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The Great Man (1956)

Joe Harris, preparing a eulogy for popular radio commentator Herb Fuller, finds that nobody has a good word to say about him.



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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Philip Carleton
Sid Moore
Carol Larson
Joanne Gilbert ...
Ginny - Harris' secretary
Paul Beaseley
Nick Cellantano
Russ Morgan ...
Eddie Brand
Dr. O'Connor (as Edward C. Platt)
Mike Jackson - radio engineer
Harry Connors
Vinton Hayworth ...
Charley Carruthers
Henny Backus ...
Mrs. Rieber
Janie Alexander ...
Mary Browne
Vikki Dougan ...
Marcia - new receptionist


On the death of popular national radio commentator Herb Fuller, underling Joe Harris undertakes to prepare an hour long, eulogistic program featuring interviews with Fuller's friends. But, though Fuller was beloved by 150 million of what all the pros term the "great unwashed," all Harris can find is victims, cynical users, and outright enemies of Fuller. Is this where the magic of editing comes in? Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

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"The Great Man? I figured I could handle him all right, but I was wrong...I couldn't...not that first night...or ever!" See more »







Release Date:

December 1956 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Luz de uma Ilusão  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Ginny: Feet of clay, huh?
Joe Harris: Right up to the knees, at least.
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Written by Bobby Troup and Leah Worth
Performed by Julie London
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User Reviews

The Great Man is a thinly disguised Arthur Godfrey
4 September 2001 | by See all my reviews

Just as Charlie Kane was based on William Randolph Hearst, great man Herb Fuller was based on TV and radio icon Arthur Godfrey. I believe several of the story lines in Great Man paralleled events in Godfrey's life. The one that stands out involved a `boy singer' that was fired by Herb Fuller. In real life Arthur Godfrey fired `boy singer' Julius LaRosa. I have heard that Godfrey – the `old redhead' was none too pleased with Jose Ferrer's film.

There is a brilliant scene in the film where the hard-boiled, cynical reporter Joe Harris (Jose Ferrer) meets a former employer of great man Herb Fuller, the guy who gave Fuller his start in broadcasting. Harris and his secretary make fun of Paul Beaseley (veteran actor Ed Wynn, who only has this one scene), a doddering old bumpkin who owns a small radio station in New England. Beaseley tells a story that reveals the two sides of Herb Fuller – a folksy, down-to- earth radio personality that people love on the one hand and a mean-spirited, drunken rat bastard on the other. At the end of the scene Beaseley says something like, `I know that some people find me ridiculous' and Harris, no longer mocking Beaseley, replies, `Mr. Beaseley, I don't find you ridiculous at all'. This is one of my favorite movie scenes of all time.

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