Is Amsterdam Based on a True Story? – David O. Russell is the director, writer, and producer of the mystery-comedy movie “Amsterdam.” Margot Robbie, John David Washington, Chris Rock, Anya Taylor-Joy, Zoe Saldana, Mike Myers, Michael Shannon, Timothy Olyphant, Andrea Riseborough, Taylor Swift, Matthias Schoenaerts, Alessandro Nivola, Rami Malek, and Robert De Niro are among the ensemble cast members of the movie, which also includes Christian Bale (who also serves as producer).
Its plot involves three friends who are implicated in the assassination of a US senator in the 1930s and is based on the Business Plot, a 1933 political conspiracy in the US. Russell’s first movie since Joy (2015) was shot in Los Angeles between January and March 2021.
The American premiere of Amsterdam took place on October 7, 2022, thanks to 20th Century Studios. Most critics gave the production design and the cast’s performances high marks, but they faulted Russell’s writing and direction.
The historical film, which stars a great cast that includes actors like Christian Bale, Margot Robbie, John David Washington, Rami Malek, and Robert De Niro, captivates the viewer with its gripping narrative and clever touches. Furthermore, one wonders if the film is based on historical events, given the lifelike characters and accurate depiction of the 1930s. If you have the same curiosity, we are here with the solutions!
Is Amsterdam a True Story?
YES, “Amsterdam” is partially based on a TRUE story. The film, primarily based on the 1933 Business Plot, was directed by David O. Russell from a script he had authored originally. A political plot to kill former US President Franklin D. Roosevelt and topple the government to install a dictator failed. According to retired Marine Corps Major General Smedley Butler, a group of well-to-do merchants and bankers had plans to form a fascist veterans organization under his leadership.
Butler asserted that the group intended to overthrow the president in retaliation for his decision to abolish the gold standard in April 1933. According to reports, the wealthy group members anticipated that this mandate would lead to extreme currency inflation and force them into bankruptcy. President Roosevelt’s campaign platform of giving unemployed folks more work also threatened their companies. Therefore, they planned to topple him to implement a fascist model similar to the one in Italy in the US.
However, Butler’s sworn testimony in 1934 before the McCormack-Dickstein Committee, which the House of Representatives formed, revealed the entire plan. The committee ultimately concluded that although there was evidence of discussions of starting such a fascist organization, no such plans actually materialized. It’s interesting because everyone who was reportedly involved denied being part; therefore, nobody was charged. One of the strangest political scandals in US history, the Business Plot or White House Putsch, has been the basis for numerous news stories, books, and movies like “Amsterdam.”
In a press conference discussing the movie, the filmmaker talked about the characters’ sources of inspiration, particularly Dr. Burt Berendsen, who was modeled by a real-life individual named Dr. Shields. Russell recalled, “Me and Christian would look at these big pictures from the period of people partying in huge dance halls, and we’d go, ‘Look at these two people dancing together. I never heard their story. I don’t think anybody recorded their story.’ Which could become these two or these three friends. I never heard their story. Because a lot of history’s not recorded.”
Russell went on to describe how he used historical details with his own imagination to construct the scenario. We used some dramatic and exciting historical evidence, but we also created our own friendships based on characters that were largely unrecorded and the acquaintances they made along the way. That made-up friendship gave them the most freedom and enjoyment they’d ever experienced. That gave them all a reason to continue living. The filmmaker said, “When they knew death was coming, they responded, “Let’s live.
Additionally, actor Christian Bale revealed how the protagonist three in the film were motivated to be brave by his grandmother’s World War II experiences and her maxim to live each day to the fullest. The director and every performer extensively studied their real-life counterparts and muses to make their portrayals feel true. For instance, John David Washington, who plays Harold, studied African American history from the 1930s to get a sense of what it was like to be a black man during that era and the community’s accomplishments.
However, as he was getting ready to play General Gil Dillenbeck, Robert De Niro met Major General Smedley Butler. Not only that, but Russell drew inspiration for Valerie’s persona from ground-breaking female painters of the day, including Meret Oppenheim, Hannah Hoch, and Georgia O’Keeffe. As a result, it is clear that “Amsterdam” and its characters extensively reference the political climate in 1930s America because the story revolves around an event similar to the Business Plot. It does, however, contain several fictitious embellishments to counteract the factual components, producing a fascinating mixture.
Everyone's a suspect.
— Amsterdam Movie (@amsterdammovie) October 1, 2022