James Blake (Henry Wilcoxon) is an attorney. He represents National Canneries Company. They want to quash legislation that, although will help small business and farmers, will hurt big business profits. The head of the board of directors, George Sartos (Sidney Blackmer), sends Blake to Washington to lobby to kill the relief bill. He succeeds.

Blake has become jaded with his life. Although he has everything money can buy he is not happy with his work or his relationship with his wife Ilka (Evelyn Brent). She is having an affair with Sartos. Blake needs to get away so he goes to the country to do some fly fishing.

Blake ends up at a small town called Springdale. He notices that most of the businesses are either closed are going out of business. He meets a woman, Charlotte Brown (Betty Furness), who has been illegally catching fish with a net. He finds that she has been giving the fish away to the town’s people. Betty’s family use to own the small fruit and vegetable cannery in town but because of the depression it had to close. The relief bill would have sustained the town’s people until they were back on their feet, but since it was voted down the people are in more dire straits then they were.

This has an impact on Blake. He wants to do something but is unsure of what. He goes back home to mull it over. He reads “The President’s Mystery Story in Liberty’s magazine. It gives him an idea. He liquidates all his holdings and turns them into cash. Five million dollars worth. He leaves his wife and heads back to Springdale to restart the cannery and get the town’s people back to work.

The day he leaves his wife is accidently killed by one of Sartos’ henchmen. The henchman, knowing that Blake left, stages a car accident, complete with body, making it look like Blake killed his wife and then died himself. Blake hears about her death and is about to go back to the city when he also hears that he is dead. He decides to stay dead and goes on to Springdale. Things are going well until Sartos shows up looking to take over the cannery. If Blake refuses then he will inform the police that Blake is alive and a murderer.

“The President’s Mystery” was released in 1936 and was directed by Phil Rosen. The story was conceived by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. This is the only film where a sitting President of the United States has been credited as a writer. It was released just three years after becoming the 32nd president of the United States. Being the orchestrator of “The New Deal”, “The President’s Mystery” is basically a propaganda film.

The idea for the story came about during a conversation with a magazine editor concerning mysteries. Roosevelt liked mystery stories. The question posed “How can a man disappear with five million dollars of his own money in negotiable form and not be traced?” The editor took the question as a challenge and enlisted six authors to answer the question. The resulting story intrigued the producers of the film. All proceeds of story and film were donated to the "Georgia Warm Springs Foundation".

The original film was eighty minutes long, but only an edited version of about 53 minutes is available. The film was titled “One For All” in the UK.

There really isn’t a mystery in “The President’s Mystery”. Blake also didn’t do a good job of disappearing either. And now that we are nit picking, the president had nothing to do with writing it. He just posed a question and six other people wrote it. And two others wrote the screenplay.

The film is basically a post depression feel good movie.

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