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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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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Muriel Angelus ...
Catherine McGinty
...
...
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
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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>

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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:

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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

Other titles for this project were "Biography of a Bum" and "Down Went McGinty". 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

Dan McGinty: [to the Politician about getting paid for multiple voting] Never mind the applesauce. How do I get the bucks?
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Connections

Referenced in Preston Sturges and 'The Miracle of Morgan's Creek' (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Looks like the suit got YOU!
7 August 2000 | by (nyc) – See all my reviews

The conventional wisdom on McGINTY is that it's lesser Sturges, more important as his directorial debut than as a standalone comedy. Pish and tosh. This is a supremely satisfying comedy and had it been Sturges' only directing credit, would still mark him as a filmmaker to remember. (And, no, that's not a subtle swipe at his others, merely a defense of this too-often overlooked movie.)Maybe the best asset of McGINTY is its budget constraint, which steered Sturges towards the 'ensemble' casting which would become one of his hallmarks. The movie is filled stem to stern with sharp-eyed turns by primarily supporting players (including the leads, Donlevy & Tamiroff, who are excellent). What I can't help but notice is how the Sturges films of the 40s are really the last gasp of the great breakneck comedies of the pre-Code 30s, just prior to the 'screwball' era, when Hollywood was still allowed to poke fun at people/institutions/conventions of the Real World. In fact, McGINTY -with only minor casting changes- would have fit right in with the Warner Bros/First National bumper crop of fast, cynical comedies of '31-'34. (And, by the way, Tamiroff's cheerfully corrupt and malapropping Boss would be paid hilarious homage 20+ years later in animation form as Boris Badinov in Jay Ward's ROCKY & BULLWINKLE cartoons.) The love interest of Muriel Angelus, and adjoining subplot, may come off a bit treacly, but Sturges was canny enough to make this studio-mandated mawkishness an integral part of the plot...even as early as 1940, he was subverting True Love to his devilishly satiric purposes! So stop nitpicking and thoroughly enjoy one of the great American comedies, brought to unforgettable life by that great if unrecognized repertory company, The Sturges Players (featuring, among others, Wm Demarest, Thurston Hall & Arthur Hoyt).


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