“The President’s Lady” is basically a historically accurate look at the relationship between Andrew Jackson and his wife, Rachel.
Jackson (Charlton Heston) met Rachel (Susan Hayward) and they had an immediate connection, although she was married at the time. This 1953 black and white film was taken from the novel by Irving Stone and has a wonderful score by Alfred Newman.
When they met, Rachel was married yet estranged from her husband. Later, when Rachel and Jackson wanted to marry, they were surprised that her husband had already been granted a divorce. So that set them free to marry. Unfortunately, the divorce was never final and after a couple years they learned that they had been living together as husband and wife without being husband and wife. This set off an avalanche of gossip and the word “adulterer” followed Rachel for the rest of her life.
But the love between Jackson and Rachel was strong and even though he was away much of the time, their bond could never be broken. As he moved up the ranks in the army and made a name for himself and was dubbed a “hero,” Rachel was always on his side. And when people taunted her about her illicit past, he was always there to defend her.
Through public scandal, wars and the death of their adopted Indian baby, Jackson and Rachel were the consummate couple, always in love and always willing to do everything for the other. They had their difficulties and stood up to everything life threw at them – together.
The film begins at the moment the two met and ends at the Inauguration of Jackson as president. Jackson was famous for his hot temper and for gambling. Yet that did not stop the public from electing him the seventh president of the United States. Unfortunately, Rachel never made it to the White House.
The movie is endearing, charming and definitely heartbreaking. Get your tissues because you will need them as the lives of this loving couple play out on the screen.
This first-ever Blu-ray edition is limited. It is from Twilight Time and includes an isolated music track to enjoy the stirring love theme of the Jacksons. The chemistry between Hayward and Heston is magnetic, making them a great couple on screen. It’s interesting to note that five years after this movie, Heston appeared again as Andrew Jackson in “The Buccaneer.”