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Gabriel Over the White House (1933)

Passed  -  Drama | Fantasy | Romance  -  31 March 1933 (USA)
6.5
Your rating:
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 729 users  
Reviews: 48 user | 14 critic

A political hack becomes President during the height of the Depression and undergoes a metamorphosis into an incorruptible statesman after a near-fatal accident.

Director:

(as Gregory LaCava)

Writers:

(screen play), (additional dialogue), 2 more credits »
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Title: Gabriel Over the White House (1933)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Karen Morley ...
Pendola Molloy
...
Arthur Byron ...
Jasper Brooks - Secretary of State
...
C. Henry Gordon ...
David Landau ...
Samuel S. Hinds ...
Dr. H.L. Eastman (as Samuel Hinds)
William Pawley ...
...
Claire Du Brey ...
Nurse (as Claire DuBrey)
Edit

Storyline

Newly inaugurated President Judson Hammond is content to live out the next four years exercising a hands-off approach and leaving the problems of Depression America to local authorities. But after a miraculous recovery from an auto accident, Hammond is ready to take on every social ill and neither Congress, gangsters nor the nations of the world will stop him. Written by Erik Gregersen <erik@astro.as.utexas.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Fantasy | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

31 March 1933 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El despertar de una nación  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (preview)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The onscreen credit for the author of the novel was "Anonymous," but Thomas Frederick Tweed is listed in the movie's copyright entry. See more »

Goofs

When Pendola and Beekman are speaking in the foyer of the White House early in the film, as she walks away the reflection of the moving microphone boom can be seen in the glass doors behind them. See more »

Quotes

Hon. Judson Hammond - The President of the United States: [as the Vice-President leaves the room] Good night, Mr. Vice-President. I hope you sleep well.
Vice President: When did a Vice-President do anything else?
[Hammond shakes hands with him, but wipes it in disdain after he leaves]
See more »


Soundtracks

Symphony No. 1 in C Minor, Op. 68
(1876) (uncredited)
Music by Johannes Brahms
A fourth movement theme is played during the opening credits
The same theme is used often as a leitmotif suggesting Archangel Gabriel's presence
See more »

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User Reviews

 
How A Republic Falls to an Emperor
12 September 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Circa 20 b.c., there was another government similar to our own - the Roman Republic. That government was ruled by a Senate which was picked via elections... not exactly the same, but similar to our American Senate & House (Congress). That democratic Republic ceased to exist when a man declared himself "Emperor".

It was that history Benjamin Franklin had in mind when he said, immediately following the Convention that gave birth to the U.S. Constitution: "You have a Republic... if you can keep it." Franklin and the other Founders knew well the dangers of a repeat of Roman history.

.

That brings us to this movie - This movie shows America in 1933, during the worst of the Great Recession. It shows the fall of the American Republic to a president as Emperor, not in name, but in acts. He suspends Congress & suspends democratic Law-Making, and becomes a modern-day Emperor. Exactly what the American Founders feared.

Those who have seen this movie may ask, "So what? He performed good acts & brought the country out of the depression." The answer lies in Germany where this film became reality. The German democratic Republic fell... taken over by a man who was Emperor, not in name, but in act... and who appeared to be a good man serving the People. But that man suspended democracy, took absolute control, and killed thousands of his own citizens.

Just like the Emperors of Rome.

When this movie was made, I'm sure a lot of people thought President = Emperor = Dictator was a good solution to the 1930's Recession. But now hindsight shows us, via looking at Germany, how dangerous it is to suspend democratic Rule and hand too much control to one man.

I gave this movie a 10, not because I approve of Dictatorship, but because it shows how easy it is to slide down the slippery slope from American Freedom to Presidential Tyranny. It's a warning to future generations.


25 of 31 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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