The Great McGinty

1940

Comedy

147
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 100%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 80%
IMDb Rating 7.3 10 2,983

Synopsis


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750.73 MB
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English 2.0
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23.976 fps
82 min
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1.36 GB
1920×1080
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
82 min
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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by geoffparfitt 7 / 10 / 10

Preston Sturges Begins His Golden Five Years

In his golden five years 1940-44, Preston Sturges was the writer & director for eight movies for Paramount, ALL GOOD and MOST of them BRILLIANT. I first came to know these movies when five of them were shown on the BBC at Christmas in the early 1990's, including my personal favourites 'The Lady Eve' and 'The Palm Beach Story'. Since then I have had to wait for the invention of the DVD, and then last year's Preston Sturges DVD box set, when at last I could check out the other three. Of those three, 'The Great McGinty' was the first movie to be "Written & Directed by Preston Sturges", and has to go into the GOOD rather than the BRILLIANT category. But for his first such project to be so good has got to be seen as a brilliant achievement for Sturges. I know how long he had to wait, and how hard he had to bargain to get that opportunity. He knew he had to succeed, not in his own terms but in those of his bosses at Paramount. In other words he had to bring in an economical movie that was conventional enough to be popular with audiences and critics alike. The lead, Brian Donleavy plays McGinty as quite a straight character who has comic moments in set pieces with other players. The best comedy of the movie probably comes from Bill Demarest as "the Politician" and especially Akim Tamiroff as "the Boss", who drives the movie and its plot along, as he pushes McGinty and his career forward. The second movie in the Preston Sturges golden period would be 'Christmas in July', again not one of his brilliant best, but beginning to include more of the lunacy and eccentric characters of a true Preston Sturges movie. By the time of his third project 'The Lady Eve', Sturges would be at the top of his form and the top of his art, and 'The Great McGinty' has to be seen not only as a good movie in itself, but as the first step in that direction.

Reviewed by bobsgrock 10 / 10 / 10

Satirical, yet true,

Preston Sturges' directing debut is a smash as he cleverly shows how even back in "the good old days," politics were as cruel and crooked as ever. The acting is pretty solid here, especially the leads, but the real point here is the story that Sturges has put together. Here, we see a simple man who does what he is told and almost immediately is made governor of the state. This shows that America is the land of opportunity as well as the land of corruption. What amazes me is how fluidly the film moves. It is only 82 minutes long, yet more happens here than in most Disney family movies. This shows the wonderful genius of Sturges and how he was able to enjoy a successful career throughout the 1940s. A very underrated and unknown film, this is a perfect gem about our not-so perfect government.

Reviewed by mortycausa 10 / 10 / 10

What's Up is Down, What's Wrong is Right

The Great McGinty grabbed me with its verve and jaunty iconoclasm from the beginning. "This is the story of two men who met in a banana republic. One of them never did anything dishonest in his life except for one crazy minute. The other never did anything honest in his life except for one crazy minute. They both had to get out of the country." In McGinty, a guy on the outs votes for a politician something like 72 times, and for this he is rewarded with a political boss's favor--"The Boss," and what a boss. Akim Tamiroff is simply wonderful: "Where you get that horse blanket?" And: "What a wonderful opportunity. This state needs everything. ... We'll need - you'll kiss me for this - a new dam. ... You think a dam is something you put a lot of water in. A dam is something you put a lot of concrete in. And it doesn't matter how much you put in there's always room for a lot more. ..." As the lead, "The Boss's" counterpart and equal, it's Brian Donlevy as he never had been before, never was again. McGinty (and Sturge's second movie, Christmas in July) may not quite be up there in the stratosphere with his absolute best like The Lady Eve, Sullivan's Travels, or Unfaithfully Yours, but they are nevertheless both wonderful movies with the Sturges stamp of buoyant uniqueness.

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