The President's Lady

1953

Biography / Drama

0
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Rotten 60%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 45%
IMDb Rating 6.8 10 836

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Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
March 26, 2022 at 11:49 PM

Director

Cast

George Chakiris as Nashville Party Guest
Charlton Heston as President Andrew Jackson
Susan Hayward as Rachel Donelson
James Best as Samuel Donelson
720p.BLU
899.73 MB
978*720
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 37 min
P/S counting...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by MartinHafer 7 / 10

I hate Jackson but liked the movie.

This film is only about a small portion of Jackson's life--when he met, courted and married his wife, Rachel. It doesn't talk about his career as a general, the Trail of Tears, the Battle of New Orleans, his invasion of Spanish Florida, his closing the National Bank or many of his other exploits and only BRIEFLY talks about the rest of his exciting life. This isn't surprising, as in the 1950s Jackson was a revered figure and they just wanted to present a romantic version of his life. Today, there's a push to take him off the $20 because of changing sensibilities. My how times change!

I should be honest about this film. I resisted watching it for years because I am a retired history teacher and consider Andrew Jackson the most evil and awful president in US history. The reasons are many but it all boils down to his being an extremely trashy person--prone to acting rashly and selfishly and NEVER looking at what's best for the country. He was a great man...but very, very flawed, that's for sure. But IMDb is not a place for me to rant about Jackson. I'm mentioning this because it does show that I have a strong predisposition to dislike the film and I only saw it (finally) because I like Charlton Heston's movies. So, the fact that I actually LIKED the film and thought it very well made says something! The acting is very nice (particularly by Hayward whose performance was surprisingly restrained), the script actually very close to the truth and the direction nice. Who would have figured?!

Reviewed by bkoganbing 8 / 10

Rachel and Andrew

The figure of Andrew Jackson in American history is one that is constantly being reevaluated by historians. He was the champion of the common man in his day though the qualification should be made, the common white man. He was a slave owner, unapologetic in that regard, and American Indians have no cause to love him as he favored their complete removal to west of the Mississippi in his time.

Yet at the same time he was the spearhead of a movement to grant the franchise to the common Caucasian man. He was the first president who came from west of the Appalachians having moved from South Carolina to Tennessee which served as his base his whole political career. Our first six presidents came from the landed gentry who were the original founding fathers. Jackson worked his way up from poverty and never forget his roots no matter how rich he became.

Jackson was also the ideal of the frontier civilian soldier. Though with no military training so to speak, he distinguished himself in campaigns against the Indians and won an impressive victory at New Orleans beating some of the best of Wellington's Army from the Peninsular War in Europe. That victory is what sealed his reputation and eventually put him in the White House.

Irving Stone's biographical novel on which The President's Lady is based concentrates not on Jackson the historical figure, but on the love affair between Andrew Jackson and Rachel Donelson Robards. Rachel is played by Susan Hayward and she's a frontier woman and was until the day she died. Their love gets off to a rocky start because Rachel is divorced from her first husband Lewis Robards and weds Andrew thinking the divorce is final. In fact it wasn't and technically she was guilty of bigamy. They had to marry again and Jackson always defended his wife's honor by any means necessary as the film shows.

Charlton Heston came over from his home studio of Paramount to play Andrew Jackson in this 20th Century Fox production. He plays the tempestuous Jackson and it became one of the roles he was most identified with even after he was Moses in The Ten Commandments. In fact he played Jackson again in the DeMille supervised remake of The Buccaneer.

What The President's Lady does lack is any development of secondary characters. This film is strictly a star's vehicle. But when you got a pair of stars like Susan Hayward and Charlton Heston maybe it doesn't matter.

The film ends with the presidential campaign of 1828 and it was one of the nastiest in our history. The elite of the east knew it would lose power and fought with everything they could throw. Rachel's two divorces became campaign fodder.

By the way the Jackson camp weren't exactly shrinking violets either in this race. Still it did get down and dirty when it came to her.

The President's Lady holds up very well for today's audience and if Andrew Jackson is no political hero for good reasons to a lot of people, he was in fact a great romantic figure and more than a model husband. In fact it's really what The President's Lady is all about.

Reviewed by rmax304823 6 / 10

Heartbreak Lay Just Around the Corner.

Enjoyable semi-biography of the tempestuous president Andrew Jackson (Heston) seen through the eyes of his wife, Rachel (Hayward).

We learn that Jackson is proud, a man of honor, that he falls in love with Rachel on a riverboat, marries her while she's still married to someone else, defends her name violently, brings her an abandoned Indian baby when she's unable to have her own, smokes a pipe, dislikes politics, is away from home often, has a gentle heart, and is easily manipulated by his understanding wife, to whom he remains devoted throughout his life.

In between, in a brief and offhand way, we learn that he becomes Attorney General of Tennessee, commands the state militia, fights in the Creek war, is appointed a General in the Army, beats the British at the Battle of New Orleans (after a peace treaty had already been signed, not mentioned), and is elected president. We don't get to see any of this, because the story is about Rachel and her joys and travails.

She suffers one tragedy after another. A brother is killed by Indians, her adopted Indian baby dies, she's insulted in public and called a prostitute -- which seems almost tame by comparison with today's name calling. Finally she collapses from a nameless illness in a muddy street. Every few minutes, Rachel seems to collapse into someone's arms and sob.

I just realized something. I clicked the spoiler alert box because I didn't want to reveal the fact that Andrew Jackson became president of the United States of America. In the back of my mind was the fact that a recent poll of high school students found that the majority couldn't place the American Civil War in its correct half century. And a substantial number didn't know which countries were on which side in World War II -- many believed that we and the Germans fought the Russians. Something is warped. Either our society's shared data base is dangerously eroded or I need a frontal lobotomy. Somebody hand me that garden trowel.

If you're going to fulfill a feminine fantasy, Charlton Heston as the devoted Andrew Jackson will do just fine. He's tall, handsome, baritoned, and he rises in his station from rough-hewn woodsman to master of a huge Southern-plantation style mansion called The Hermitage in Tennessee. He's masterful and terribly wealthy, but dumb enough to be guided by a clever and loyal wife. Rachel narrates the film until she dies of that nameless disease then, for the last few minutes, Heston's sonorous voice takes over as he assumes the office of president. Not that he gives us any hint of his politics. His few sentences are all about his gummy memories of the beautiful Rachel.

Susan Hayward is pretty good as Rachel, her New York accent notwithstanding. Heston, I don't believe, had yet to develop his acting chops. In the violent scenes he grimaces toothfully, as if smiling, in order to project a strenuous effort. However, he certainly LOOKS enough like Andrew Jackson, if the picture on the paper currency is accurate. He was to play Jackson again. Henry Levin's direction is pedestrian but gets the job done.

It's really an old-fashioned movie. Jackson is a paragon and Rachel is his equal. I don't think they'd make a biopic of ANYBODY today without revealing some secret vices, even if they had to be fabricated. They'd give Jackson a closet full of ladies' slippers or something.

I enjoyed it though, especially because of the performances of Hayward and Heston. They seem to work well together. And there is an occasional humorous touch in the script.

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