In 1923, Gregory Vance, a widower with two children, is a former scholar who has turned from book-to-bottle. He works, slightly, as a night-watchman and his children, who know him for what ...
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Attorney Tom Cardigan is the discontented "mouthpiece" for Vanny Powers' mob. When Tom takes sweet June Perry as his mistress, she tries in vain to redeem him. But Powers decides Tom would ... See full summary »
In 1923, Gregory Vance, a widower with two children, is a former scholar who has turned from book-to-bottle. He works, slightly, as a night-watchman and his children, who know him for what he is and what he isn't, are his only admirers. Then, it is discovered that he is the only registered voter in a key precinct and the politicians, from both parties, arrive in droves bearing inducements. What he does about this situation, and the relatives who want to take his children away from him make up the story.Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
WHAT MAKES A GREAT PICTURE?...In this case it's a man with a hole in his pants and an empty heart...and two loyal kids who just knew their dad was a great man...and that wonderful, intangible something that makes blood pound faster, brings a lump in the throat, a laugh of gladness, and a precious tear to the eye! Come expecting one of the best pictures you've ever seen! See more »
When Davy pushes the new kid in the school yard, shadows of the camera and the boom microphone can clearly be seen on the ground behind them. The shadow of the camera then moves as it follows Davy afterwords. See more »
Gregory Vance, magnified briefly, by a kindly destiny, in a kindly land where... where greatness is within a people, not within a man; and where any man who calls himself great, is only looking at his shadow, from the shoulders of those who have lifted him up. Today, his own feet must carry him. Side by side we walk today, the big and the little, and, those we sometimes call: the down and out. A voter, by the name of Mr. Whittier, once spoke of that. Today, of all the weary year, a king of men ...
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Former Harvard professor John Barrymore (as Gregory Vance) lives in a typical 1923 American city, where he works as a lowly night watchman. Unfortunately, Mr. Barrymore has become an alcoholic. Also a widower, Barrymore may lose his two children due to perpetual drunkenness. Pre-teens Virginia Weidler (as Joan) and Peter Holden (as Donald) adore their dad and try to help regulate his alcohol intake. An upcoming election focuses on Barrymore as he is the only registered voter in his precinct. This may have something to do with the precinct's tradition of always voting unanimously. Having his vote count 100% brings Barrymore much attention. He learns how to lay off the sauce, presumably, and gets close to attractive schoolteacher Katharine Alexander (as Agnes Billow)...
Off screen, Barrymore had lost control of his own drinking, but he could still deliver large, succulent slices of acting ham for director Garson Kanin and RKO Radio Pictures. Later roles helped by having Barrymore play an alcoholic. It wasn't all smooth sailing during this film, however. This is the one where Barrymore allegedly threw Miss Weidler across the set. The little scene-stealer was playing with Barrymore's tie while the acclaimed actor was speaking. Notably, Weidler plays practically the entire movie with a black eye. Weidler did not work with Barrymore again, and young Holden never made another film. Making a great impression, the bully who calls Barrymore a "drunk old bummer" is future "Bowery Boys" series regular Bennie Bartlett (as David "Davy" McCarthy).
******The Great Man Votes (1/13/39) Garson Kanin ~ John Barrymore, Virginia Weidler, Peter Holden, Bennie Bartlett
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