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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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Won 1 Oscar. See more awards »
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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>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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WHATTA GUY! He loved a fight or a frolic...and he usually found one! (original ad) See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

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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 »

Connections

Featured in 100 Years of Comedy (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
Hilarious political satire
21 December 2000 | by (Brooklyn, New York) – See all my reviews

Preston Sturges's first film as writer-director was this hilarious political satire. Though uneven, it's still filled with remarkable insight and some incredibly apt barbs about political corruption and susceptibility. Akim Tamiroff is hysterically funny as "The Chief," especially when he's marvelling at McGinty (Brian Donlevy) because of McGinty's audacity in being so obstinate. "He thinks he's me," is Tamiroff's line. Sturges himself was acclaimed for his audacity in being a writer-director, paving the way for other Hollywood writers (including John Huston and Billy Wilder) to graduate to directing.


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