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Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
7
4.7 out of 5 stars


on 9 November 2013
Simply the best American film about American politics. It's all there: the political boss, ballot stuffing, the ineffectual politician, cronyism, the shakedown; and all dished out in a satire that to this day that has yet to be matched. "You wanna be reform mayor? All right. You're in. You gotta kiss a lot of babies, squeeze a lot of mitts. Wear your old clothes. They don't want no dudes after Tillinghast. And another thing. You gotta get married. Maybe you haven't heard. Women got the vote now. They don't like bachelors."
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on 22 May 2017
Everything fine.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 16 August 2016
With this highly infectious 1940 debut film, featuring his later trademark mix of sharp dialogue, physical comedy and perceptive social satire, writer-director Preston Sturges set in train a run of outstanding film comedies. As well as having an eye for character actors – The Great McGinty gives us a taster of performances from many of what was to become Sturges’ regular acting troupe – the film-maker could also spot (admittedly often dark) comedic potential in unlikely places for his 'star turns’. Here, we get Brian Donlevy and Akim Tamiroff (both perhaps better known for playing 'heavies’) verbally and physically sparring as (respectively) the down-and-out turned protection racketeer turned (corrupt) state governor, Daniel McGinty, and the smooth mobster and 'career advisor’ to McGinty, simply referred to as The Boss. Not only do Donlevy and Tamiroff deliver pitch-perfect performances (the former mellowing, the latter not, in the mix of menace and duplicity), but their perhaps unlikely co-star, Brit Muriel Angelus’ 'arranged’ wife to McGinty and moral centre of the film, Catherine, eventually grows into the role to play seamlessly alongside her male counterparts.

The film’s dark underbelly is exposed in what is a superb set-up (bearing an uncanny resemblance to that from Charles Crichton’s later Ealing masterpiece The Lavender Hill Mob) as (now) 'banana republic barman’ McGinty saves a potential suicide victim before relating his own sorry 'rise and fall’ tale in flashback. Sturges’ film, arguably, still provides one of the most hard-hitting cinematic examples of parody of a political system, albeit tempered with a seemingly endless stream of hilarious wisecracks and with an atypically positive take on both marriage and the female of the species (following some initial digs at both). As the source of much of the film’s satire, Tamiroff’s Boss consistently excels, whether 'marshalling the resources’ of the Reform Party, Purity League, etc, or celebrating the 'land of the free’, quipping 'This is a land of great opportunity’. Sturges’ regulars frequently pop up – most substantially via William Demarest’s blustering 'political henchman’, Skeeters, but also memorable are Esther Howard’s sleazy 'fortune teller’ ('Do you want to go upstairs and have your fortune told?’) and Dewey Robinson’s tough guy (both characters 'in pay’ to The Boss).

As for all Sturges, The Great McGinty always looks good (cinematography by William C Mellor) whether in its impressive montage sequences or the noir-like jailbreak sequence. In terms of its 'moral themes’ I was reminded of Frank Capra (It’s A Wonderful Life, Mr Smith Goes To Washington, etc) and 'sharp comedy-wise’ I kept thinking of Billy Wilder. High praise and high recommendation.
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on 5 June 2016
if you like clever well consructed movies with constant suprises,grab this one ,sturges first movie and the quality shows.donlevy was never better.
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on 4 November 2016
A must see film for all film buffs! Won first oscar for best screenplay for Preston Sturges.
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on 18 September 2016
Great!
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on 23 January 2015
Nowhere near the Director's best
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