6.7/10
440
15 user 3 critic

The Great Man Votes (1939)

Passed | | Drama | 13 January 1939 (USA)
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 ... See full summary »

Director:

Garson Kanin

Writers:

Gordon Malherbe Hillman (story), John Twist (screen play)
Reviews

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Arsène Lupin (1932)
Crime | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A detective is tasked to capture an elusive thief called Arsene Lupin.

Director: Jack Conway
Stars: John Barrymore, Lionel Barrymore, Karen Morley
Certificate: Passed Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A prince plots to kill the mad monk Rasputin for the good of the czar, the czarina and Russia.

Directors: Richard Boleslawski, Charles Brabin
Stars: John Barrymore, Ethel Barrymore, Lionel Barrymore
Midnight (1939)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A chorus girl stranded in Paris is set up by a millionaire to break up his wife's affair with another man, while being romantically pursued by a cab driver.

Director: Mitchell Leisen
Stars: Claudette Colbert, Don Ameche, John Barrymore
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Barrymore lampoons himself. A famous actor, given to drink, nearly destroys the show, but his leading lady returns to save it. Meanwhile a young girl tries to reform him.

Director: Walter Lang
Stars: John Barrymore, Mary Beth Hughes, Gregory Ratoff
Moby Dick (1930)
Certificate: Passed Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

In this extremely loose adaptation of Melville's classic novel, Ahab is revealed initially not as a bitter and vengeful madman, but as a bit of a lovable scamp. Ashore in New Bedford, he ... See full summary »

Director: Lloyd Bacon
Stars: John Barrymore, Joan Bennett, Lloyd Hughes
Adventure | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

François Villon, in his lifetime the most renowned poet in France, is also a prankster, an occasional criminal, and an ardent patriot.

Director: Alan Crosland
Stars: John Barrymore, Conrad Veidt, Marceline Day
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

An archduke who had been banished from Austria returns to Vienna for a reunion of his old fellow aristocrats and meets up with the former love of his life, who is now married to a psychoanalyst.

Director: Sidney Franklin
Stars: John Barrymore, Diana Wynyard, Frank Morgan
Beau Brummel (1924)
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

George Bryan Brummel, a British military officer, loves Lady Margery, the betrothed of Lord Alvanley. Despite her own desperate love for Brummel, she submits to family pressure and marries ... See full summary »

Director: Harry Beaumont
Stars: John Barrymore, Mary Astor, Willard Louis
Night Flight (1933)
Certificate: Passed Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Polio breaks out in Rio de Janeiro, the serum is in Santiago and there's only one way to get the medicine where it's desperately needed: flown in by daring pilots who risk the treacherous weather and forbidding peaks of the Andes.

Director: Clarence Brown
Stars: John Barrymore, Helen Hayes, Clark Gable
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9/10 X  

Disillusioned in marriage, Jacques Leroi attempts an airship flight across the Pacific Ocean, but crashes and washes ashore on an island populated by a peaceful tribe of completely happy ... See full summary »

Director: Marshall Neilan
Stars: John Barrymore, Colleen Moore, Anna Q. Nilsson
Romance | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

When Dr. Ernest Tindal's wife is murdered, evidence mounts to convict her lover, Frank Marian. But Frank knows he didn't do it.....

Director: Ralph Murphy
Stars: John Barrymore, Lynne Overman, Louise Campbell
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Carl Bellairs and Lindsey Lane, his daughter, meet many years after he deserted her and her mother. They don't much like each other, but wind up working in the same nightclub. Bellairs ... See full summary »

Director: Ernest B. Schoedsack
Stars: John Barrymore, Helen Chandler, Donald Cook
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
John Barrymore ... Gregory Vance
Peter Holden Peter Holden ... Donald
Virginia Weidler ... Joan
Katharine Alexander ... Miss Billow
Donald MacBride ... Iron Hat McCarthy
Benny Bartlett ... Davy McCarthy (as Bennie Bartlett)
Brandon Tynan Brandon Tynan ... Chester Ainslee
Elisabeth Risdon ... Phoebe Ainslee
Granville Bates ... The Mayor
Luis Alberni ... Manos
J.M. Kerrigan ... Hot Shot Gillings
William Demarest ... Charles Dale
Roy Gordon Roy Gordon ... Mr. Byrne
Edit

Storyline

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 <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

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 »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 January 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Il voto del grand'uomo See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$84,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

"The Screen Guild Theater" broadcast a 30 minute radio adaptation of the movie on November 3, 1940 with John Barrymore and Virginia Weidler reprising their film roles. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Cement Man: [looking down at Davy's posterior impression in the wet cement] Spittin' image of his old man.
See more »

Soundtracks

(Hail, Hail,) The Gang's All Here
(1904) (uncredited)
Music by Theodore Morse
Lyrics by Dolly Morse
Played during the opening credits
Reprised by the marching band at the parade
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Like a train wreck
5 April 2016 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Watching John Barrymore's last films is like watching a train wreck and we do have a fascination with disaster of all kind. Knowing that Barrymore was given to the inebriation he portrays on the screen it's like rubbernecking when you watch his last films like The Great Man Votes.

In The Great Man Votes Barrymore is 57 and he must have married real late in life to have fathered children the age of Virginia Weidler and Peter Holden. He's a former scholar who has gone to seed living in a rat trap filled with books and he certainly has given his kids one classical education beyond their years. A great bit of home schooling but his kids aren't exactly ready for the social aspects of the outside world. Especially for a bully like Bennie Bartlett who's dad Donald MacBride is the ward boss of the district where in the particular precinct Barrymore and the kids live, Jack is the only registered voter. Bartlett was the best one in the film.

For reasons that were never satisfactorily explained to me Barrymore's vote in carrying the district 1 to 0 for MacBride and his party take on a great significance. So he's courted and feted while at the same time Barrymore has a custody fight going with his late wife's family for the kids.

In Margot Peters book about the Barrymore clan she goes into some description of Jack's decline. He had an incident with Virginia Weidler when she was trying to steal a scene. Did not show the aging matinée idol in the greatest light.

The Great Man Votes is supposed to be political satire, but it really never accomplishes the goal. It might have been better handled by Preston Sturges and a year later in The Great McGinty he showed how these kinds of films are to be made.


1 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 15 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Comedy Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular comedy titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed