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The Great Man Votes (1939)

Passed | | Drama | 13 January 1939 (USA)
In 1923, Gregory Vance, a widower with two children, is a former scholar who has turned from book-to-bottle. He works, slightly, as a night-watchman and his children, who know him for what ... See full summary »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Vance
Peter Holden ...
Donald
...
Joan
...
Miss Billow
Donald MacBride ...
Iron Hat McCarthy
...
Davy McCarthy (as Bennie Bartlett)
Brandon Tynan ...
Chester Ainslee
...
Phoebe Ainslee
...
The Mayor
Luis Alberni ...
Manos
J.M. Kerrigan ...
Hot Shot Gillings
...
Charles Dale
Roy Gordon ...
Mr. Byrne
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Storyline

In 1923, Gregory Vance, a widower with two children, is a former scholar who has turned from book-to-bottle. He works, slightly, as a night-watchman and his children, who know him for what he is and what he isn't, are his only admirers. Then, it is discovered that he is the only registered voter in a key precinct and the politicians, from both parties, arrive in droves bearing inducements. What he does about this situation, and the relatives who want to take his children away from him make up the story. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A MAN WITH A HOLE IN HIS PANTS (original print ad - all caps) See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

13 January 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Il voto del grand'uomo  »

Box Office

Budget:

$84,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Garson Kanin's debut as a film director. See more »

Goofs

When Davy pushes the new kid in the school yard, shadows of the camera and the boom microphone can clearly be seen on the ground behind them. The shadow of the camera then moves as it follows Davy afterwords. See more »

Quotes

Gregory Vance: My dear lady, I seem to detect in you perspicacity only too rare these days.
Miss Billow: Mr. Vance, you astonish me.
Gregory Vance: At times madam, I astonish myself.
See more »

Soundtracks

The Battle Cry of Freedom
(1864) (uncredited)
Written by George Frederick Root
Played during the opening credits
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User Reviews

 
Great performance by Barrymore
15 January 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

John Barrymore is a down and out drunken widower with two children in "The Great Man Votes," a 1939 film also starring Virginia Weidler, Peter Holden, and Katherine Alexander. Barrymore plays Gregory Vance, a brilliant Harvard graduate, a once well-known intellectual, and a raging alcoholic. His two children, however, (Weidler and Holden) adore him, and he is an attentive dad. When his kids beat up the taunting son of the local political boss, Iron Hat McCarthy, Gregory loses his night watchman job. But when McCarthy meets with the party head, he's told the 13th precinct always votes the party in and he has to deliver; on being told the 13th precinct is voting the party, the rest of the precincts will follow. One problem. There's only one registered voter in the precinct - Gregory Vance. As Vance tries to parlay a deal for himself, his in-laws seek to take his children.

This is a heart-warming story with a brilliant performance by Barrymore. Pompous but loving, he makes Gregory Vance a likable character the audience roots for through the entire film. He's bombastic and over-dramatic, which is perfect for the character. His stage experience really shines through. The kids, Virginia Weidler and Peter Holden are excellent - and you'd never know Barrymore didn't like to work with kids.

As enjoyable as "The Great Man Votes" is, it leaves one feeling sad; Barrymore died when he was 50, his best screen years as a character actor were still ahead of him. So we have to take what we can get - and one of his best performances is in "The Great Man Votes."


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