Too bad for presidential hopes of banker T.K. Blair; his party feels he has too little flair for savoir faire. But at a medicine show, the party bosses find Blair's double: huckster Doc Varney. Of course, they scheme to make Varney T.K.'s public spokesman; at first, he even fools Blair's girlfriend Felicia, providing a romantic complication. As election eve approaches, the conspirators face the problem of what to do with Varney...who has difficult decisions of his own to make.Written by
Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The Phantom President is the only chance to see the legendary George M. Cohan in a talkie musical
With today being the second day of July, it's also the second day I'm reviewing movies with either a patriotic theme or about a patriotic person, in this case about George M. Cohan. Well, actually, this particular one stars Mr. Cohan-one of only two talkies he made though his other one, Gambling, is lost for now-playing two roles: that of an uncharismatic presidential candidate and also of a medicine show man who makes public appearances playing that candidate. Also starring Claudette Colbert as that candidate's girlfriend and Jimmy Durante as the medicine man's sidekick. The songs are mostly by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart though there were also some tunes by Cohan and Durante. I have to note one more appearance-that of Sidney Toler as one of the campaign managers. If he sounds familiar, then you're probably seen many of his Charlie Chan movies! Anyway, this was a pretty entertaining musical comedy though much of Durante's material is uneven even though he's pretty entertaining throughout and there's some unfortunate blackface concerning Cohan but this is the only time we see his expert hoofing on screen. In fact, if James Cagney had not portrayed Cohan in Yankee Doodle Dandy-which is what I'll review next-years later, the only reason for anyone to watch this movie in modern times would be for fans of Claudette Colbert and Jimmy Durante to complete their viewing of everything they did! By the way, I also liked the beginning sequence in which four presidential portraits were singing to each other! Those portraits were of the same people who eventually were carved on Mount Rushmore...
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