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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
A scene for the movie depicting bullets fired at the President's car was deleted following the attempted assassination of President-elect Franklin D. Roosevelt. See more »
When John Bronson and his daughter, Alice, are seated on a bench with the "Army of the Unemployed", he is approached by someone and gets up from the bench. In the next shot, he is again seated and gets up again. See more »
Mr. President, my paper's indictment against the government is a staggering one. Starvation is wanton everywhere, from coast to coast and from Canada to Mexico. Millions of dollars are poured into new battleships. Farmers burn corn and wheat, food is thrown into the sea while men and women are begging for bread. Men are freezing without coats while cotton rots in the field. Thousands are homeless, millions of vacant homes. Over 5000 gang land murders last year, and only five gangsters in prison...
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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.
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