FDR loved movies. Movies offered him a temporary escape from the pressures and burdens of the Presidency which were extraordinarily heavy during the Great Depression and World War II. He especially liked comedies, particularly the work of the 1930s and 1940s comedy team Abbott and Costello. He even invited them to perform at the White House several times while he was President.
Why not host a movie night at your house this summer?
- What kinds of movies do you like?
- Who are your favorite actors and actresses?
- If you could invite a famous entertainer to your house who would it be?
- What is your favorite movie of all time?
- What is your favorite snack while watching a movie?
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Because he was unable to go to the movies like everyone else, in part because of being the President and in part because of his difficulty walking, FDR would have the movies shown for himself and special guests at the White House or at his home in Hyde Park. He even arranged to see the movie Casablanca while he was on his way to the city for one of his wartime conferences! In addition to the movies themselves he also liked to hear gossip about the private lives and public shenanigans of Hollywood movie stars.
FDR was also fond of home movies and in recent years several home movies of President and Mrs. Roosevelt have been discovered. These short black and white and silent films show the first couple having fun while sailing, picnicking and playing games on the lawn at Easter. You can view these on the Roosevelt Presidential Library’s YouTube page. https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLnYXL2y0SAPEReXE20bCNWUXPySc-odtI
FDR’s favorite movie was reported to be____________________.
- My Cousin Vinny
- Gone With the Wind
- I’m No Angel