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Gabriel Over the White House (1933)

Passed  -  Drama | Fantasy | Romance  -  31 March 1933 (USA)
6.5
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 731 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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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Karen Morley ...
...
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)
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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 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 »

Goofs

In the cabinet meeting after Hammond's accident, Hammond is holding a document in the wide shot, has both hands down on the table in the medium shot, and is again holding the document in the cut back to the wide shot. See more »

Quotes

Pendola 'Pendie' Molloy: [to Beekman about the President] He's doing the things you wanted. The way he thinks is so simple and honest. It sounds a little crazy. If he's mad, it's a divine madness. Look at the chaos and catastrophe the sane men of this world have brought about!
See more »


Soundtracks

Semper Fidelis
(1888) (uncredited)
Music by John Philip Sousa
Played during most of the opening presidential motorcade
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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Tend to agree with the synopsis poster romojo
How can we see it ? jean-no
Other Films Depicting the Bonus Army Marchers? chrismo1
That's one calm crack-up pepperdoggie
Hearst's Revisions and FDR's Enthusiastic Response gvb0907
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