LOS ANGELES — After Stephen Spielberg’s “Lincoln” received critical acclaim, little- known director Robert Wilcox announced today the release of his inspiring presidential biopic, “William Henry Harrison.”
The epic tale follows our ninth president who died just 32 days after taking office. Kidd Martin, known for his role as “Axed Zombie” in “The Walking Dead” Season 1/ Episode 1, gives a breakout performance as William Henry Harrison.
Just like “Lincoln,” the film follows Harrison during the most critical part of his presidency. The film begins on March 4th, 1841, the day of Harrison’s inauguration. Historically accurate, the audience is taken through Harrison’s one-hour and forty-five minute speech for which he did not wear an overcoat or hat. I tip my hat to the special effects artist for making me feel like I was right there, listening outside in that very snowstorm. After Harrison’s dry oration fades, the audience is whisked away with our ninth president as he rides, without mittens or any wool accessory, through the streets of Washington for his inaugural parade. There were many words for Daniel Day Lewis as Lincoln, and in this two-hour scene, one could only describe Martin’s Harrison as “freezing.”
The filmmakers chose to set aside the riveting presidential campaign between Harrison and his opponent, Martin Van Buren. Their campaign was known as the “log cabin and hard cider campaign” but we do not find out why. We also never find out that William Henry Harrison led a thousand soldiers to battle against the Native Americans at Tippecanoe River. No, this film rightfully and masterfully honors the defining moment of William Henry Harrison’s life and I assure you, it’s a must see.
[Spoiler Alert] Harrison gets pneumonia and dies. But how Wilcox chooses to portray the death, this critic will leave for you to watch. I can only describe Martin’s role in this scene as “dead.”
“William Henry Harrison” hits theaters on January 4th with the 3D sequel “John Tyler” opening just 32 days later.