What are we to make of GABRIEL OVER THE WHITE HOUSE today? Walter Huston stars as a corrupt, self-serving politician who becomes President of the United States. It's business as usual until he's critically injured in a car accident. Given up for dead, he suddenly revives (with help from above we're led to believe hence the film's title) and proceeds to right America's (and ultimately the World's) wrongs by any means possible. He dissolves Congress because they won't take action on any of his initiatives, has criminals tried and executed by military courts, and finally uses America's military superiority to enforce World Peace. All of this 6 years before the outbreak of WW II.
This film was made in 1933 when the Great Depression was at its height and the New Deal was just getting underway. FDR had just been elected as had Adolph Hitler in Germany. The film was privately financed by William Randolph Hearst as a blueprint for how FDR should run the country. FDR didn't take the hint but it would appear that Hitler did although he didn't have divine intervention and ultimately took the film's methods and its message to its extreme and horrifying conclusion. Although billed as a fantasy, much of what GABRIEL had to say came to pass in the 1930s and seems strangely relevant to how American politics are playing out today.
The director, Gregory La Cava, began his career as a cartoonist in the silent era before turning to live action films. He is best remembered today for MY MAN GODFREY (1936) and STAGE DOOR (1937). He was also a good friend and drinking companion of W.C. Fields. Walter Huston had played Abraham Lincoln for D.W. Griffith a few years earlier and his character is an amalgam of Lincoln and FDR. FDR reportedly loved the film and watched it several times. Although made by New Deal liberals, the movie is amazingly pro-Fascist which seems to be OK as long as you do the right things. A one-of-a-kind film that still has the power to polarize audiences.
- Actors: Walter Huston, Arthur Byron, Karen Morley, Franchot Tone, Dickie Moore
- Directors: Gregory La Cava
- Format: NTSC
- Language: English
- Region: All Regions
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Number of discs: 1
- Studio: Warner Bros. Digital Dist
- DVD Release Date: 25 Jan 2010
- Run Time: 87 minutes
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- ASIN: B003552QUE
Amazon Bestsellers Rank:
39,567 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
- #28012 in Movies (Movies & TV)