Is Amsterdam a True Tale? Determining the Mysterious Blend of Fact and Fiction.
Star-studded film A rumoured political scheme to remove President Franklin D. Roosevelt from office serves as the basis for the film Amsterdam; but, how much of this story is based on actual events?
Director David O. Russell was able to get the services of notable actors such as Margot Robbie, John David Washington, and Christian Bale for his most recent suspense film. When they get involved in a murder case, the comedy focuses primarily on how closely their personalities are connected to one another, but the story is kept interesting by the inclusion of a forgotten piece of true history.
Now the question is, how close was Amsterdam to the 1933 Business Plot, which was relatively unknown at the time? How do the main characters resemble real-life people?
The Business Plot is Made Up in Amsterdam.
Although it is stated in the movie that “A lot of stuff truly happened,” we must explain that this is not the case. Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty of what goes down in Amsterdam. Both Burt Berendsen (Bale) and Harold Woodsman (Washington), who are the best of friends, are being investigated for a murder that neither of them committed.
They discover a plot to destroy the government of the United States at the same time that they are working with Valerie Voze (Robbie), with whom they are attempting to clear their names. This is when history becomes involved. According to an article published in The Washington Post, wealthy businesspeople devised a strategy to oust Franklin D. Roosevelt and replace him with a dictator shortly after he abolished the gold standard in April 1933.
A group of fascist veterans aspired to overthrow Roosevelt, and one of its leaders was Smedley D. Butler, a general in the Marine Corps who had received many decorations. Butler represented the organisation. It was believed that he was opposed to fascism; nevertheless, due to his popularity among veterans, he may be able to lead a coup if he was able to organise 500,000 people to march on Washington, D.C.
In front of the Special Committee on Un-American Activities of the United States House of Representatives, Butler gave his final testimony against the conspirators while under oath. However, not a single one of the businessmen was accused of doing anything wrong. They denied any involvement in the incident as well.
According to The Guardian, the concluding report of the congressional committee stated that there was evidence of “an attempt to establish up a fascist organisation in this nation.” In addition to this, it states that the plans “could have been put into action whenever and if the people who supplied the money believed it was best.”
Only One of the People in the Story About Amsterdam Were Based on Real People.
The characters of Burt, Harold, and Valerie are, respectively, based roughly on military personnel, female artists, and African Americans living during the historical period. In the case of Amsterdam, virtually all of the characters as well as the murder of General Bill Meekins, which kicked off the plot, were fictitious creations.
Meekins was not a legitimate member of the United States Senate nor a distinguished veteran of the armed forces. According to Screen Rant, there is no no documentation of a Mr. Meekins having been put to death in the 1930s.
The sole character that is based on a real person is Gil Dillenbeck, who is played by Robert De Niro. Smedley Butler inspired this character. However, there was no public address that exposed the true nature of the Business Plot. Butler spoke the remark in question behind closed doors.
The film Amsterdam does not include Dillenbeck’s testimony before Congress; however, it does conclude with the identical anti-fascist address that Butler delivered.