The President Vanishes (film)

The President Vanishes (released in the United Kingdom as Strange Conspiracy) is a 1934 American political drama film directed by William A. Wellman and produced by Walter Wanger. Starring Edward Arnold and Arthur Byron, the film is an adaptation of Rex Stout's political novel of the same name.

The President Vanishes
Directed byWilliam A. Wellman
Produced byWalter Wanger
Written byRex Stout (novel)
Carey Wilson
Cedric Worth
StarringEdward Arnold
Arthur Byron
Paul Kelly
Peggy Conklin
Andy Devine
Music byHugo Riesenfeld
CinematographyBarney McGill
Edited byHanson T. Fritch
Distributed byParamount Pictures
Release date
November 17, 1934 (1934-11-17)
Running time
80 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$391,542[1]

Upon its release, the film was praised for its ensemble cast[2][3] but author John Douglas Eames, in his 1985 book The Paramount Story, stated that even with "an accomplished cast and an out-of-the-rut story, but The President Vanishes couldn't buck moviegoers' apathy towards political subjects".[3]


The film follows the story of The President Vanishes.[4]


Hays Code

Upon its release in 1934, The President Vanishes was named by the National Legion of Decency an organization of the United States Catholic Church as one of Hollywood's problematic and "immoral" films. The Catholic Church demanded an implementation and enforcement of a set of industry censorship guidelines to control and remove content that the church saw as immoral. Threatened by a large scale boycott of all Hollywood films, Will H. Hays, then president of Motion Picture Association of America, came to an agreement with the church that saw the establishment of Production Code Administration and passage of the Motion Picture Production Code, also known as Hays Code.[5] The Hays Code was in use from 1934 until 1968 when it was abandoned in favor of the MPAA film rating system.


The film recorded a loss of $145,948.[1]

See also


  1. Matthew Bernstein, Walter Wagner: Hollywood Independent, Minnesota Press, 2000 p435
  2. Sennwald, Andre. "The Mysterious Disappearance of President Stanley in The President Vanishes, at the Paramount", The New York Times, December 8, 1934. Accessed January 29, 2010.
  3. Eames, John Douglas, The Paramount Story; 1985, Crown Publishers, Inc.; Hardcover ISBN 0-517-55348-1 p. 100
  4. Fraser A. Sherman Screen Enemies of the American Way: Political Paranoia About Nazis p.164
  5. Black, Gregory D. Hollywood Censored, Indiana University Press, 1989. Accessed January 29/2010.

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