The Indomitable Teddy Roosevelt
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TR's entire life is depicted, with generous amounts of time being spent on his early years in New York. But the majority of the program is rightly devoted to TR in the period 1898-1909, where he went from Rough Rider to President. His private side is illuminated and one realizes he was a fascinating, though sometimes infuriating man; stubborn, headstrong, yet brilliant. It's all here: his ability to speak languages, his amazing memory, the fact he read a book every day, his passion for the outdoor life, his years at Harvard. His romances are here as well, including his early passion for eventual wife Edith, whom he threw over for his first wife, Alice. She died on the same day as TR's mother, and this dual blow is examined in detail.
This is a gorgeous film, photographed with care and produced with exquisite flair. If you're not especially interested in Roosevelt, you will be after viewing this documentary. If you are already a fan of TR, this will make you love him all the more.
As one would expect from such a subject much use is made of silent era film footage. There are clips from fiction films ranging from THE `TEDDY' BEARS (1907) to THE ROUGH RIDERS (1927), and miles of amazing, unfamiliar newsreel, mostly selected with a dual eye upon its content and its pictorial splendor. Most of the footage is fresh to our eyes, being from the long-guarded Roosevelt Memorial Association collection which was assembled and maintained in impeccable condition beginning immediately after TR's death in 1919. Of course there are also stills and some extraordinary moments of re-enactment including one goose-bump shot of TR and family, portrayed almost entirely by his direct descendants, which dissolves eerily into the original group portrait upon which it is based.
It is beautifully structured, inspiring, saddening, everything one would ask of a great film. THE INDOMITABLE THEODORE ROOSEVELT, completed in 1983, is also impeccably produced. The thought and skill and passion in it, the uncompromised quality evident in its every image and sound, make it also a heartbreaking reminder of the glory one aspired to achieve in documentary film before the days of hasty, formulaic and cheaply-produced programs of this sort demanded of struggling producers by cable networks.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This video is superb! The best documentary on Theodore Roosevelt that I've ever seen. Narrated by George C. Scott. Any fan of TR must own this.Published 1 month ago by Friend of Godzilla
I teach 8th grade history and I show this to my class when we study TR in class. His story is amazing and the interchange of real-life movie clips with the color dramatizations... Read morePublished 18 months ago by Claire Glowacki
It is truly a wonderful presentation of a fascinating President. He has to be on anyone's list as one of the top 5 and by far the most interesting in US History. Read morePublished on April 4, 2013 by Lonnie Lewis
Brilliant film. As a documentary aficcionado,I find the production is great and the narration and music befitting Theodore Roosevelt's long and illustrious career. Read morePublished on January 10, 2011 by CLD
Strike One: The annoying task of trying to listen to the narrator above blaring music (albeit very good blaring music) makes this documentary nothing more than standard fare. Read morePublished on October 14, 2010 by J. Cronin