7.4/10
3,162
37 user 29 critic

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 »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Certificate: Passed Comedy | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Woodrow is discharged from the military for hay fever, but fabricates receiving a heroic honorable discharge before returning home.

Director: Preston Sturges
Stars: Eddie Bracken, Ella Raines, Raymond Walburn
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

When the co-workers of an ambitious clerk trick him into thinking he has won $25,000 in a slogan contest, he begins to use the money to fulfill his dreams. What will happen when the ruse is discovered?

Director: Preston Sturges
Stars: Dick Powell, Ellen Drew, Raymond Walburn
Comedy | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

After an all-night send-off party for the troops, a small-town girl wakes up to find herself married and pregnant, but with no memory of her husband's identity.

Director: Preston Sturges
Stars: Eddie Bracken, Betty Hutton, Diana Lynn
Comedy | Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

While conducting a symphony orchestra, Sir Alfred De Carter imagines three different ways of dealing with his wife's suspected infidelity, then tries acting out his fantasies, but things do... See full summary »

Director: Preston Sturges
Stars: Rex Harrison, Linda Darnell, Rudy Vallee
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

An inventor needs cash to develop his big idea. His wife, who loves him, decides to raise it for him by divorcing him and marrying a millionaire.

Director: Preston Sturges
Stars: Claudette Colbert, Joel McCrea, Mary Astor
Certificate: Passed Biography | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

The biography of Dr. W. T. Morgan, a 19th century Boston dentist, during his quest to have anesthesia, in the form of ether, accepted by the public and the medical and dental establishment.

Director: Preston Sturges
Stars: Joel McCrea, Betty Field, Harry Carey
The Lady Eve (1941)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A trio of classy card sharks targets the socially awkward heir to brewery millions for his money, until one of them falls in love with him.

Director: Preston Sturges
Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Henry Fonda, Charles Coburn
Adventure | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A director of escapist films goes on the road as a hobo to learn about life, which gives him a rude awakening.

Director: Preston Sturges
Stars: Joel McCrea, Veronica Lake, Robert Warwick
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Major Thompson, an Englishman living in France, comments in his memoirs on the peculiarities of his French wife and friends.

Director: Preston Sturges
Stars: Jack Buchanan, Martine Carol, Noël-Noël
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A naive girl just out of a cloistered orphanage finds that being a 'good fairy' to strangers makes life awfully complicated.

Director: William Wyler
Stars: Margaret Sullavan, Herbert Marshall, Frank Morgan
Comedy | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Temperamental saloon singer Freddie Jones, jealously shoots at her cheating boyfriend Blackie but mistakenly hits Judge Alfalfa J. O'Toole's honorable behind, forcing her to skip town under the guise of a schoolteacher.

Director: Preston Sturges
Stars: Betty Grable, Cesar Romero, Rudy Vallee
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A shoplifter and her prosecutor fall in love, creating tensions for his career and family.

Director: Mitchell Leisen
Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Fred MacMurray, Beulah Bondi
Edit

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
Edit

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:

The SCREEN SURPRISE of the YEAR! It's the laffiest, daffiest film fun you have ever screamed at! (original ad) See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Russian

Release Date:

23 August 1940 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Biograhy of a Bum See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

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

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

This film has 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 21 critic reviews. 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

Skeeters: What do you think this is, Hicks Corners? Some people is too lazy to vote, that's all. They don't like this kind of weather. Some of 'em is sick in bed and can't vote. Maybe a couple of 'em croaked recently. That ain't no reason why Mayor Tillinghast should get cheated out of their support. All we're doing is getting out the vote.
See more »


Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

Looks like the suit got YOU!
7 August 2000 | by fowler1See all my reviews

The conventional wisdom on McGINTY is that it's lesser Sturges, more important as his directorial debut than as a standalone comedy. Pish and tosh. This is a supremely satisfying comedy and had it been Sturges' only directing credit, would still mark him as a filmmaker to remember. (And, no, that's not a subtle swipe at his others, merely a defense of this too-often overlooked movie.)Maybe the best asset of McGINTY is its budget constraint, which steered Sturges towards the 'ensemble' casting which would become one of his hallmarks. The movie is filled stem to stern with sharp-eyed turns by primarily supporting players (including the leads, Donlevy & Tamiroff, who are excellent). What I can't help but notice is how the Sturges films of the 40s are really the last gasp of the great breakneck comedies of the pre-Code 30s, just prior to the 'screwball' era, when Hollywood was still allowed to poke fun at people/institutions/conventions of the Real World. In fact, McGINTY -with only minor casting changes- would have fit right in with the Warner Bros/First National bumper crop of fast, cynical comedies of '31-'34. (And, by the way, Tamiroff's cheerfully corrupt and malapropping Boss would be paid hilarious homage 20+ years later in animation form as Boris Badinov in Jay Ward's ROCKY & BULLWINKLE cartoons.) The love interest of Muriel Angelus, and adjoining subplot, may come off a bit treacly, but Sturges was canny enough to make this studio-mandated mawkishness an integral part of the plot...even as early as 1940, he was subverting True Love to his devilishly satiric purposes! So stop nitpicking and thoroughly enjoy one of the great American comedies, brought to unforgettable life by that great if unrecognized repertory company, The Sturges Players (featuring, among others, Wm Demarest, Thurston Hall & Arthur Hoyt).


25 of 27 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 37 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed