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The Phantom President (1932)

A presidential candidate is deemed to have a dull personality, thus a charismatic look-alike is hired as a front.

Director:

Norman Taurog
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The life of the renowned musical composer, playwright, actor, dancer, and singer George M. Cohan.

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: James Cagney, Joan Leslie, Walter Huston
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
George M. Cohan ... Theodore K. Blair / Peeter J. 'Doc' Varney
Claudette Colbert ... Felicia Hammond
Jimmy Durante ... Curly Cooney
George Barbier ... Boss Jim Ronkton
Sidney Toler ... Prof. Aikenhead
Louise Mackintosh ... Sen. Sarah Scranton
Jameson Thomas ... Jerrido
Julius McVicker ... Sen. Melrose
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Storyline

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 <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It's nonsense and - I love it!

Genres:

Comedy | Musical

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 September 1932 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Falso Presidente See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to Richard Rodgers, George M. Cohan deeply resented having to work with Rodgers and lyricist Lorenz Hart on the film. Cohan was bitter that the type of musical theatre that he had created was now out of fashion, and that it was being supplanted by the more literate and musically sophisticated shows of Rodgers and Hart, among others. During the filming Cohan would sarcastically refer to Rodgers and Hart as "Gilbert and Sullivan". See more »

Quotes

Prof. Aikenhead: Blair lacks political charm. Blair has no flair for savoir faire.
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Soundtracks

THE MEDICINE SHOW
Written by Richard Rodgers
Lyrics by Lorenz Hart
Sung and chanted by George M. Cohan and Jimmy Durante
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A rare and wonderful chance to see Geo. M. Cohan in action
13 May 1999 | by metaphor-2See all my reviews

If you saw Cagney in Yankee Doodle Dandy, you've got the wrong idea. George M. Cohan was the smoothest song-and dance-man of them all, not the edgy fireball that Cagney portrayed. (No knock to Cagney; but he couldn't repress his natural energies) Watching Cohan, the original, is a delightful experience.

The plot is a fairly funny political satire. A politician with just what it takes to be president, but none of the "good American sex appeal" needed to get elected, finds an exact double: a medicine show charlatan. The medicine show man is hired to pinch hit for campaign purposes. His sidekick (Durante) comes along for the ride. They turn the medicine show into the convention. Durante does one of his famous "I won't talk on the radio" routines. It's, overall, light fare, but thoroughly enjoyable.

This film used to be shown on New York City local TV every four years on Election Night. Now, it seems to be virtually impossible to see. Too bad Universal (which owns the old Paramount films) doesn't dig it out of the vault and put it on Video.


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