The Great McGinty (1940)

Passed   |    |  Comedy

The Great McGinty (1940) Poster

Dan McGinty has great success in his chosen field of crooked politics, but he endangers it all in one crazy moment of honesty.


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Preston Sturges


Preston Sturges

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24 November 2010 | mjneu59
| Preston Sturges makes his mark
Government corruption may not be a laughing matter, but writer director Preston Sturges made some of his funniest comedies from the most unlikely material, and he smartly lampooned the political process in his big screen directing debut. Brian Donlevy is the title character, a less than scrupulous bum elected to the State Governor's office under the patronage of underworld boss Akim Tamiroff and, in a clever reversal of the usual formula, reformed by the responsibilities of public office. But the Governor's newfound honesty spells the end of his fledgling political career because, as McGinty himself so eloquently says, "you can't make a silk purse out of a pig's ear". The film lacks the madcap pace and eccentric characters of later Sturges classics, but compensates with plenty of rich satire (says big boss Tamiroff: "if it weren't for graft you'd get a very low type of person in government…") and an unusual romantic subplot decades ahead of its time. After more than half a century Sturges' wit and originality is still invigorating, not unlike a bracing slap in the face.

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