9 user 5 critic

Politics (1931)

Passed | | Comedy, Romance | 25 July 1931 (USA)
Middle-aged widow Hattie Burns becomes fed up when local small-town politicians ignore corruption and decides to run for mayor herself.


Charles Reisner (as Charles F. Riesner)


Zelda Sears (story), Malcolm Stuart Boylan (story) | 2 more credits »




Complete credited cast:
Marie Dressler ... Hattie Burns
Polly Moran ... Ivy Higgins
Roscoe Ates ... Peter Higgins (as Rosco Ates)
Karen Morley ... Myrtle Burns
William Bakewell ... Benny Emerson
John Miljan ... Jim Curango
Joan Marsh ... Daisy Evans
Tom McGuire ... Mayor Tom Collins
Kane Richmond ... Nifty Morgan
Mary Alden ... Mrs. Mary Evans


Middle-aged, small-town widow Hattie Burns is angered when a friend's daughter is inadvertently killed by s stray bullet in a gangland shootout at a local speakeasy. When Hattie confronts the mayor, a political hack running for re-election, at a campaign event about closing the illegal operations down, he brushes her off as only a woman. Other women at the rally draft her as a rival candidate with best-friend Ivy as campaign manager and female voters go on a "Lysistrata"-like parlor, bedroom, and bath strike in order to insure Hattie's election. Unfortunately, Hattie does not know that her daughter Myrtle's boyfriend, a reformed but wounded hoodlum, is hiding out in her attic. Written by duke1029@aol.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


They give you the grandest laugh for your money you've ever had. Marie enters the political game and how she makes the grafters run. It's a riot. (Print Ad- Heppner Gazette-Times, ((Heppner, Ore.)) 8 October 1931) See more »


Comedy | Romance


Passed | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


When Hattie says Ivy looks like "Madame Queen" , audiences throughout the U.S. and Canada would instantly know this as a reference to a character in the "Amos n' Andy" radio series, where white actors played black characters. See more »


Hattie Burns: [Referring to Peter] Oh, Ivy, kiss him. He can't suffer more than he has already.
See more »

Crazy Credits

This story is dedicated to women - who have been fighting for their rights ever since Adam and Eve started the loose-leaf system. See more »


References The Stolen Jools (1931) See more »


The Stars and Stripes Forever
(1896) (uncredited)
Written by John Philip Sousa
Played by the marching band at the rally
See more »

User Reviews

Oh Marie
29 July 2015 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Hard to believe that this dowdy old woman was one of the biggest box office draws in movies during those Depression Days. But ex- vaudevillian Marie Dressler was a very funny woman, especially when aided and abetted by Polly Moran as she is in Politics.

Dressler is a widow with daughter Karen Morley and her neighbor is Polly Moran and her husband Roscoe Ates. When a gangland shooting at a local speakeasy results in the death of a young woman hit with a stray bullet, Dressler goes on the warpath. It's good to remember that the 19th Amendment giving woman the right to vote was only 11 years old at the time and women were just starting to flex some political muscle.

Marie declares herself a candidate for mayor to replace pompous old windbag Tom McGuire. And the women get behind her candidacy and start a Lysistrata like effort to put her over.

The subplot here is that Karen Morley is in love with William Bakewell who was fingered falsely for the shooting. Bakewell was also slightly wounded and Morley has him stashed in her house attic to heal. I think I can safely say that that situation is also cleared up nicely and all is right with Dressler's corner of the world.

Politics is a wonderful satire on same and I think it could easily be remade today. Just think of the funny women of today as to who could replace Marie Dressler and Polly Moran.

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Official Sites:

WB Shop / Warner Archive





Release Date:

25 July 1931 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Hell Bent for Election See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See full technical specs »

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