Synopsis by Paul Brenner
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.
near-death-experience, politician, car-crash, reform [improve], corruption, democracy, dictator, President, self-discovery, Fascism