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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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 <email@example.com>
Garson Kanin wrote that he insisted that everyone working on the film call John Barrymore "Mr. Barrymore" in a attempt to perk up the actor's sagging self-image, including people who had known Barrymore for years. Several members of the crew quit the film instead of following Kanin's edict. See more »
Impressions in the wet cement change greatly from the shot where Davy is pulled from it to the close-up of the cement worker looking down at it in the trough. See more »
A short but delightful comedy which is surprisingly well crafted.
For a movie which is little more than a light diversion, this turns out to be constructed with a surprisingly high level of craftsmanship and sensitivity. I would find it difficult to believe that anyone could dislike this short but delightful comedy.
On the surface, the movie is about a group of local politicians whose spin doctors have managed to use the media to manipulate the public to the point that the vote of one "great" man will determine the entire outcome of the elections. Ignore the specifics and this political satire is as relevant today as it was when it was made 60 years ago. But the real story is about a father's love for his children and this is what truly makes him "the great man". It isn't presented with much depth - what can you expect from a short simple comedy? - but it is done with enough sensitivity to create a real feeling of warmth and affection.
All of it's characters could easily have lost their humanity by falling into predictable stereotypes, but the movie manages to completely avoid this. The main character is continually drunk, but he never has to resort to slurring or stumbling to portray this, and his drunkenness is never exploited for a cheap laugh. His two precocious children manage to entertain without ever having to be excessively cute. It's rare to see a low budget comedy which has the confidence to show this kind of restraint. The confidence is well deserved; this is a movie which is sure to put a smile on your face.
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