- Rated: Not Rated
- Run Time: 1 hours, 26 minutes
- Video: Black & White
- Released: October 20, 2009
- Originally Released: 1933
- Label: Warner Archives
- Encoding: Region 0 (Worldwide)
- Aspect Ratio: Full Frame
Performers, Cast and Crew:
USA Today - 04/30/1993
"...The script anticipates Roosevelt's public works projects, World War II, and, in effect, today's homeless situation....The movie was a hit..."
Description by OLDIES.com:
As America despaired during the early days of the Depression, Hollywood met the challenge with chorus girls, gangsters, romances, a few dramas of social realism and the one-of-a-kind, thoroughly astonishing fantasy Gabriel Over The White House. Walter Huston stars as a corrupt U.S. President who has a brush with an angel after a near-fatal car crash and awakens determined to right all America's wrongs - now and by any means possible. Towering like a Yankee Colossus, he sweeps Constitutional safeguards aside to tackle poverty, crime and world peace as a populist dictator, winning the adulation of a grateful nation. Gregory La Cava, who would later score Oscar nominations for his work on 1936's My Man Godfrey and 1937's Stage Door, directed this grandly made curio.
In 1932, America struggles with the effects of the depression and Prohibition. A new president, Judson Hammond (Walter Huston), is inaugurated. A handsome, amiable man, he is more concerned with his young nephew (Dickie Moore) than the problems of the unemployed. Hammond is a party figurehead--the candidate of corrupt interests--and a bachelor with a very private secretary, Pendola Molloy (the elegant Karen Morley). This president tests the dedication of his idealistic public secretary, Hartley Beekman (Franchot Tone), and nearly everyone else around him. Things change, however, when President Hammond has an auto accident. Near death, he has an epiphany--and turns with a vengeance on those who elected him, becoming an advocate for the common people.
In making GABRIEL OVER THE WHITE HOUSE, director Gregory La Cava and producer Walter Wanger developed a startling cinematic answer to the chaos that many thought was overrunning the country. The film feels like a prayer for deliverance; regarded as truly remarkable when it appeared, La Cava's movie is still astonishing today.