Benedict Arnold: A Question of Honor [2003]

The most sullied figure of the American Revolution receives partial redemption in Benedict Arnold: A Question of Honor. Produced for the A&E network, this factual drama reveals the lesser-known circumstances of Arnold's dishonor, beginning in 1777 and chronicling his fall from greatness. The conquering hero of Saratoga and other victories of the Revolution finds himself in an impossible predicament, his allegiance torn between his British loyalist wife (Jane Brennan) and his paternally devoted commander, George Washington (Kelsey Grammer), as his Colonial detractors cast him into a tragic no-win scenario. Authentically detailed and blessed by playwright William Mastrosimone's poetic period dialogue, Benedict Arnold successfully explores the personal and political facets of a great soldier's downfall. Aidan Quinn's expressive melancholy perfectly suits his title role, and Grammer transcends Frasier, lending appropriate gravitas--and some physical resemblance--to his portrayal of America's future president. Like A&E's earlier film The Crossing, this is compelling historical drama, entertaining, intelligent, and emotionally complex. --Jeff Shannon

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