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.
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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 wonderful vehicle carried so many great character roles and made statements about how things run. Many ring true today. It provided a deliciously skeptical view of politics in general and the American idea that "any boy can can grow up to be President"! The rise of State Highway Divisor Melvin Ashton to the US Senate and the brink of the Presidency may explain how some of our more recent candidates have made it to stage center. My favorite running gag from this film was the characterization of the Bolshevik waiter by the wonderful Hans Conried. It is a snapshot of 1947 America with the impending threat of the Red witch hunt. His portrayal rings true with his bewildered observation of the American political process. It suggests that America was more than a match for Conried's "complete report een treepliket to the Kramleen by 5 PM". It is a DISCREET suggestion of the excess attention focused on the artistic community at the time by the guardians of our liberty. William Powell again comes through in a comedic role. The film's ending is a great piece of irony and social comment. He finally made it as the Big Kahuna, albeit on a slightly smaller stage!
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