(1937, Republic) Alan Baxter, Andrea Leads, Owen Davis, Astrid Allwyn. Captivating story of two brothers, one good, one bad. The good one becomes a lawyer while the bad one resorts to crime and ultimately...
Struggling songwriter Judy Walker talks her way into the apartment of a famous composer, and finds that he's on vacation. Homeless and without any money, she decides to stay at his place ... See full summary »
John H. Auer
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 »
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 »
Reading some of the information about how The President's Mystery came into being it seems like that story would make a far better film than The President's Mystery itself. Even if I had seen the director's cut which was originally 80 minutes. Sad to say about 3/8 of this film seems to have been gutted and I had to fill in a lot of blanks.
Another president named Warren G. Harding had a campaign song that came about just about like this film. At the famous Republican convention of 1920 several prominent songwriters did a collaborative effort and came up with a campaign song that featured such gems as "we need another Lincoln to do our country's thinking, Mr. Harding we're behind you". None of the writers which included Irving Berlin and George Gershwin took copyright credit.
Here Franklin D. Roosevelt pitches a story idea about whether a rich man could liquidate his assets and just disappear. Six prominent authors of the time and their names are listed on the credits of The President's Mystery wrote a collaborative story. Of course when have that much variety in the mix the result can be bland.
This film can't make up its mind whether it's a screwball comedy, a murder mystery, or in the end a Capra like populist song for the common man. Henry Wilcoxon is our protagonist who does liquidate his assets and leaves an unhappy marriage with Evelyn Brent and moves down south and finds a company town where the cannery is shut down and everyone on relief as they called public assistance back in the day. He gets the place started again, but some old enemies in the person of Sidney Blackmer try to defeat his plans. It turns out someone murdered Evelyn after Wilcoxon left town and he's looking good for it.
Betty Furness is the country girl who wins Wilcoxon and Barnett Parker is his former butler who saves the day.
The film was shut on a nickel and dime budget by the even tighter than usual fisted Herbert J. Yates and Republic Pictures. Since the overhead was cheap, FDR's Warm Springs Foundation for Infantile Paralysis I'm sure got a nice check from Republic where the picture credits say all profits went to.
Maybe the film might be higher rated if we could see the whole thing, but we have to go with what we have.
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