older series, I would recommend that you buy FDR the PBS version as there is a lot more live footage of Eleanor in this than in the PBS show on Eleanor specifically. In fact much of this documentary is taken from the FRD PBS show but without as much live footage. Also consider the drama, Franklin and Eleanor, as it is a wonderful presentation of their life and I actually learned as much from this about her as I did in the documentaries. Try the above mentioned first and you will most likely feel satisfied that the amazing life and time of Eleanor is covered in fine detail.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing inspiration for all women March 23, 2008
By Wisdom
I stumbled upon half of this documentary on PBS late at night and decided I wanted to buy a copy. Eleanor Roosevelt is such an incredable women and this film has done an excellent job of protraying all sides of her personality. I particularly relate to her struggles with depression and am amazed that she was able to pull out of each episode and accomplish so much. Whenever I feeling down and need some inspiration, I am going to watch this DVD!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent portrait of a great American January 20, 2008
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
As with most "American Experience" shows, this production is exceptionally well done. It provides photo and video coverage of the life of a true American Hero. A testimony to the contribution of women to our Country, the life and work of Eleanor Roosevelt provide a beacon to all those concerned for the welfare of others around the world. I was raised in a home where she was adored and loved (my sister was named for her). She is and to many who know her an exemplar of the best of the progressive tradition. For young people, not familiar with her accomplishments, this is a must see.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A wonderful program!
Published 1 month ago by Paul
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring
Comprehensive review of Eleanor's life. She certainly had lots of reasons to live the life of a pampered, rich lady, but she dedicated herself to helping those less fortunate. Read more
Published 2 months ago by KyRN
5.0 out of 5 stars Eleanor roosevelt
Good quality. It really gives alot of insight into her life and this video really goes into depth about her and Franklin Roosevelt. If you like Eleanor... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Pete
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good film about a great lady.
I have admired this lady since I was a little girl at the end of WWII and read about her. I have seen other programs about her and have watched the wonderful "Eleanor and... Read more
Published 11 months ago by JJ
5.0 out of 5 stars Eleanor Roosevelt
If your studding Eleanor Roosevelt, then this is your video. American Experience always puts out exceptional great productions. Read more
Published 14 months ago by D. J. Sharp
5.0 out of 5 stars History told well
Beautifully crafted history of the life of Mrs. Roosevelt. Great photos and film accompanied by the thoughtful writing of David McCullough.
Published 19 months ago by Lyric
5.0 out of 5 stars No Question -- an outstanding person
I constantly marvel at what Eleanor Roosevelt accomplished in her lifetime. She is an inspiration for men and woman alike. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Bernard Michaels
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy it!
Watching this special on PBS has cemented Mrs. Roosevelt as one of, if not, THE, finest of my own personal heroines whom I admire very much. Read more
Published on July 24, 2012 by S. Rogers
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent viewing.
What a wonderful, inspirational woman she is. Her wisdom on living life by learning as you live has helped myself and many others to achieve a more fullfilling life.
Published on July 7, 2012 by Hollydog
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Woman
I wish this fantastic,awsome, woman was our President today. She would have known what to do to keep our country great. She was soooo smart. None have been greater then her. Read more
Published on May 9, 2012 by Shirley
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