Eleanor Roosevelt Story (1965)

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Anna Eleanor Roosevelt portrait
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This academy award-winning documentary was directed by Richard Kaplan and written by Archibald Macleish.

Until I watched this documentary, the sum of my knowledge was that she was a president’s wife; she was ugly; and she was superficial in her emotions.

  • She was a president’s wife.
  • I disagree that she was ugly.  Perhaps her teeth needed work but I thought she looked fine. Personally, I was more disturbed by the hairnet she always wore.  It seemed inappropriate but I asked an older woman about it and she said women wore them.  I am nonplussed that this was an acceptable style outside the lunchroom.
  • She does seem to have had a wealth of compassion in her nature.  I am most impressed by her objection to Japanese Americans being sent to internment camps during World War II.   I was interested by that, as it kind of slipped out of public consciousness for awhile.

One of the viewers of the movie was taken her aphorism, “what one has to do, usually can be done.”

I enjoyed this documentary.  I wish more of them were as short and sparely done as this one.

This review contends that the documentary is “a bit reverential.”  I’m rather pleased to have learned about her from a more kindly perspective.

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