In 1960, Dwight Eisenhower was U.S. president, and the nation had not yet experienced the loss of faith in government that would follow the social upheavals of the 1960s and '70s. A biography of one of the nation's most accomplished and heroic presidents was timely. Dore Schary had written a Tony-winning Broadway play about the early struggles of Franklin Delano Roosevelt to overcome polio, after which he served four terms as president, from 1933 to 1945. Schary adapted his play for the screen, hiring the play's director, Vincent Donahue, to direct the film, and Ralph Bellamy to reprise his Broadway role as Roosevelt. The result was a critical and commercial success. Greer Garson gave a memorable, dignified performance as Eleanor Roosevelt, her first major role in years and her last of any note, for which she won a Golden Globe and was nominated for an Oscar, losing to Elizabeth Taylor in Butterfield 8. The title refers to the Maine island that was the Roosevelt family's home.