But they do need someone to make sure the script works and a director who can deal with zigs. Joseph Calleia -- best known as the heavy in GILDA --gets a chance to star in this programmer as a lawyer who joins the political machine and then fights it. He is especially fine in a couple of underplayed small scenes.
He is ably abetted by fine supporting actors like Jonathan Hale, Ted Healy and the always wonderful Thomas Mitchell. But the story veers and rushes off two thirds of the way through and before you can catch your breath, it's over. Was this originally broached as a vehicle for someone like Spencer Tracy and then bounced down? Director Marin never got out of the B movies, and his inability to direct Calleia in the second half shows why. Visually the picture is fine, with the usual MGM gloss. But even the best character actor needs the occasional hint from his director, and it looks like Marin could not supply it.
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