Who woulda thought a talky biography about Woodrow Wilson could be so good? Not I!
The film traces Wilson’s political career, from Princeton University president, to governor of New Jersey and then for two terms as President. Much of his term in the White House is taken up with the War to End All Wars, and ends with his life-threatening obsession with the creation of the League of Nations. And while that might sound dull, it’s surprisingly watchable.
Actor Alexander Knox is a commanding presence as the Commander in Chief. The film and the actor, both now forgotten, were nominated for Academy Awards. The screenplay is filled with great speeches; how much of it is based on Wilson’s actual rhetoric I’d be curious to know. Released in 1944 as an obvious bit of WWII (the war after the war to end all wars) propaganda, it was a box office flop. The Technicolor cinematography will look great once they ever transfer it to DVD. [****]