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Gabriel Over the White House
The Defining Moment FDR's Hundred Days and the Triumph of Hope
| Jonathan Alter
Posted on 11/13/2012 11:45:18 AM PST by Piggies-fly
Comments about TCM movie "Gabriel Over the White House" missed the real core issue: totalitarian dictatorship. William Randolph] Hearst believed that the country needed a dictator, but he wasn't sure FDR knew how to fill the role.
TOPICS: Government; History; Politics; TV/Movies
KEYWORDS: dictator; dictators; fdr; gabriel; hollywood; movie; moviereview; tcm; walterhuston; wrhearst
Comments about TCM movie "Gabriel Over the White House" missed the real core issue. "[William Randolph] Hearst believed that the country needed a dictator, but he wasn't sure FDR knew how to fill the role. So in February 1933, he set out to show Roosevelt the way. scratching out longhand changes in a film script he had purchased, he put words into the mouth of "President Hammond," the dictator to be played by the star Walter Huston in the 1933 hit, "Gabriel Over the White House." the film contains an implicit indictment of Hoover for mistreating the unemployed with a Hearst blueprint for how a benevolent dictator would straighten out the county. . . " When Congress tries to impeach President Hammond, he fires his cabinet, and dissolves the legislative branch. "Then he righteously declares martial law and approves the execution of his gangster enemies by firing squad in front of the Statue of Liberty, without the slightest indication in the film that there is anything wrong with doing so. . . Roosevelt liked the movie script so much that in the exhausting first weeks of his presidency he found time to help put some finishing touches on it, changing one scene from a battleship to a yacht and another from Washington to Baltimore, so that the demonstrators amassing against the government would not seem quite so threatening. . ."I want to send you this line to tell you how pleased I am with the changes you made in"Gabriel Over the White House", Roosevelt wrote Hearst less than month after assuming office. "I think it is an intensely interesting picture and should do much to help." That the Rooseveltian hero of the popular film was a dictator must have seemed an advantage to the real-life President. It would help pave the way for precipitous action, if the role required it." (The Defining Moment FDR's Hundred Days and the Triumph of Hope," by Jonathan Alter, Simon and Shuster, NY, 2006, pp 184-185)
So...when is the film airing? Or is it?
posted on 11/13/2012 11:56:45 AM PST
by Bloody Sam Roberts
('Need' now means wanting someone else's money. 'Greed' means wanting to keep your own...)
Both my parents were born in extreme poverty (one in Appalachia and the other in S.Dakota as children of subsistence farmers) Both voted Republican at a time when it was heresy to do so. Both hated FDR and claimed they were political prisoners of the “dictator”.
posted on 11/13/2012 11:58:31 AM PST
To: Bloody Sam Roberts
posted on 11/13/2012 12:59:05 PM PST
("As it was before Noah, so shall it be again,")
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