7.3/10
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38 user 36 critic

The Great McGinty (1940)

Passed | | Comedy | 23 August 1940 (USA)
Trailer
1:38 | Trailer
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
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Won 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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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>

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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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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of the working titles, "Down Went McGinty", is the name of a 19th century comic song written by Joseph Flynn. The full title is "Down Went McGinty (In His Best Suit of Clothes)" See more »

Goofs

When McGinty enters the hall after being elected mayor, a moving shadow of the camera is visible on a pillar in the foreground. See more »

Quotes

Prologue: "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."
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Soundtracks

For He's a Jolly Good Fellow
Traditional song
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User Reviews

 
modern political satire
4 November 2016 | by SnoopyStyleSee all my reviews

In a banana republic, bartender Dan McGinty (Brian Donlevy) saves a customer from killing himself. He then tells him and the barmaid how he used to be an American governor. He started out as a bum. Mayor Tillinghast offered $2 a vote and McGinty ended up voting 37 times. The political boss liked his guts and took him into his organization. Corruption becomes headline news. McGinty marries secretary Catherine in a marriage of convenience in order to get elected as reform mayor in order to continue the corruption. She's a mother of two and he gets an instant family. As he falls in love with Catherine, he starts reforming his ways which ends up being his downfall.

This is a modern political satire. There is a small rom-com inside. It's Preston Sturges' first directing effort in a legendary $10 sale of his screenplay. Donlevy is a compelling lead. It's terrific writing and solid work overall.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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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)
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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
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