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
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 »
After the fireplace incident, when Hattie says Ivy looks like "Madam Queen", audiences at the time, especially in New York City, would have known she was referring to Stephanie St. Clair (1897-1969), who ran a highly lucrative numbers game in Harlem in the 1920's and '30's. She was portrayed by Cicely Tyson in Hoodlum (1997). See more »
[Listening to the corrupt mayor speaking to a women's club on the radio]
Hah! We're a cinch! Don't those old dames fall for color? That guy could bring tears to a glass eye!
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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 »
This sprightly programmer, starring Marie Dressler, transforms the story to modern politics ca. 1931. Dressler and the women are anxious to close the speakeasies -- this was made during Prohibition. There is a strong cast of women, including Polly Moran, Joan Marsh and Karen Morley. The men are played by supporting comics, including Roscoe Ates, on whose voice Porky Pig was modeled.
Dressler was an interesting character. A big legitimate stage star, she was one of the leaders of the strike that formed Actor's Equity. By the late 1920s, she was washed up, until screenwriter Frances Marion wrote a role for her, and by 1931, she was MGM's biggest star. Her character was a fat, good-intentioned, foul-mouthed harridan, and she could tread the line between comedy and drama as surefootedly as anyone in the industry.
Charles Reisner directs without much visual flair in this movie. He relies mostly on cuts to move the story along, moving the camera only slightly to maintain composition.
POLITICS is pretty well dated, but it remains a fascinating film, if only for the performance of Miss Dressler.
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