7.5/10
2,605
34 user 25 critic

The Great McGinty (1940)

Passed | | 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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Won 1 Oscar. See more awards »
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Certificate: Passed Comedy | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Woodrow is discharged from the military for hay fever, but fabricates receiving a heroic honorable discharge before returning home.

Director: Preston Sturges
Stars: Eddie Bracken, Ella Raines, Raymond Walburn
Comedy | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

After an all-night send-off party for the troops, a small-town girl wakes up to find herself married and pregnant, but with no memory of her husband's identity.

Director: Preston Sturges
Stars: Eddie Bracken, Betty Hutton, Diana Lynn
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

When the co-workers of an ambitious clerk trick him into thinking he has won $25,000 in a slogan contest, he begins to use the money to fulfill his dreams. What will happen when the ruse is discovered?

Director: Preston Sturges
Stars: Dick Powell, Ellen Drew, Raymond Walburn
Comedy | Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Set to music, a symphony conductor envisions multiple possible scenarios for dealing with his wife's infidelity.

Director: Preston Sturges
Stars: Rex Harrison, Linda Darnell, Rudy Vallee
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

An inventor needs cash to develop his big idea. His wife, who loves him, decides to raise it for him by divorcing him and marrying a millionaire.

Director: Preston Sturges
Stars: Claudette Colbert, Joel McCrea, Mary Astor
Certificate: Passed Biography | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

The biography of Dr. W. T. Morgan, a 19th century Boston dentist, during his quest to have anesthesia, in the form of ether, accepted by the public and the medical and dental establishment.

Director: Preston Sturges
Stars: Joel McCrea, Betty Field, Harry Carey
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Major Thompson, an Englishman living in France, comments in his memoirs on the peculiarities of his French wife and friends.

Director: Preston Sturges
Stars: Jack Buchanan, Martine Carol, Noël-Noël
Comedy | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Temperamental saloon singer Freddie Jones, jealously shoots at her cheating boyfriend Blackie but mistakenly hits Judge Alfalfa J. O'Toole's honorable behind, forcing her to skip town under the guise of a schoolteacher.

Director: Preston Sturges
Stars: Betty Grable, Cesar Romero, Rudy Vallee
Adventure | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A director of escapist films goes on the road as a hobo to learn about life, which gives him a rude awakening.

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The Lady Eve (1941)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A trio of classy card sharps targets the socially awkward heir to brewery millions for his money, until one of them falls in love with him.

Director: Preston Sturges
Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Henry Fonda, Charles Coburn
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Twenty years after his triumphs as a freshman on the football field, Harold is a mild-mannered clerk who dreams about marrying the girl at the desk down the aisle. But losing his job ... See full summary »

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Stars: Harold Lloyd, Frances Ramsden, Jimmy Conlin
Easy Living (1937)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

During the Great Depression, a wealthy banker throws away his wife's expensive fur coat; it lands on the head of a stenographer, leading to everyone assuming she is his mistress and has access to his millions.

Director: Mitchell Leisen
Stars: Jean Arthur, Edward Arnold, Ray Milland
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
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Catherine McGinty
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George
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Skeeters - The Politician
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Tommy Thompson
Harry Rosenthal ...
Louie - The Boss' Bodyguard
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Libby Taylor ...
Bessy - The Colored Maid
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Mr. Maxwell
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The Dancing Girl
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Madame Juliette La Jolla
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The Boss' Chauffeur (as Frank C. Moran)
Jimmy Conlin ...
The Lookout - At Felgman's
...
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:

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:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

23 August 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Biograhy of a Bum  »

Box Office

Budget:

$350,000 (estimated)
 »

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

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

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

Connections

Referenced in The Miracle of Morgan's Creek (1944) 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.


24 of 28 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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