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The Great McGinty (1940)

Approved | | Comedy | 23 August 1940 (USA)
Dan McGinty has great success in his chosen field of crooked politics. But endangers it all in one crazy moment of honesty...

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On TV

Airs Fri. Sep. 02, 3:15 AM on TCM

ON DISC
Won 1 Oscar. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Catherine McGinty
...
...
George
...
Skeeters - The Politician
...
Tommy Thompson
Harry Rosenthal ...
Louie (bodyguard)
Arthur Hoyt ...
Libby Taylor ...
Bessy (maid)
...
Mr. Maxwell
...
The Dancing Girl
Esther Howard ...
Madame Juliette La Jolla
Frank Moran ...
The Boss' Chauffeur (as Frank C. Moran)
Jimmy Conlin ...
The Lookout
...
Benny Felgman
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Storyline

Told in flashback, Depression-era bum Dan McGinty is recruited by the city's political machine to help with vote fraud. His great aptitude for this brings rapid promotion from "the boss," who finally decides he'd be ideal as a new, nominally "reform" mayor; but this candidacy requires marriage. His in-name-only marriage to honest Catherine proves the beginning of the end for dishonest Dan... Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It's Two-Fisted FUN! A fightin' fool gives you laughter of a lifetime..! (original ad) See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

23 August 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Biograhy of a Bum  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Sturges got the idea for this film from a Chicago area judge who shared stories with him about city elections. See more »

Goofs

In his victory parade as governor, McGinty rides in a car and it is clear he does not have a mustache. In the next scene, which takes place the same day at the state capitol, he has a mustache. See more »

Quotes

Skeeters: If it wasn't for graft, you'd get a very low type of people in politics. Men without ambition. Jellyfish.
Catherine: Especially since you can't rob the people anyway.
Skeeters: Sure. How was that?
Catherine: What you rob, you spend, and what you spend goes back to the people. So, where's the robbery? I read that in one of my father's books.
Skeeters: That book should be in every home.
See more »


Soundtracks

Louise
Written by Richard A. Whiting and Leo Robin
Played on piano
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User Reviews

What's Up is Down, What's Wrong is Right
28 January 2007 | by (Lafayette, LA) – See all my reviews

The Great McGinty grabbed me with its verve and jaunty iconoclasm from the beginning. "This is the story of two men who met in a banana republic. One of them never did anything dishonest in his life except for one crazy minute. The other never did anything honest in his life except for one crazy minute. They both had to get out of the country." In McGinty, a guy on the outs votes for a politician something like 72 times, and for this he is rewarded with a political boss's favor--"The Boss," and what a boss. Akim Tamiroff is simply wonderful: "Where you get that horse blanket?" And: "What a wonderful opportunity. This state needs everything. ... We'll need - you'll kiss me for this - a new dam. ... You think a dam is something you put a lot of water in. A dam is something you put a lot of concrete in. And it doesn't matter how much you put in there's always room for a lot more. ..." As the lead, "The Boss's" counterpart and equal, it's Brian Donlevy as he never had been before, never was again. McGinty (and Sturge's second movie, Christmas in July) may not quite be up there in the stratosphere with his absolute best like The Lady Eve, Sullivan's Travels, or Unfaithfully Yours, but they are nevertheless both wonderful movies with the Sturges stamp of buoyant uniqueness.


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