Francine Mathews’ new novel Jack 1939 invents a story where Harvard senior John F. Kennedy gets recruited by President Roosevelt to foil a Nazi plot that would rig the 1940 U.S. presidential election to elect an isolationist who wouldn’t interfere with Hitler’s plans for Europe. Jack travels to Europe to research his senior thesis (later published as Why England Slept) and tries to intercept a charity ledger that contains the names of American and British citizens who have (knowingly or unknowingly) contributed to Nazi efforts to intervene in American politics. The fact that Jack’s dad (and known FDR rival) Ambassador Joseph Kennedy is on that list gives JFK’s mission a bit more urgency.
In the course of his mission, Jack sleeps with a married woman, helps smuggle the Enigma machine out of Poland, hangs out with Churchill, stabs a Gestapo agent and secretly communicates with FDR via telegraph from rooftops all over Europe. The story works because Mathews starts with some historical facts (FDR’s problems with Kennedy Sr. and J. Edgar Hoover, JFK’s tour of Europe, the Enigma machine, Churchill’s efforts to prepare for war despite Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain’s utter cluelessness and the actual Nazi efforts to influence U.S. opinion via German-American groups) and imagines a spy thriller tale that forges a personal connection between two of our most popular presidents. +Continue Reading
If you start with the premise that werewolf bites cause polio and decide that the Axis leaders were actually werewolves, it’s not hard to think up a plot where polio victim Franklin Delano Roosevelt leads the charge into WWII to eliminate the werewolf threat.
How you feel about that idea pretty much determines how much you’ll enjoy FDR: American Badass! Writer/producer/co-star Ross Patterson (we never heard of him before, either) managed to sign up what amounts to a cult movie all-star cast that includes Barry Bostwick (The Rocky Horror Picture Show), Bruce McGill (Animal House), Ray Wise (24 and Twin Peaks) and Kevin Sorbo (Hercules). +Continue Reading
In this new trailer for Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Blacklist, the lady President of the United States grants our hero Sam Fisher the “Fifth Freedom” to take out those nasty terrorists from the Blacklist.
What’s the Fifth Freedom? According to Sam, it’s the “right to defend our laws…by breaking them, to safeguard secrets…by stealing them, to save lives…by taking them, to do whatever it takes to protect our country.” Maybe FDR was keeping that one in his back pocket when he made his 1941 speech about the first four: “freedom of speech and expression, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear.” +Continue Reading
Any student of Nazi history knows about Hitler’s obsession with the occult, so it’s totally plausible that the Führer was actually a werewolf. Also, totally believable that FDR contracted polio from a werewolf bite.
FDR: American Badass! was made by a couple of guys you never heard of (Garrett Brawith & Ross Patterson) with what look like Ed Wood–level production values, but the idea is so awesome that they’ve attracted a roster of talented actors who all seem totally into the proceedings. Barry Bostwick from The Rocky Horror Picture Show plays FDR and he’s joined by Kevin Sorbo (Hercules) as Abraham Lincoln, Ray Wise (Twin Peaks and 24) as General Douglas MacArthur and features Bruce McGill (D-Day from Animal House) and Paul Ben-Victor (The Wire) in supporting roles.