Political drama about a honest but naive gubernatorial candidate who is manipulated by his corrupt campaign manager and is forced to temporarily cede power to his wife, a woman of integrity despite her shameful past.

Director:

Daniel Mann
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Susan Hayward ... Ada Gillis
Dean Martin ... Bo Gillis
Wilfrid Hyde-White ... Sylvester Marin
Ralph Meeker ... Colonel Yancey
Martin Balsam ... Steve Jackson
Frank Maxwell ... Ronnie Hallerton
Connie Sawyer ... Alice Sweet
Ford Rainey ... Speaker
Charles Watts Charles Watts ... Al Winslow
Larry Gates ... Joe Adams
Robert S. Simon Robert S. Simon ... Warren Hatfield
Bill Zuckert ... Harry Davers (as William Zuckert)
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Storyline

Bo Gillis is running for Governor. Steve writes the speeches, Sylvester runs the campaign and Bo plays the guitar. Everything is going according to the plan until a hooker named Ada is setup with Bo one night. Even with her past, Bo decides to marry her, much to the astonishment of everyone. After the election, she has a created bio and is very adept at handling people. Bo Gillis, as Governor, finds that he has little influence as Sylvester runs the whole operation. Bo's function is only to sign what is given to him. But while Bo is weak and fails to push his reforms, Ada is strong and adept at doing what is best for Bo and her. Written by Tony Fontana <tony.fontana@spacebbs.com>

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Taglines:

What was the truth about Ada? See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

MGM acquired the film rights to the novel even before it was published in October 1959, and announced Elizabeth Taylor was being sought as the lead. Subsequently, an article in the 12 February 1960 edition of Daily Variety announced Ava Gardner and Robert Mitchum were the planned leads. See more »

Goofs

Even though the story is taking place in an unspecified Southern state, the governor's car, a 1939 LaSalle sedan, bears a California license plate (AIG 447); after it's blown up, it appears again undamaged when the governor's wife drives to the Motel, but this time bearing a different California plate (TAT 497). The plates are the black on gold variety first issued in California in 1956, then updated each year with a new sticker, in this case the dark blue one issued in 1960. See more »

Quotes

Bo Gillis: You must have been a tough little girl.
Ada Gillis: I'm a tough big one, too.
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Connections

Featured in Sunset Over Mulholland Drive (2019) See more »

Soundtracks

May the Lord Bless You Real Good
Written by Warren Roberts and Wally Fowler
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User Reviews

 
Governor's girl
26 March 2013 | by jjnxn-1See all my reviews

If you're a fan of Susan Hayward this film has everything you need.

An old-fashioned melodrama with all the trimmings Susan rules over this with a velvet glove. She's a girl from "the wrong side of the tracks", a prostitute in a roadside honky tonk who makes the acquaintance of a dim hayseed one night. He has a way with a song and isn't clever enough to see that he is being used as a dim bulb stooge by a political machine to take him to the governor's mansion. The film offers nothing new on this age old chestnut but the presentation is what counts here.

A star vehicle to be sure slanted Susan's way much more than Dean's even though he gets a moment here and there. Spotlighted in a way stars never are today Susan commands the screen. Notice that she is surrounded only by colors that flatter her, the rooms she finds herself in are almost exclusively white or a soft green to highlight her flame colored tresses. Even the roadhouse where she starts the story has that high class sheen that is a hallmark of the studio era.

The performances are excellent. Dean ambles through without too much to do but handles his one big scene well. Martin Balsam and Ralph Meeker are solid as Dean's trusted friend and a slimy cop respectively but it's Wilfred Hyde-White who stands out as the reptilian political operator who crosses swords with Susan. Therein lies the meat of the story and the basic enjoyment of the film. When these two old pros square off the fireworks are a treat, although Susan gets a couple of other chances on her own to rip apart the unsuspecting when she discovers malfeasance.

A few interesting side notes. The actress playing Susan's madam, Connie Sawyer known as the oldest working actress in Hollywood, is still alive and appearing in small parts at 102 as of November 2014.

The other note is a bit more somber, as she entered the end of her cancer struggle Susan Hayward's friends told her they had arranged for her to see any of her films that she wanted and she selected this film much to their surprise. In hindsight though it's easy to see why, every effort is made to make her look her best, its set in the south which had been her home for many years during her happy second marriage and her part is tailor made to many of her strengths.

If you love Susan Hayward or old time studio made melodramas don't miss this!


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 August 1961 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ada Dallas See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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