Skip to comments.Gabriel over the White House(1933) (Scary Liberal Political Fantasy)
Posted on 09/19/2012 4:46:09 AM PDT by rightwingintelligentsia
In 1933, at the height of the bleakness and desperation of the Depression, MGM released this genuine curiosity piece -- directed by comedy (!) director Gregory La Cava -- concerning a Warren G. Harding-like partisan hand-shaker President of the United States who, after seeing a vision, revokes the Constitution, becomes a reigning dictator, and solves all of the nation's problems. Walter Huston plays Judson Hammond, recently elected President of the United States, who treats his elected office as a joke and acts as a dispenser of Party favors. But after an automobile accident, he sees the Archangel Gabriel, who inspires him to declare himself dictator. His first line of business after his conversion is to fire his Cabinet. This leads to impeachment proceedings, but Hammond enters the Senate chamber and takes over the Congress. He then tackles unemployment by meeting with John Bronson (David Landau), the leader of masses of marching unemployed men. When gangster Nick Diamond (Henry C. Gordon) and his goons assassinate Bronson, Hammond uses his brown-shirted storm troopers to blast their way into Diamond's headquarters and blow him away. The President then intimidates the leaders of countries that owe money to the United States to pay their debts then forces them to disarm and pledge world peace. Hammond rapidly becomes the most popular fascist President in United States history. ~ Paul Brenner, Rovi
You can watch the entire film on You Tube right now:
An appalling piece of fascist/collectivist propaganda. This movie is discussed in Jonah Goldberg's Liberal Fascism. It's a good example of it.
Thanks. Didn’t realize it was the subject of last night’s Classic Movie alert.
It’s disturbing to think how close this country came to embracing fascism in the 1930s.
The Walter Huston character was a lot more likable as Warren Harding before the accident. Afterwards he reminded me of Jimmy Carter with an overdose of steroids.
The same culture brought Hitler.
This is a keeper for research.
The “trial” conducted by the guy in the military uniform was chilling. And I’m afraid there’s some today who deep down would welcome such for those who defend godliness, traditional morality and innocent life.
What the excerpt I used omits is that Hammond imposes Martial Law after declaring a State of Emergency. That is also chilling.
BTW, Rotten Tomatoes is truly rotten. Their critic percentage is skewed because their own staff chooses which reviews to include! So, if they choose only negative reviews (like for Last Ounce of Courage), the reviewers percentage will be zero. What a load of BS.
Been about twenty years since I last saw it, but the film is a fascinatingly bizarre relic. MGM and Mayer, which made the film were actually quite anti-FDR. The movie, as I recall, isn’t as pro-socialist as it is a sort of pro-fascist/pro-dictator fever dream. Pretty disturbing item, to have come from American culture, but undoubtedly reflective of the Depression-era desperation of the times. Not to mention quite an insight into the progressive mindset which hasn’t changed, and would welcome a thug-style Hitler, Chavez, Castro at the drop of a hat, as long as their lefty agenda is pursued.
Saw it. It was like today. When the POTUS later in the film says equal for all; my husband and I both said communism at the same time. I also found it interesting when the POTUS secretary talking to his aide said that Gabriel was not always bad. Communist statement if I ever heard one. I believe Herbert Hoover was POTUS when this was made and boy did he get a bad deal.
My husband and I were really surprised at that trial.
Checking my AFI reference book, the movie was filmed between late February and March 1933, and released very shortly thereafter (turnover times between filming and film releases back then were astonishingly quick).
More trivia is that blonde leading lady Karen Morley was a big-time radical lefty.
There was another film from that same period that I remember seeing as a child on TV. It was about a man who was trying to take over America by controling the newspapers and he even had a private army of thugs on motorcycles. But I can’t remember the name of the film.
I can believe that.
1933 was also the year the utopian novel Lost Horizon was written. Wanna laugh? Watch this pinko wet dream of a movie.
Oh, I’ve definately seen the film “Lost Horizon.” On my initial viewing (thirty years ago), I cut it some slack, because I always found fantasy/lost-civilization films and that whole genre fun and fascinating. However, upon repeated viewings, I could barely sit through it without being overwhelmed by intense revulsion at its utopianist mindset. I invariably find myself identifying not with the Ronald Colman ‘hero,’ but with his brother (played by John Howard) who wants to get the hell out of there!
The movie was an absolute nightmare for America! This is what the Communists in Hollywood were having wet dreams about way back in 1933 and they put it into a movie. It’s the same today, only we have Walter Huston’s character and worse in the White House.
Amazing, isn’t it?