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The Great McGinty (1940)

Passed | | Comedy | 23 August 1940 (USA)
Dan McGinty has great success in his chosen field of crooked politics, but he endangers it all in one crazy moment of honesty.

Director:

Preston Sturges

Writer:

Preston Sturges
Reviews
Won 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Directors: Mel Ferrer, Stuart Heisler, and 3 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Brian Donlevy ... Dan McGinty
Muriel Angelus ... Catherine McGinty
Akim Tamiroff ... The Boss
Allyn Joslyn ... George
William Demarest ... Skeeters - The Politician
Louis Jean Heydt ... Tommy Thompson
Harry Rosenthal Harry Rosenthal ... Louie - The Boss' Bodyguard
Arthur Hoyt ... Mayor Wilfred H. Tillinghast
Libby Taylor Libby Taylor ... Bessy - The Colored Maid
Thurston Hall ... Mr. Maxwell
Steffi Duna ... The Dancing Girl
Esther Howard ... Madame Juliette La Jolla
Frank Moran ... The Boss' Chauffeur (as Frank C. Moran)
Jimmy Conlin ... The Lookout - At Felgman's
Dewey Robinson ... Benny Felgman
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Storyline

Told in flashback, Depression-era bum Dan McGinty is recruited by the city's political machine to help with vote fraud. His great aptitude for this brings rapid promotion from "the boss," who finally decides he'd be ideal as a new, nominally "reform" mayor; but this candidacy requires marriage. His in-name-only marriage to honest Catherine proves the beginning of the end for dishonest Dan... Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It's Two-Fisted FUN! A fightin' fool gives you laughter of a lifetime..! (original ad) See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Russian

Release Date:

23 August 1940 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Biograhy of a Bum See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$350,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

On August 19, 1939, Paramount issued a check to contract writer Preston Sturges to buy the story and screenplay of this movie, in the amount of $10. Sturges promised to sell the script for that amount if he could direct. The studio took him up on it and the film was a hit and won an Academy Award for the screenplay, probably making it the cheapest Oscar-winning script in history. See more »

Goofs

In his victory parade as governor, McGinty rides in a car and it is clear he does not have a mustache. In the next scene, which takes place the same day at the state capitol, he has a mustache. See more »

Quotes

Dan McGinty: You got me all a tremble. I bet you're scared to death of yourself.
See more »

Connections

Featured in 100 Years of Comedy (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

For He's a Jolly Good Fellow
Traditional song
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
What's Up is Down, What's Wrong is Right
28 January 2007 | by mortycausaSee all my reviews

The Great McGinty grabbed me with its verve and jaunty iconoclasm from the beginning. "This is the story of two men who met in a banana republic. One of them never did anything dishonest in his life except for one crazy minute. The other never did anything honest in his life except for one crazy minute. They both had to get out of the country." In McGinty, a guy on the outs votes for a politician something like 72 times, and for this he is rewarded with a political boss's favor--"The Boss," and what a boss. Akim Tamiroff is simply wonderful: "Where you get that horse blanket?" And: "What a wonderful opportunity. This state needs everything. ... We'll need - you'll kiss me for this - a new dam. ... You think a dam is something you put a lot of water in. A dam is something you put a lot of concrete in. And it doesn't matter how much you put in there's always room for a lot more. ..." As the lead, "The Boss's" counterpart and equal, it's Brian Donlevy as he never had been before, never was again. McGinty (and Sturge's second movie, Christmas in July) may not quite be up there in the stratosphere with his absolute best like The Lady Eve, Sullivan's Travels, or Unfaithfully Yours, but they are nevertheless both wonderful movies with the Sturges stamp of buoyant uniqueness.


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