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 Post subject: The President's Lady
PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2011 2:16 pm 
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Damned Dirty Admin
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Location: Sweden
Directed by: Henry Levin
Production year: 1953
Starring: Susan Hayward, Charlton Heston, John McIntire


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Plot:

The story of president Andrew Jackson from his early years, through his meeting with and subsequent marriage to Rachel Donelson Robards. The plot concentrates on the later scandal concerning the legality of their marriage and how they overcame the difficulties.

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 Post subject: Re: The President's Lady
PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2011 3:53 am 
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Prince Judah
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'From log-cabin to the White House had been a dominant theme in the American myth of 'Success'. The phrase is also used as 'from popper to prince' or from 'frontier to the mainstream' and so on. But when you particularly mention log-cabin and White House the association with Andrew Jackson's life is established, no doubt. He was the first of The American presidents who came from a common-man background.

The film follows Andrew and Rachel Jacksons' lives together from their meeting in the 1790s to Rachel's death in 1829. It follows Jackson's rise as a frontier lawyer and planter, then as a military leader and hero, then as a political figure (he would be the most important President between Jefferson and Lincoln). His hot temper would come forward in protecting the honour of his wife,most notably when confronting Charles Dickinson, a leading duelist of the day, who (as played by Carl Betz) openly refers to Jackson as a wife-stealer. Jackson challenges him to a duel, which we only hear the result of (Dickinson was a better shot, so Jackson wore a loose coat - Dickinson critically wounded him, but Jackson shot and killed the duelist).

It was all part of Jackson's rough and tumble life. Unseen in this film was a real knock down fight with two brothers in 1813 that had an odd follow up - one of the two brothers, a rough hombre like Jackson named Thomas Hart Benton, found himself (in 1821) Missouri's first senator. Soon he was sitting next to Tennessee's Senator, Jackson. Both were embarrassed at the situation, so they talked things over, and let bygones be bygones. It resulted in a very close political and personal friendship.

The slurs against Rachel always rose when Jackson's political star was rising, and his foes sought ammunition. In 1824 Jackson was the loser in a peculiar Presidential election that ended in the House of Representatives. He had been in the lead, but his chief rival (John Quincy Adams) was elected President when the fourth candidate (Henry Clay - a regional rival of Jackson's) threw Adams his electoral votes. Adams made Clay his Secretary of State. Jackson's supporters screamed of a corrupt bargain (we really don't know if there was one). In 1828 Jackson was nominated to run against Adams again. Adam's supporters mentioned every bloody event in Jackson's career (his duel with Dickinson, the fight with the Bentons, his executing some mutineering soldiers in the War of 1812, his execution of two British agents - he called them spies - in Florida in 1818). Finally they brought up the marriage mess with Rachel and Lewish Robarts again.

It did not help Adams, who was beaten in the 1828 election by an enlarged electorate that liked Jackson. But Rachel was stunned at the viciousness of the attacks. She lived to see Jackson triumph over Adams, but she died within two months. Jackson never forgave Adams, Clay, and the other Whigs for 'killing' her.

As for the cinematic performances, Susan Hayward and Charlton Heston interrelate so well together. And we, as audience cannot fail to empathise with Heston's expression of bemused pain and loss at the conclusion of the film, he having become the leader of his young nation, and looking at the miniature portrait of his dead wife....after all their joint struggle and endurance against so many odds and assaults, he is now left alone. Rachel does not live to be called 'The First Lady' by the nation, but she is immortal in the heart of her long-loving and caring husband, who now has become the President. She, at a spiritual level, is 'the President's Lady', indeed. It is a first rate retelling of this true love tragedy. It would not be Heston's last performance as Jackson (in 1958 he would play the General again in THE BUCCANEER with Yul Brynner as Jean Lafitte, at the battle of New Orleans). But this film shows Heston's strengths as a performer at a very young age as he and Hayward grow together as an aging, beleaguered married couple. His expression beside her death-bed, holding her hand and renewing his vow of an undying love is brilliant! Presidents are presidents, but they are also human beings primarily, and this movie brings that out wonderfully.

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 Post subject: Re: The President's Lady
PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 10:27 pm 
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Michelangelo

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In 1954:
Nominated Oscar Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Black-and-White (Lyle R. Wheeler,Leland Fuller,Paul S. Fox )

Nominated Oscar Best Costume Design, Black-and-White (Charles Le Maire,Renié)


SUSAN HAYWARD FILMS-The Presidents Lady (1953) with Charlton Heston
(contributed by moviemem.com)


Forum member 'lovelyrita' posted a thread (in the General section) about Susan Hayward and made a link to a wonderful clip in the youtube. Heston's interview and scenes of The President's Lady are located in the 2nd half of the clip. :thumbsup:
http://charltonhestonforums.freeforums.org/post3160.html#p3160
:cheers:


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 Post subject: Re: The President's Lady
PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2011 3:13 am 
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Prince Judah
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Thank you for that, Chfan. I'll surely watch it, later... time is running out at present.

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 Post subject: Re: The President's Lady
PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2012 10:56 pm 
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Michelangelo

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A clip of President's Lady: contributed by lovingtheclassics.com


A comment from the constributor of this clip:

Quote:
Want to watch the full movie on DVD?
Visit http://www.lovingtheclassics.com/The-Pr ... _2039.html


:sherlock: :cheers:


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 Post subject: Re: The President's Lady
PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 2:30 pm 
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Prince Judah
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Hello CHfan, that is a wonderful find. Thank you so much, friend. I wish they upload the entire movie in parts, in the youtube. It deserves such a wide circulation.

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 Post subject: Re: The President's Lady
PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 3:24 pm 
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This has long been one of my favorite films. It is a shame it has never been released on any home video format. I have a pretty good version that I taped off the Fox Movie Channel; which used to regularly show the film.


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 Post subject: Re: The President's Lady
PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 5:16 am 
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Marabunta
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I too as I have said 1000 times I loved this movie. It was so good and consistently look for it. if anyone ever happens on it PLEASE let me know..

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 Post subject: Re: The President's Lady
PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 6:04 am 
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I agree 1ooo times with you, Lovelyrita! I madly wish to watch this one, I am fond of biographical movies of famous persons, plus it is Heston's.

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 Post subject: Re: The President's Lady
PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 3:48 pm 
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This was just shown on the Fox Movie channel on Monday (a Presidents Day special?). It looked better than last time I recorded it. Blacks were darker, and the opening credits were "windowboxed" to show all of the sampler pattern style of the credits. I DVR'd it and will transfer it to DVD-R.

This is really one of Chuck's solid performances. It's rare to see an actor as confident and polished as he was so early in his film career. Chuck and Susan Hayward worked great together.


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