Preston Sturges’s first film (1940) is a gentle, perfectly crafted satire on American political corruption in which a party “voter” named McGinty (Brian Donlevy) becomes governor through the efforts of a corrupt political boss (Akim Tamiroff). Sturges was convinced that the American success story was a load of hooey (as they used to say back in the 40s), and that a bum like McGinty had just as much chance—and ability—to go to the top as anyone else. All you needed was luck and a bit of larceny. The perfect fusion of Sturges’s wit and frenzy.
The Great McGinty
1 hour 22 min • 1940