A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
With strength of character, a positive attitude, and a refusal to give up, you can overcome great difficulties. It's essential to fight back against corruption, injustice, and even bad luck. Humility and faith teach us about helping the less fortunate in our midst: "We can't make it the same world for all people, but every human must make a stab at trying."
Positive Role Models
Forced to accept the fact that he might never walk again, FDR refuses to live life as an invalid. His initial sadness and despair are conquered by his wisdom, wit, and zest for life. The result is a life of service and great accomplishment. The roots of Eleanor Roosevelt's formidable role in women's history are shown in her commanding courage, intelligence, and strength despite a tendency toward shyness.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Pipe smoking, cigarette-smoking are pervasive. FDR drinks Scotch in one scene.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Sunrise at Campobello is a warmhearted film for older kids, teens, and adults about Franklin D. Roosevelt and his family during the years in which the future president struggled with the onset of a lifelong disability. Despite the seriousness of Roosevelt's illness, it's a positive story, almost two-and-a-half hours long, and focuses on character rather than incident. With many life-affirming messages, the movie is a vivid introduction to a man who is considered one of America's most important leaders. Set in the 1920s, smoking is continuous (pipe and cigarettes), and the only cast members of color are servants. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
SUNRISE AT CAMPOBELLO is an exceptional and inspiring story, all the more so because it's true. It also raises important questions about public service, what it means and how the public interest is best determined and best served. Franklin's mother tells him that those who are privileged owe a duty to the rest, but Franklin argues that this "noblesse oblige" notion of public service is "an excuse for indifference," and avoids the real issues of equality and opportunity. Eleanor says, "I have the naive view that you should pursue principles without calculating the consequences," and is advised dryly by Louis, "You're no politician."
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.