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The Great McGinty (1940)

Approved  |   |  Comedy  |  23 August 1940 (USA)
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 2,166 users  
Reviews: 32 user | 22 critic

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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Title: The Great McGinty (1940)

The Great McGinty (1940) on IMDb 7.5/10

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Muriel Angelus ...
Catherine McGinty
...
Allyn Joslyn ...
George
...
Skeeters - The Politician
Louis Jean Heydt ...
Tommy Thompson
Harry Rosenthal ...
Louie (bodyguard)
Arthur Hoyt ...
Libby Taylor ...
Bessy (maid)
Thurston Hall ...
Mr. Maxwell
Steffi Duna ...
The Dancing Girl
Esther Howard ...
Madame Juliette La Jolla
Frank Moran ...
The Boss' Chauffeur (as Frank C. Moran)
Jimmy Conlin ...
The Lookout
Dewey Robinson ...
Benny Felgman
Edit

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:

The SCREEN SURPRISE of the YEAR! It's the laffiest, daffiest film fun you have ever screamed at! (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:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

On August 19, 1939, Paramount issued a check to contract writer Preston Sturges to buy the story and screenplay of this movie, in the amount of $10. Sturges promised to sell the script for that amount if he could direct. The studio took him up on it and the film was a hit and won an Academy Award for the screenplay, probably making it the cheapest Oscar-winning script in history. 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

Prologue: "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."
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Jerk (1979) See more »

Soundtracks

Louise
Written by Richard A. Whiting and Leo Robin
Played on piano
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Donlevy Was An Underrated Actor
28 May 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Once again, Brian Donlevy ("Dan McGinty") provides pretty good entertainment. He isn't one of the more famous actors of the classic era but he did his share of good films and good performances. This certainly ranks among his best. And he mixed well with Akim Tamiroff in here, both verbally and physically. And.....Preston Sturges wrote and directed the film. All of that makes it a surprise there are so reviews of this film on this website.

The story of McGinty and his wife "Catherine" (Murel Angelus) also turns out to be nice with a unique twist to the relationship. It starts off as a business-type of deal, then turns romantic but ends sadly. However, the film doesn't end on a sad note.

To be fair, however, I have to admit I liked this far more on the first viewing. When I looked it at 6 years later after watching thousands of other classic films, this just didn't come across as strong. The first thirty 30 minutes was good with some snappy dialog but then it bogged down with that marriage-for-convenience angle and the politics got really sappy. So beware: you might really enjoy this, or you might find it really stupid. It could go either way, but if you are classic movie fan, you should consider checking this film out.


23 of 26 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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