Begins in documentary style when U. S. Army General Mark Clark authenticates Claire Phillips' adventures and achievements, as an American citizen who rendered invaluable services to her ... See full summary »
On the sidewalks of the London theater district the buskers (street performers) earn enough coins for a cheap room. Charles, who recites dramatic monologues, sees that a young pickpocket, ... See full summary »
Living with her father and stepmother in Naples, Anna is very unhappy as her stepmother hinders her attempts to live her own life. While her parents are away, she goes out with Carlo, but ... See full summary »
Small time con artist Lefty Merrill has co-organized a crooked dance marathon and set-up his girlfriend to win the prize money. When his partner disappears with money before the contest is ... See full summary »
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 <email@example.com>
The protest march of the "army of the unemployed" in the story was no doubt a reference to the protest march of the "Bonus Army" in 1932, where veterans of WWI marched on Congress to demand payment of promised bonuses. They were attacked with tanks and tear gas by the U.S. Army led by Gen. Douglas MacArthur on orders of President Herbert Hoover. William Randolph Hearst, who railed against that action in his newpapers, saw to it that the President in this film helped the people. Meanwhile, Louis B. Mayer, a staunch Republican, delayed the movie until Hoover was out of office. See more »
When signing the order for the Ambassador to Greece, Hammond dips his pen twice in the inkwell in both the medium and wide shots. See more »
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.
26 of 34 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?