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  • Someone said that this film is much ado about nothing. They said that it spends an entire miniseries debating an absurdly narrow historical question. Did General Eisenhower have an affair with his English driver Kay Summersby? Harry Truman, who never liked Eisenhower, said that he wrote to General George C. Marshall and asked permission to divorce Mamie so he could marry this woman. Truman said Marshall wrote such a blistering response that he abandoned the idea. Truman said he destroyed the letter so it cannot be proven today. This aside, Robert Duvall is an amazing actor who really brings Eisenhower to life. He shows his humanity and his decency, especially when he has to make the decision for the Normandy Invasion. This is a fine miniseries in the tradition of Holocaust and Roots that gives a fine history lesson.
  • This film more than any other one tells me what a great actor Robert Duvall is! He is totally immersed in his character. With the makeup, he IS Ike. And Lee Remick is perfect in her role as Kay Summersby. I would recommend this movie to anyone.
  • Strong performances by Duvall as Eisenhower and Remick as his love interest. Duvall's Eisenhower demonstrates grit, determination, fallibility, growth, a sharp and quick wit, and the burden of sending thousands of men to their deaths in a desperate battle against a cunning enemy. Ike's interactions with Chruchill, Roosevelt, Montgomery and others are wonderfully acted, as are the touching scenes with Remick as Kay.

    Generally very sharp writing nicely contrasts stratified British culture and largely no-nonsense American character epitomized by Ike. Yet they all pull together under Ike's ever improving leadership and command of the large and small elements of war. The story also expresses a lot of humanity under very extraordinary and trying circumstances, but in a very calm and measured way. These are portraits of truly great men and women, portrayed by great actors.
  • After haveing studied General/President Eisenhower for sometime in several venues, all I can say is that Robert DuVall played the part just right. During 4 hours of this film, Robert DuVall was Eisenhower.

    I wish this title was available in some video format today, it is a tremendous look at the history of the ERA. The viewer must cut through the love story of Kay Summersby and Ike. Based on all accounts of those who were there, this was a completely one sided love affair. While Ike depended on Kay in many ways, there was no affair on his part.

    Once past that, the history is right on point.
  • Robert Duvall does Stalin, he does Adolf Eichmann, and here he does Dwight D Eisenhower, and does him brilliantly.

    This early docudrama chronicles (at 4 hours) Ike's rise from the Pentagon, to Commander of European Operations, and the end of the war. It additionally gives an honest focus on a wartime relationship Ike shared with his female British driver, Kate Summersby (Lee Remick).

    The film's inclusion of this aspect of Ike's command not only humanizes what might other wise be quite a hard edged movie, but also is effective counterpoint to war.

    Remick is great as Ms. Sommersby, a no-nonsense, level headed English-woman put in the most difficult of wartime circumstances, in love with a man with whom there is no long-term. The ugly contradiction being that, as long as the war continues, so will they.

    Duvall gives Ike many dimensions: strength, smart but far from infallible, diligence. I have no doubt that these may well be Ike's own persona, but in Mr. Duvall's portrayal, it is ingratiating, and believable.

    Good work guys.
  • Of the people that became presidents in the 20th Century, one of the very few who would have had some considerable space in our history books had he not become president was Dwight D. Eisenhower. Ike made his historical bones as the Supreme Allied Commander during World War II where he made decisions that shaped the very world we live in today. He was responsible for sending more Americans into battle than any other in history and it weighed heavily upon his shoulder.

    The principal of integrated allied command Americans and the British, Canadians, and various and sundry other allies was not new, but it took special talents to pull it off. Some in a roundabout way of denigrating Eisenhower's military talents said he was a better diplomat than warrior. The diplomacy aspect of his job as well as the military part is brought out very well in Ike though at times Ike was one rough diplomat.

    But first and foremost this is a love story, whether a true one is still a matter of speculation. Ike was like the millions of other Americans overseas, missing home and possibly taking comfort. There was considerable speculation of the gossipy underground type about Ike and his British driver Kay Summersby at the time. Summersby wrote one book post World War II about Ike, but the book she wrote on which this TV movie is based was written when she was dying of cancer and heavily in debt because of her medical bills. The physical aspect of the relationship if any is handled oh so delicately.

    Robert Duvall and Lee Remick really do become Eisenhower and Summersby, you feel like you're getting a fly on the wall of allied headquarters view of history. All the players are there, military leaders and civilian heads of state and government. Best scenes are Ike with Bernard L. Montgomery played to perfection by Ian Richardson and also with Charles DeGaulle beautifully done by Vernon Dobtscheff.

