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Gabriel Over the White House

Los Angeles: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer [MGM], 1933. An early draft, in script format, of the 1933 novel, "Gabriel Over the White House," written by Thomas Frederic Tweed. This draft was developed the same year into the 1933 pre-code film directed by Gregory LaCava, written for the screen by Carey Wilson, and starring Walter Huston, Franchot Tone, and Jean Parker.

The novel is in "script" format produced by MGM after the studio optioned the rights to the book in 1932 (prior to publication). Tweed's novel was first published as "Rinehard" in the UK in 1933, then in the US the same year as "Gabriel Over the White House" (but with the author's name replaced as "Anonymous," probably for sensational effect). William Randolph Hearst took a strong interest in the comic novel's unique political tone (which has since been variously described as promoting socialism, national socialism, and fascism) and provided financial backing to purchase the option on the book and have MGM produce it. The resulting pre-Code film has remained controversial since the time of its release, widely acknowledged to be totalitarian propoganda in the guise of a comic fantasy. In the story, a Warren G. Harding-esque partisan hand-shaker becomes President of the United States, and after seeing a vision, revokes the Constitution, becomes a reigning dictator, and solves all the nation's problems. MGM studio president Louis B. Mayer disagreed with and somewhat feared the film's wild political sentiments, and as an acknowledged supporter of Hoover's second term, held up release until after the Hoover-FDR election in the fall of 1932 (for all the good it did).

Light blue studio wrappers, with the white MGM title label (rubber-stamped project No. 584), dated January 6, 1933. Title page present, with credits for the US publisher Farrar and Rinehart, and in keeping with the publication precedent of that edition, no mention of the author's name. 282 leaves, mimeograph. Pages and wrapper Very Good plus, bound with two tarnished gold brads.
[Book #120443]
Price: $650.00
Gabriel Over the White House


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