The Great McGinty

The Great McGinty

Brian Donlevy
Director: Preston Sturges Cast: Brian Donlevy
Brian Donlevy
, Muriel Angelus
Muriel Angelus
, Akim Tamiroff
Akim Tamiroff
Preston Sturges


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The moral of Preston Sturges' first directorial effort The Great McGinty seems to be: If you're a crook, stay a crook, because honesty will get ya every time. Brian Donlevy plays Dan McGinty, a Chicago hobo who is hired by local political bosses as a "professional voter," casting ballots under a variety of assumed names in various districts. McGinty chalks up $74 worth of votes, and when local ward heeler William Demarest can't pony up, McGinty takes direct action by trying to beat up The Boss (Akim Tamiroff). Though the two men can't get through an entire day without trying to kill each other, McGinty and the Boss are impressed by each other's raw abilities and become political partners. Through the Boss' patronage, McGinty works his way up to the mayor's office, with his politically expedient bride (Muriel Angelus) at his side. Though he never goes so far as to fall in love with his "arranged" wife, Donlevy is fond of both her and her children by a previous marriage, and for their sake he begins to reform--much to the dismay of the Boss. With the Governor's mansion within his grasp, McGinty makes the fatal error of fessing up to a graft-ridden bridge contract. It is this impulsive moment of honesty, rather than any of his past crimes, that gets McGinty thrown in the slammer, sharing a cell with the blood-in-his-eye Boss. Demarest separates the two combative men long enough to arrange an escape to South America, but not before McGinty has assured the financial security of his wife and family. The story is told in flashback form in a seedy South American dive, where McGinty works as a bartender and the Boss is the manager. The film ends with the two friendly enemies duking it out over a minor infraction, while bouncer Demarest looks on in disgust. Sick to death of watching other directors mangle his screenplays, Preston Sturges sold this rollicking political satire to Paramount only on the condition that he be allowed to direct (for the princely sum of $10). Paramount hedged its bets by giving Sturges a slim budget and inexpensive stars; as a result, the film made back its cost several times over, and Preston Sturges' directorial career was off and running.

Product Details

Release Date: 01/31/2017
UPC: 0025192397431
Original Release: 1940
Source: Universal
Time: 1:21:00
Sales rank: 48,941

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Brian Donlevy Dan McGinty
Muriel Angelus Catherine McGinty
Akim Tamiroff The Boss
Allyn Joslyn George
William Demarest The Politician
Steffi Duna The Girl
Louis Jean Heydt Thompson
Harry Rosenthal Louis the Bodyguard
Arthur Hoyt Mayor Tillinghast
Libby Taylor Bessie the Maid
Thurston Hall Mr. Maxwell
Esther Howard Madame La Jolla
Frank Moran The Boss' Chauffeur
Jimmy Conlin The Look Out
Dewey Robinson Benny Feigman
Richard Carle Dr. Jarvis
Donald Kerr Catherine's Children
Mary Thomas Catherine's Girl, Age 6
Drew Roddy Catherine's Boy, Age 6
Sheila Sheldon Catherine's Girl, Age 11
Byron Foulger Secretary
Harry Hayden Poll Watcher
Charles Moore McGinty's Valet
Emory Parnell Policeman
Jean Phillips Manicurist
Victor Potel Cook
Lee Shumway Cop
Robert Warwick Opposition Speaker
Pat West Pappia

Technical Credits
Preston Sturges Director,Screenwriter
Hugh Bennett Editor
Hans Dreier Art Director
A.E. Freudeman Set Decoration/Design
Earl S. Hayman Sound/Sound Designer
Edith Head Costumes/Costume Designer
Earl Hedrick Art Director
Frederick Hollander Score Composer
Paul Jones Associate Producer
William C. Mellor Cinematographer
Walter Oberst Sound/Sound Designer
George Templeton Asst. Director
Wally Westmore Makeup

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