Dim-witted blowhard, Melvin G. Ashton, is a US Senator who wants to be President. He hires Lew Gibson, a talented PR man who gets Ashton in newsreels and on the front page, never thinking he'll win. But Ashton has a secret weapon: a diary documenting every shady deal his party's made for 35 years. With the diary, he blackmails the party leaders to support his candidacy, and he's on his way to the nomination. An unseen political enemy is after the diary, using the young and lovely Valerie Shepherd to get into the Senator's room. Plus, Lew's fiancée, reporter Poppy McNaughton thinks she can get her hands on it, too, and stop Ashton. Will the otherwise unemployable dope become President? Written by
Senator Melvin G. Ashton:
There's one thing you can't say about me, Fred, I have never put one man or woman on the public payroll who was not my own blood kin-or Mrs. Ashton's, anyway.
See more »
Dedication: To every politician who has ever jeopardized a baby's health with unsanitary kisses, who has ever delivered a three hour Fourth of July oration about himself and George Washington, who has ever promised peace, prosperity and triple movie features in exchange for a vote, this picture is not too humbly dedicated. See more »
This film stands along with "Bringing Up Baby" as one of the most preposterous non Marx Brothers comedies ever filmed. Its plot seems to defy reality, but in looking at the political climate of this era it seems like more of a case of art imitating life.
This art is created hilariously by William Powell who as Senator Melvin G Ashton is the epitome of buffoonery yet due to his political party's shenanigans and the fact that he has kept a diary of those dastardly deeds finds himself as a candidate for President of the United States. When that diary is stolen, the efforts to retrieve it lead Powell from one embarrassing situation to another with non-stop laughs.
Peter Lind Hayes, not known for acting plays Powell's press agent and is very funny. Ella Raines, one of the most stunning women in films, plays a reporter and she's not only very funny but very beautiful. And there's a who's who of character actors led by Ray Collins, Allen Jenkins, Charles D. Brown and Milton Parsons who perform superbly.
George S Kaufman directed the film. He was long known as one of the leading playwrights of both comedy and drama. He won 2 Pulitzer Prizes. He wrote 2 Marx Brothers Films, as well as "The Man Who Came To Dinner" and "You Can't Take It With You". This was his only turn at directing a film. The pace he establishes is frenetic, with dialogue delivered in the Howard Hawks overlapping style.
Stay with this until the very last line. The ending is a pip. In fact the whole film is one
12 of 12 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?