Elbert Green Hubbard (1856 -1915) was an American writer, publisher, artist, and philosopher. He was an influential exponent of the Arts and Crafts movement and is, perhaps, most famous for his essay A Message to Garcia. Owing to his prolific publications, Hubbard was a renowned figure in his day. Contributors to a 360-page book published by Roycrofters and entitled In Memoriam: Elbert and Alice Hubbard included such luminaries as meat-packing magnate J. Ogden Armour, business theorist and Babson College founder Roger Babson, botanist and horticulturalist Luther Burbank, seed-company founder W. Atlee Burpee, ketchup magnate Henry J. Heinz, National Park Service founder Franklin Knight Lane, success writer Orison Swett Marden, inventor of the modern comic strip Richard F. Outcault, poet James Whitcomb Riley, Nobel Peace Prize recipient Elihu Root, evangelist Billy Sunday, political leader Booker T. Washington, and poet Ella Wheeler Wilcox. Hubbard is an ancestor of singer Brodie Foster Hubbard. Another book which was written by Mr. Hubbard is entitled "Health and Wealth". It was published in 1908 and includes many short truisms that are in line with the Truth movement and Transcendentalists concerning using intelligence to rid one of fear and, thus, to bring the body back to health and happiness which leads to true wealth through service to others.
My heart goes out to the man who does his work when the “boss” is away, as well as when he is at home. And the man who, when given a letter for Garcia, quietly take the missive, without asking any idiotic questions, and with no lurking intention of chucking it into the nearest sewer, or of doing aught else but deliver it, never gets “laid off,” nor has to go on a strike for higher wages. Civilization is one long anxious search for just such individuals. Anything such a man asks shall be granted; his kind is so rare that no employer can afford to let him go. He is wanted in every city, town and village- in every office, shop, store and factory. The world cries out for such: he is needed, & needed badly- the man who can carry a message to Garcia.
Elbert Hubbard's famous essay on how Lieutenant Rowan of the United States Army delivered a message to Cuban rebel general Garcia from President McKinley was embellished to an action adventure story with some horrible casting. I'm betting the real story of Rowan's journey through Cuba was far more interesting.
The horrible miscasting of Barbara Stanwyck as a Cuban senorita is the main problem. She who adopted a nice brogue for The Plough And The Stars and Union Pacific probably would have made it worse had she talked with an accent in A Message To Garcia. I'd like to think that Darryl F. Zanuck in one of the first features of the newly formed 20th Century Fox Studio would have tried for Dolores Del Rio.
I'm sure Zanuck laid out some big bucks to Louis B. Mayer for the services of Wallace Beery. I agree with another reviewer that someone who had spent 10 years in Cuba living hand to mouth as Beery's character had, would have picked up some working knowledge of Spanish. But Beery was good box office back then and Zanuck was no fool that way. What there is of the picture he steals from John Boles playing the real life Lieutenant Rowan and Stanwyck playing a fictional senorita with whom he has a romance.
A Message To Garcia is a nice, but feeble attempt to tell the story of a most intriguing espionage tale.
No matter how good times are, this sorting continues: only if times are hard and work is scarce, the sorting is done finer – but out and forever out the incompetent and unworthy go. It is the survival of the fittest. Self-interest prompts every employer to keep the best – those who can carry a message to Garcia.