6.9/10
294
11 user 7 critic

The Magnificent Dope (1942)

Approved | | Comedy | 21 October 1942 (Mexico)
Dwight Dawson, who runs an unsuccessful success school, stages a contest to find the biggest failure in the USA, for publicity value when the "dope" takes his course. But winner Tad Page is... See full summary »

Director:

Writers:

(screen play), (original story)
Reviews
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Out on patrol in the war-time desert a Canadian corporal reminisces about the woman he has left behind in London and ponders whether she will fall for the charms of his rival in love. At ... See full summary »

Director: John M. Stahl
Stars: Henry Fonda, Maureen O'Hara, Thomas Mitchell
Lured (1947)
Crime | Film-Noir | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A serial killer in London is murdering young women whom he meets through the personal columns of newspapers; he announces each of his murders to the police by sending them a cryptic poem. ... See full summary »

Director: Douglas Sirk
Stars: George Sanders, Lucille Ball, Charles Coburn
Johnny Apollo (1940)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The son of a jailed Wall Street broker turns to crime to pay for his father's release.

Director: Henry Hathaway
Stars: Tyrone Power, Dorothy Lamour, Edward Arnold
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Alexander Graham Bell falls in love with deaf girl Mabel Hubbard while teaching the deaf and trying to invent means for telegraphing the human voice. She urges him to put off thoughts of ... See full summary »

Director: Irving Cummings
Stars: Don Ameche, Loretta Young, Henry Fonda
Drama | Romance | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A mysterious girl inspires a struggling artist.

Director: William Dieterle
Stars: Jennifer Jones, Joseph Cotten, Ethel Barrymore
Love Letters (1945)
Drama | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Allen Quinton writes a fellow soldier's love letters; tragedy results. Later, Allen meets a beautiful amnesiac who fears postmen...

Director: William Dieterle
Stars: Jennifer Jones, Joseph Cotten, Ann Richards
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Susan Miller works behind the girdle counter in a department store and dreams about the beautiful clothes and glamour she can never hope to have. Enter May Worthington and Warren, a pair of... See full summary »

Director: Rouben Mamoulian
Stars: Henry Fonda, Gene Tierney, Laird Cregar
Claudia (1943)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Child bride Claudia Naughton has made life difficult for her husband David because she can't stand living so far away from her mother. She's also afraid her husband doesn't find her ... See full summary »

Director: Edmund Goulding
Stars: Dorothy McGuire, Robert Young, Ina Claire
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Helen and Ken are a pretty strange couple. She is a pathological liar, and he is a scrupulously honest (and therefore unsuccessful) lawyer. Helen starts a new job, and when her employer is ... See full summary »

Director: Wesley Ruggles
Stars: Carole Lombard, Fred MacMurray, John Barrymore
Love Is News (1937)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Financier's daughter spars with newspaper reporter: he by writing about her, she by announcing their engagement.

Director: Tay Garnett
Stars: Tyrone Power, Loretta Young, Don Ameche
Certificate: Passed Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Magazine editor Margot Merrick pretends to be married in order to avoid advances from male colleagues. Unfortunately, things don't go to plan when Jeff Thompson, a potential suitor, ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Z. Leonard
Stars: Myrna Loy, Melvyn Douglas, Raymond Walburn
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

From Arnold Bennett's novel "Buried Alive". An artist returning from years abroad takes the identity of his dead valet to escape the attentions of the press.

Director: John M. Stahl
Stars: Monty Woolley, Gracie Fields, Laird Cregar
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Lynn Bari ...
Claire Harris
...
Dwight Dawson
...
Horace Hunter
George Barbier ...
James Roger Barker
Frank Orth ...
Messenger
Roseanne Murray ...
Dawson's Secretary
Marietta Canty ...
Jenny
Hobart Cavanaugh ...
Albert Gowdy
Hal K. Dawson ...
Charlie
Josephine Whittell ...
Mrs. Hunter
Arthur Loft ...
Mr. Morton, Fire Engine Salesman
Paul Stanton ...
Peters
Claire Du Brey ...
Peter's Secretary
William B. Davidson ...
Mr. Reindel
Edit

Storyline

Dwight Dawson, who runs an unsuccessful success school, stages a contest to find the biggest failure in the USA, for publicity value when the "dope" takes his course. But winner Tad Page is contented with his idle, lazy life and threatens to convert Dawson's other students to his philosophy. Dawson captalizes on Tad's attraction to Claire Harris to win him over; but will Tad find out Claire is really engaged to Dawson? Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Meet the All-American Jerk...Ladies' Man De Luxe!

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

21 October 1942 (Mexico)  »

Also Known As:

Assim Vivo Eu...  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The title was originally "The Magnificent Jerk," but the censors made the studio change it. See more »

Quotes

Claire Harris: As Benjamin Franklin said, Go Soak your Head!
See more »


Soundtracks

At Last
(uncredited)
Music by Harry Warren
Played when Tad and Claire are drinking champagne at the Havana Club
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A weird topic for the war years...
3 March 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

...but fun just the same. It is almost escapist entertainment due to the fact that it just ignores the fact that WWII is going on at the time. Don Ameche plays Dwight Dawson, the owner of a school for success in New York City that doesn't really teach anything other than self confidence. Like the Wizard of Oz, he doesn't seem to be passing out anything that people don't have inside already. His business is down, and so he decides to run an ad looking for the biggest failure in America, using it as the basis for a publicity campaign to turn the contest winner into a success via his methods. Even this he does wrong, though, because who he ultimately picks isn't someone who can't get ahead, but someone who is happy with not getting ahead - a guy from Vermont (Henry Fonda as Tad Page) who rents fishing boats in the summer and thinks about summer in the winter.

The prize is five hundred dollars and a course at Ameche's business school. Tad is interested in the five hundred dollars only - he wants to buy a new fire engine for his community. However, he is perfectly happy with his life as it is and is not interested in changing. So now Dawson and his fiancée (Lynn Bari as Claire) have to convince Fonda to go to the classes, prevent him from convincing the other students they don't really need these courses to be happy, and get him to be a success.

A romantic triangle forms, rather predictable comical consequences ensue - Tad Page rubs off more on New York than New York rubs off on Tad Page, and I really never saw how Tad Page was either really magnificent or a dope.

Darryl F. Zanuck, head of Fox studios, was big on message pictures and films with a historical context, and this is a rather rare example of a film done at his studio during his reign that is set in the present day that is not a noir. It's enjoyable stuff with Fonda doing his familiar likable every-man character and with Ameche as the debonair little weasel that you just can't bring yourself to truly dislike - much like a ferret in a tuxedo. A recommended rarity.


1 of 1 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss The Magnificent Dope (1942) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?