Genius on Hold

Synopsis: True story of Walter L. Shaw and Walter T. Shaw, father and son, and the Shaw family, a typical American family with reasonable hopes and bright aspirations. The future looked fine for them. Unfortunately life was not to deliver on the promise of good fortune and stability. They would suffer disillusionment with life and the twisting of their dreams into gut-wrenching nightmares.
Genre: Documentary
Director(s): Gregory Marquette
Production: Freestyle Releasing
  1 nomination.
Rotten Tomatoes:
91 min

They look like

any American family.

To the eye,

nothing seems out of place.

They appear typical

by all accounts

for a family living in

post-World War II America.

An economic boom

was in progress,

and the horizon is filled

with opportunity.

The mood was different, then.

Very different from the mood

in America today.

With the recent collapse

of the American

banking system,

and the stunning fracture

of Wall Street,

America, as we know it,

has been changed forever.

Only one other time

has America experienced

a financial catastrophe

of such magnitude.

The Wall Street crash

in 1929

was the most devastating

economic upheaval

in American history.

The parallels between

the crash of 1929

and the recent

economic emergency

in America

are chilling.

In both instances,

massive speculation

gave license to those

who would take advantage

of a system,

flawed from the outset,

and permissive

to a fault.

The tragic irony of

the recent financial collapse

is that our companies, banks,

and financial institutions

operated, for the most part,

within the framework

of the law.

So, who is responsible

when so many

are so badly damaged?

Where are the checks

and balances?

Where is accountability,

when corporations,

institutions, and governments

are self

In the mid-1960s,

with the shifting

social climate,

a new concept is introduced

into the business mainstream:

Corporate social


CSR is defined as:

"economic, legal, ethical"

"and discretionary


"which society has

of its corporations"

"and institutions

at any given point in time."

It sounds reasonable.


this concept presupposes

society has sway

with big corporations

and big institutions.

It's rarely the case,

and it begs the question:

Is it realistic

for society

to have such moral expectations

of business,

where ethics and discretion

are concerned?

With government deregulation

during the past three decades,

and the freedoms

the government granted

to American banks

and financial institutions,


and dangerously creative

investment platforms

have proved one thing:

"Corporate Social


appears to have become

a well-meaning proposition

with little traction,

while big stakeholders

and corporations

helm the economy.

If social responsibility

ought to apply

to corporations

and institutions,

should it not also apply

to government?

After all, government

sanctions the way

business works.

Government makes the rules

and creates the laws

in our society.

So why not "government

social responsibility?"

One thing is clear:

The application of

corporate social


is no burden

to success,

because to corporations,

to Wall Street,

to the banking system,

it simply does not exist.

Greed rules.

1947, Florida.

The Shaw family

is living a life

not unlike any other

typical American family.

Walter Shaw is bright,


a man with

a promising future.

The war is over,

and everyone is back to work.

And a young man,

fresh off a Navy patrol boat,

is being groomed

for political office.

John Fitzgerald Kennedy's

father, Joseph,

is a fiercely ambitious man.

In the 1920s,

he amasses

most of his family fortune

in the stock market,

and he manages

to exit the market

just before its fall.

A few years later,

Kennedy is alleged

to have traded

in bootleg liquor

during the Prohibition era.

If nothing else,

it may be said

Kennedy has a knack

for good timing.

In 1934,

Joe Kennedy becomes chairman

of the Securities and Exchange

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Gregory Marquette

Gregory Marquette is a Canadian film director. Graduate of the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT), he began his career in television journalism and thereafter series drama and television variety. He later formed the successful film production company Polaris Entertainment Corporation. He was nominated in 2012 at SOHO International Film Festival for Genius on Hold (category Best Documentary). more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018


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"Genius on Hold" STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 5 Aug. 2020. <>.

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