One of over 700 Paramount Productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by Universal ever since. However, because of legal complications, this particular title was not included in the original television package and may not have ever been televised. See more »
Europe is at war, and our isolationist President is determined to stay out of it. That's the most compelling component of this muddled government thriller, which suffers from too many principal characters, an unstarry cast, B-movie production values, and a rather ludicrous premise. To get the public's mind off war and stanch a coup by labor-fascist "gray shirts," the Prez stages his own kidnapping, while a White House secretary romances a Secret Serviceman, while big business (in the form of five fatcats in one smoke-filled room) rub their hands in anticipatory glee of munitions profits, while the Eleanor-like First Lady grieves stoically, while... oh, skip it.
The normally excellent William Wellman can't salvage this script, which simplifies Washington politics down to absurdity and has lots of character actors unconvincingly waving guns at each other and making stentorian statements of the war-is-bad variety. There are a few compensations: the unlikely sight of Paul Kelly flattening Peggy Conklin in one punch, a snappy line or two, and a very young Rosalind Russell, impressive as a cynical lobbyist's wife.
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