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A Miniseries Masterpiece
on June 20, 2007
This is the 2-disk set of Eleanor & Franklin, "The Early Years" and "The White House Years." The DVD's present the story of how these two strong individuals met and fell in love and how they survived a tumultous marriage. This would be at a time when the world would face the greatest war in history.
Eleanor & Franklin is a 1976-77 production and runs 6 hours. The series was made for HBO at what must have cost a king's ransom. Costumes, scenery, vintage cars, and all the rest--production values are at the highest level. Yes, the Roosevelts were from the upper crust of American society and lived privileged lives. But they sacrificed a lot for their country in its greatest hour of need as these dramatizations show so well.
Casting is superb. Jane Alexander plays Eleanor Roosevelt and Edward Hermann plays her cousin and later, husband, Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR). The outside jacket of the DVD set says the miniseries won 18 Emmys back in the 1970's. After viewing it recently for the first time, I wonder how the series didn't win more. It is a true masterpiece.
In the early-1940's, Benito Mussolini is supposed to have scoffed at the idea of FDR leading the U. S. in a world war. Mussolini ridiculed FDR as a paralytic who could never lead his country to victory. Not long after, Mussolini and his criminal partner, Adolph Hitler, would eat those words. FDR's knowledge of world history and past wars, his experience in the military and in government, and his courage and resolve in the face of evil were exactly what was needed.
For all his flaws as a man, I shudder to think what might have happened had FDR not been U. S. President during this time. Without question, his partnership with Winston Churchill saved Western Civilization. Through it all, Eleanor was his supporter and confidant, although you might wonder at times if he deserved her.
Anyone interested in the 1930's and 40's and the tremendous world conflict known as World War II needs to add this bargain-priced set to his library. These DVD's will provide insight one can get nowhere else.