Synopsis by Hal Erickson
In many ways, the history of the cautionary fable Strange Holiday is more fascinating than the film itself. Written and directed by radio's Arch Oboler (of "Lights Out" fame), the story concerns American businessman John Stephenson (Claude Rains), who returns home after an extended vacation to discover that the U.S. has been taken over by a fascist dictatorship. Completed sometime between 1940 and 1942, the film was originally produced by General Motors as a morale-booster for the company's employees (it should be noted that the story insists that the strongest defense against totalitarianism is Big Business!) GM decided not to screen the picture, whereupon Arch Oboler sold the property to MGM. That studio also eventually passed on distributing the film, at which point Oboler and star Claude Rains, forming their own production company, repurchased the film and distributed it on a limited basis in 1945. The following year, Strange Holiday finally received a widespread national release through the auspices of PRC Pictures.
America, democracy, Fascism, financier, holiday, hunting, propaganda, return, trip, vacation