Jack Burden is a newspaper reporter who first hears of Willie Stark when his editor sends him to Kanoma County to cover the man. What's special about this nobody running for county treasurer? He's supposedly an honest man. Burden discovers this to be true when he sees Stark delivering a speech and having his son pass out handbills, while the local politicians do their best to intimidate him. Willie Stark is honest and brave. He's also a know-nothing hick whose schoolteacher wife has given him what little education he has. Stark loses the race for treasurer, but later makes his way through law school, becoming an idealistic attorney who fights for what is good. Someone in the governor's employ remembers Stark when the governor needs a patsy to run against him and split the vote of his rival. The fat cats underestimate Stark; but Jack Burden, Stark's biggest supporter, overestimates the man's idealism. To get where he wants to go, Willie Stark is willing to crack a few eggs - which ...Written by
Robert Penn Warren's novel, upon which the film was based, was published in 1946. It went on to win the Pulitzer Prize. Writer-director Robert Rossen purchased the film rights himself, and was then able to broker a deal with Columbia Pictures. He shifted the focus of the novel from the Jack Burden character (played by 'John Ireland' (qv() to Willie Stark. See more »
When the doctor is playing a waltz at the piano, the right hand portion of the music continues even when he lifts his right hand -- twice! -- to pick up a drink. See more »
Story of Willie Stark, who starts out running for an Assemblyman in the south up against the local political machine, who eventually rises to governor of his state supported by the machine and every interest, Stark originally set out to fight, in the meanwhile ruining the lives of his family & associates. Crawford is very powerful in his role as Stark, delivering a very convincing performance. McCambridge is also excellent as Stark's conniving political aide (and mistress), Ireland effective as the reporter, from whom the story is viewed. Very good direction by Rossen, who turns the likeable Stark, into a despicable fink by the film's end. Sharp editing also by Clark. Nice moral play to watch. Rating, 10.
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