Great Moments in Cinema: That Time FDR Got A Handjob From His Cousin in Hyde Park on Hudson

All we have to fear is an explosion of baby batter, my dear—probably something FDR said.

All we have to fear is an explosion of baby batter, my dear—probably something FDR said.

The job of a pop culture writer like myself is to remember. I am a professional rememberer. It is my function to remember not just for my own sake but for society as a whole. I have taken it upon myself to remember the great failures of our last century or so, primarily but not entirely cinematic in nature. I was first given the estimable and enviable task of writing a book helping us remember “Weird Al” Yankovic in all of his magnificence and glory, then I gave myself the gig of remembering the American pop parodist’s entire recorded oeuvre on a song-by-song basis with the Weird Accordion to Al column and book. 

But mostly I see my job, no, my sacred duty as an artist, thinker and man, as reminding people that a movie exists where Franklin Delano Roosevelt receives a hand job from a distant cousin. The movie, I hopefully don’t have to remind you, was Hyde Park on Hudson. This moment left such an indelible impression on me that I think about it at least once a month. I’m not sure I can say that of any other movie. I mean, I fucking adore The Master and it got under my skin in a really profound and lasting way, but my brain does not randomly choose to remember a scene from The Master on a monthly basis the way it does the moment in Roger Michell’s crowd-pleasing historical biopic when the man who famously thundered “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself!” and heroically led the nation out of the Great Depression gets his crank yanked by a distant cousin to completion. 

Hyde Park on Hudson is no mere movie. It was made, like all movies, to make an impression, to wow audiences and critics alike, to win awards like the conceptually similar and thematically overlapping The King’s Speech. On paper, the movie certainly looks impressive: Bill Murray, our greatest and most beloved funnyman, a cult figure who has attained the status of American folk hero for his mysterious and delightful ways, playing Franklin Delano Roosevelt, arguably our greatest and most beloved statesman and leader in a movie with serious Oscar hopes. 

square.jpg

Despite its impressive pedigree, Hyde Park on Hudson did not win awards. It was not critically lauded. The critical establishment did not embrace it. The world seemed intent on forgetting the movie where Franklin Delano Roosevelt is manually stimulated until orgasm by a randy relation, possibly because it contains a scene where the four-term Commander in Chief gets a hand job from someone whose genes are doing the back stroke in the same pool as the late head of state. 

It’s precisely because the world is so intent on scrubbing this movie from the historical record that I am so intent on reminding each and every last one of you that there was a screenplay with a scene where a dude gets jerked off by his cousin, and that dude just happened to be FDR, and that screenplay attracted A-list talent like Bill Murray and Laura Linney and what appears to be a pretty nice budget as well as a theatrical release. 

When Bill Murray dies he will be mourned endlessly and excessively. His legacy will be honored and overrated and religiously celebrated. Part of that legacy will consist of playing FDR in an actual, genuine, real life movie where the legendary American whose heroic leadership helped defeat the Axis Powers in World War II gets his trouser snake man-handled by a distant relation until it erupts in messy, ecstatic relief. 

I know when Murray dies I’ll be thinking of Groundhog Day and Rushmore and Caddyshack and all of the other classics that made him an American idol. But mostly I’ll think of his face transfixed in feigned sensual bliss as a distant cousin helps him attain erotic release and escape the horror of blue balls. 

hyde_park_hudson_704.jpg

So I implore you all to remember that Bill Murray made a movie where he played FDR getting a hand job from his cousin because the burden of single-handedly keeping this moment alive in the public imagination is, frankly, exhausting. I’d love to share that oppressive weight with other dedicated rememberers committed to sharing the glory of this transcendent moment of cinema so that future generations are not afflicted with the same Hyde Park on Hudson-specific amnesia as our unfortunate generation. 

jar-jar-binks-padme-funeral-google-search.png

I make a very silly living through Patreon so if you would be kind enough to consider pledging even a dollar over at you can have access to patron-exclusive content, polls and more at https://www.patreon.com/nathanrabinshappyplace