Movie Review: The President's Mystery (1936)

Synopsis: After successfully stopping legislation that would have helped small businesses during the Great Depression, attorney James Blake goes on a fishing trip to celebrate but instead sees first-hand evidence of his work when he ends up in a town that is full of closed businesses and on the verge of financial collapse. Inspired by an article he read in a magazine, Blake decides to liquidate all his assets, abandon his unhappy marriage and fake his death so he can start over and help reopen a shuttered cannery. His plan becomes more complicated when his wife is murdered and he is blamed.

Who's in it? The movie stars Henry Wilcoxon, Betty Furness, Sidney Blackmer, Evelyn Brent and Barnett Parker.


Review: I was in the mood for a mystery film and, after doing a quick search, came across this one. At first, I didn't know if I would enjoy the movie because it wasn't what I thought it would be but, overall, I did still enjoy the movie for the most part.

The story about Blake (Wilcoxon) trying to reopen the cannery and compete against a national chain was interesting, including some of the obstacles he was forced to face, such as his competitor buying the railroad line they planned to use to ship their product and dealing with panicking townspeople as they, believing the cannery would go out of business again, started looting the warehouse. 

I was, however, a bit disappointed by the surprisingly small impact his wife's (Brent) murder ultimately has on the film. At first, I thought it would end up being a relatively big thing, with him having to defend himself in court. Instead, it really only comes into play late into the movie and his innocence is proven with very little effort (and quite a bit of luck). 

The movie was decent enough without murder being a major part of the plot. However, as someone who likes a good murder mystery and/or courtroom drama, I would have preferred to see that filled out a little more.

Final Opinion: It wasn't the murder mystery I was hoping it would be but the film was still entertaining enough to be worth watching at least once.

My Grade: B

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