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The President's Mystery (1936)

Approved | | Drama, Mystery, Thriller | 28 September 1936 (USA)
A millionaire with a crumbling personal life comes up with an idea on how he can disappear, start a new life without anyone knowing who he is and be able to take all his money with him.



(story conceived by), (story) | 7 more credits »

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Credited cast:
James Blake
Charlotte Brown (as Betty Furness - courtesy MGM)
George Sartos
Ilka Blake
Mel Ruick ...
Wade Boteler ...
Guy Usher ...
Police Lieutenant
Robert Homans ...
Sergeant (as Robert E. Homans)
Joe Reed
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Harry Antrim ...
Inspector A.R. Lahey
Undetermined Supporting Role (unconfirmed)


A millionaire with a crumbling personal life comes up with an idea on how he can disappear, start a new life without anyone knowing who he is and be able to take all his money with him.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The thriller that speaks right out! See more »


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

28 September 1936 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

One for All  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


| (edited)

Sound Mix:

(RCA Victor High Fidelity Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


This is the only film where a sitting President of the United States has been credited as a writer. See more »


James Blake's dog accompanies him on the fishing trip, and then doesn't appear when he goes into the meeting hall or after that at all. See more »

Crazy Credits

President Franklin D. Roosevelt, talking with a magazine editor on one of his favorite subjects - mystery stories - advanced the question: "How can a man disappear with five million dollars of his own money in negotiable form and not be traced?" Challenged by this, the editor enlisted the aid of six famous authors. The result was a thrilling story. The same problem intrigued the producers of this photoplay, and in another form is now brought to the screen. The proceeds of the sale of the plot, both for publication and motion picture rights, have been given voluntarily by the publisher to the Georgia Warm Springs Foundation. See more »


Featured in Red Hollywood (1996) See more »

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User Reviews

Fighting the business cartels
22 March 2008 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

This is an interesting C film made on a tiny budget and directed by the run of the mill Phil Rosen, who made 142 films including such things as Charlie Chan and Shadow pictures. The film is a shameless attempt to exploit President Franklin Roosevelt's name at the box office. Roosevelt suggested an idea for a mystery story, six authors then wrote stories on that theme, which were published successfully, and this film takes inspiration from them (presumably without authority or without paying) and opens with a lot of ballyhoo about being 'the President's mystery'. And just in case anybody had any doubts, that is the title of the film too. It's called rubbing it in and also 'going for it'. Maybe they made a few bucks. However, having made all of those cynical observations, I can add that the film (which is not even a mystery story, by the way) has a serious message, which is treated with just enough restraint not to be a fantasy. Henry Wilcoxon plays a high-powered cartel lawyer who leaves his old life behind and sees the light. She takes the form of Betty Furness, who jumps from being 'Miss Brown' to 'darling' in about one second's screen time, so that an entire wooing and romance must have been left on the cutting room floor. But then, they don't really worry about such things in C pictures. On with the action. He decides to fight the cartel. The cartel send their bully boys round to wreck a factory, Wilcoxon is square-jawed and heroic and saves it, despite being in a framed rap for murder, indeed in jail for it, and the little guys struggle against the big guys in a very thirties way. There is lots of workers' action going on, speeches, incitement, dirty tricks, fistfights. The whole Great Depression looms large, Roosevelt is the hero, and the grit is gritty. It may be low-budget, it may be corny, but it is thoughtful, and avoids being propaganda, believe it or not. In the thirties, cartels may have been in people's imaginations a lot, but these days cartels are in people's faces, and we know they are no fantasy. Today's rogue traders and scheming moghuls make struggles to close down some canning factories in the interests of a monopoly, as in this film, look tame indeed. Sociologically and economically minded people would find this particular film relevant to their concerns, and it keeps you watching, so you can have some fun while you are worrying about society.

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