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I don't suppose you've seen Gabriel Over the White House, Thom? My recollection of it is that the sort of fascism it presents is not explicitly connected with racial superiority whatsoever, but rather with a strong move toward authoritarianism backed by divine guidance. And that the film presents such a move very sympathetically.

Great piece, well worth the wait. I'd never heard of this film before, as far as I know.


Brian - Thanks for info about Gabriel. I haven't seen it yet. Mike has a solid review of it at his site. Birdwell describes both that film and The President Vanishes as being sympathetic to fascist or psuedo-fascist alternatives, or at least could be construed as sympathetic by an audience. I want to see all of the films listed above to better understand how Hollywood approached the subject of fascism in various ways before WWII.

Jacqueline T Lynch

Wonderful post. This is a really terrific essay on The Black Legion, especially in the personal emotions of the back story for you. Fascinating material. Thanks.


Jacqueline - Thank you for the considerate feedback. It means a great deal to me because I tried a slightly different approach with this post. It's helpful to know when I'm on the right track.


Gabriel's brand of fascism has nothing to do with race. I guess I should have been more clear about that in my review. It's more what Brian says--authoritarianism backed by God, which was (the film posited) what was needed to save the US and the world. And the God part is implied--we never see the titular angel, but some characters suggest that the main character's shift from party hack president to crusader must have been divinely ordained.


Thanks Mike.

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