    I'm surprised no one has made a mini-series called Monty. Now that was one controversial general whose ill manners made diplomacy a high art in dealing with him. Richardson captures him beautifully, but also pay attention to Charles Gray as General Francis 'Freddie' DeGuingand, one of the unsung heroes of the war. Note his relationship to Montgomery and how he smooths out many problems caused by his boss's bad behavior. Maybe the British have done a Montt mini-series, hopefully this was emphasized. DeGuingand by all accounts was a man of great class.

    Because of Monty's personality he needed one kind of chief of staff. Ike the builder of allied bridges needed an abominable no man, guarding the gate and giving out the bad news. He had that in Walter Bedell Smith played here by J.D. Cannon. He could be really gruff and nasty and having an ulcer didn't help the situation. Later on as president Ike was similarly served by Sherman Adams until Adams was caught up in scandal and resigned as Chief of the White House staff in 1958. I would strongly recommend reading Stephen Ambrose's books on Eisenhower for additional insights.

    But for insights into the pressures on our Supreme Commander personal, political, and military don't ever pass up viewing one of television's best TV dramas, Ike.
  • Rome wasn't built in a day. Likewise, World War II was a lengthy, plodding war. This film (a whopping 270 minutes in length) follows IKE from his Pentagon days early in the war up to his rise to Supreme Allied Commander and ultimate victory. Interestingly enough, the film focuses its attention on IKE's relationship with his female British driver, Kay. Sound performances by Lee Remick and Robert Duvall make this TV mini-series surprisingly good. Numerous real footage appears often in the film in between chronological sequences. Much of this footage, originally black and white has been color tinted (this movie was made before colorization). All in all it provides an interesting effect. Bottom line is this. If you can handle 270 minutes of movie you just might enjoy this finely done film.
  • We can't quite tell whether this film is meant to be a love-story against a war background, or a war-story with a romantic sub-plot. The two themes appear to compete for dominance, rather to its cost.

    The two star-roles are General Dwight D. Eisenhower and his English (actually Irish) driver and secretary Kay Summersby, who were the subject of rumours that remain unconfirmed to this day. Her memoirs were as discreet and unrevealing as you would expect in 1948, before the war propaganda had had time to wear-off, especially as Ike was still alive. But after his death, she started writing a new version called 'Past Forgetting', apparently wanting to correct the record before she herself succumbed to cancer. The trouble was that her mind was going, and the story had to be finished by a ghost writer. How much was truth, and how much was catchpenny fiction, we can't tell. But as for "Did they, didn't they?", the answer seems to be "They wanted to, but didn't... quite."

    The film appears to make a vague reference to the non-event, when Ike says "I was about to make a damn fool of myself. Call it battle fatigue." Perhaps we can take this as a code for "I did make a damn fool of myself".

    Either way, there is no doubting the depth of feeling on both sides, and in a rather contrived farewell scene where the two of them are watching Noël Coward and Gertrude Lawrence singing 'I'll see you again' (featuring the lines 'Time may lie heavy between/But what has been is past forgetting'), the emotional force is powerful indeed.

    Their touching personal story, however, is rather too drowned-out by endless stock footage of D-Day and the Normandy campaign. Still, their performances are masterly, Robert Duvall big and confident, and Lee Remick surprising us with her realistic English accent. Of the rest of the cast, Ian Richardson looks fully mad enough to be Montgomery, but replicates his accent so convincingly that it can actually sound a little too like mimicking, and Vernon Dobtcheff makes a suitably lofty and chilly De Gaulle.

    The dialogue by Melville Shavelson is the best from any war film of its kind. When Monty asks Ike not to smoke, he adds "Is that an unreasonable request?", and Ike replies "No, it's the only reasonable remark you've made all morning." George Patton had famously declared "Brave men don't cry" to excuse the slapping of a teenage soldier in Sicily. When Ike forgives him and offers him command of the Third Army, it's Patton's turn to weep with emotion, and Ike gently reminds him "You see? Brave men do cry." So it comes as a let-down when Ike is made to say "For starters...", an irritating 70's cliché. Monty is referenced as Lieutenant-General, when he'd been a full General for some months. And dialogue apart, the scene where Ike visits Belsen in May 1945 is confusingly (and jarringly) captioned 1944.