Friday, June 7, 2013

Frank and the feds

I received this email from neighbor J.R. Maurer this morning. Frank Capra was one of our most famous citizens. I hope I get a chance to see the film.

A historical story by J. R. Maurer

In the early 1950’s a small town resident named Frank received a complaint that he was being sued “…by the United States acting on the authority of the Attorney General alleges that the defendants have repeatedly, through overt acts, displayed their disregard for the United States and are encroaching upon the already insufficient supply of water required for the nation’s defense. All of the rights of the United States are paramount to the right of the defendants.” The Federal government was being proclaimed to be superior to the ordinary citizen in this suit.

All 14,000 of his neighbors were being sued to have their water rights taken away. It was David vs Goliath. One of Frank’s neighbors had a sixteen-millimeter camera and happened to be a Hollywood cameraman.  They made a half hour movie. The case made national headlines. Much discussion and several months later President Truman fired Attorney General J. Howard McGrath. The lawsuit was dropped and the citizens of America won.

I just watched the short movie on DVD of how Frank Capra got Cecil B. de Mille to give the opening monolog on the film documenting the struggle of the residents of Fallbrook, CA.


Sanoguy said...

That sounds like an interesting movie. How can we see it???

Anonymous said...

Hay Robert I am not sure what movie you saw. I went to FPUD building and rented the movie for free. you just leave them your name and phone number It is a pretty tripy movie. Beth

grumpy said...

one of my tennis partners reminded me of this Capra film recently; it rang a bell, as i'd heard about it years folks were good friends of Frank's secretary, and his wife; i remember going to visit them at the Capra home, off Live Oak Park Road; Red Mountain Ranch, it was called; after Frank passed, the property went to CalTech, his alma mater...fond memories of Fallbrook past...