Cinefile – Some Occupy Wall Street History


The first clip below gives us Walter Huston as Judson Hammond, President of the United States in the 1933 Gabriel Over the White House, from Gregory La Cava. It is a typically idealized, absurdly stilted version, from the time, of American democracy. Its president confronts the film version of the real “Bonus Army” that marched on Washington and camped out, in the manner of Occupy Wall Street, demanding fulfillment of World War I era bonus promises. President Hammond, infelicitously channeling Lincoln, offers the Army of Construction, a likeness of Roosevelt’s Civilian Conservation Corps, which was initiated the same year.

The second, documentary clip, which provides the barest sense of what the Bonus Army was and what came of it, indicates how the real president at the time, Herbert Hoover, the U.S. Congress, and the later revered General Douglas MacArthur, treated the real Bonus Army.


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