The Chronicle sob sister finds out what Freud meant.
That is a major revelation, of course, though you couldn’t tell the New York Times film critic, Bosley Crowther, who was convinced the writer had “mixed his moral metaphors”, whatever that means, and moreover had bungled his job on the boss, whose “kind of managing-editor dialogue went out of fashion with Prohibition beer,” but the actors get their praise.
“Too vaguely liberal,” says Halliwell’s Film Guide, despairing of any grasp at all.
The dilemma of learning to write at a newspaper is the stated theme, grandly confirmed at the “small dinner” in Delehanty’s back room, where the journalists hack out Miss Lonelyheart’s replies like James Joyce’s medicos, the editor knows what to tell unhappy readers, go to church.
Time Out Film Guide laments Donehue’s visual compression like “a live episode of Playhouse 90”, but “that newsroom set!” has the two essential pillars of the Chronicle stand for all, the drama critic like a spare set of tonsils who knows his Ibsen in a way and the quotidian scribbler who no longer philosophizes, “now I work for a living.”
Sunrise at Campobello
Mr. & Mrs. R. and their “noisy group of illiterates” extinguish a blaze on the island, “sailing and picnicking” are the pastimes, Julius Caesar in the evening with the French governess in the title role (“probably my greatest stroke of casting”) and Mr. R. as Mark Antony.
Dore Schary’s play, presented largely as such to give a flavor of the performance, instantly evoking The Sound of Music (dir. Robert Wise).
“Granny’s moved to London, to visit cousin Muriel...”
Interspersed with location filming, accented by Waxman’s Coplandesque score (he cites the Lincoln Portrait, in the score of which one reads, “it is the composer’s wish that the Speaker depend for his effect, not on his ‘acting’ ability, but on his complete sincerity of manner”), to give the public persona on the return to New York.
Mr. Lincoln’s train, he of the humorous anecdote regarding a certain deserter. Mr. R. plies Franklin’s “long arm” gadget like a swifty. A letter from Woodrow Wilson, “that’s really quite thoughtful of him.”
At the time of the Teapot Dome scandal, a squeaky-footed dirigible service to Chicago, “the cost of construction, as you will see, will be cheaper if they’re built in Germany.” An oil deal all gas. The story of the “simply unbearable” one-room cabin “way back in the hills of upstate New York.”
FDR at work, in the 1924 nomination. Life with Father (dir. Michael Curtiz) for the drive to the Garden, “I hope our conventions never turn into high school pageants.” Before The Last Hurrah (dir. John Ford), still playing post office. The Lon Chaney impression of the podium walk, at the start of which Roosevelt’s trim bearing shows the Navy man, is perhaps best understood as a rendition of Gilbert’s Reach for the Sky.
Bosley Crowther of the New York Times, “a well-done, moving biographical film.” Variety, “grandslam feat.” Leonard Maltin, “sincere... well acted.” TV Guide, “a heartwarming look”. Halliwell’s Film Guide, “static filming”.