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The Great McGinty (1940) | Flicks on the Bricks | Athenaeum Music & Arts Library

About the Event


In August, film critic and scholar Beth Accomando will return to host Flicks on the Bricks. This year, she has chosen four political comedies.

The Athenaeum’s outdoor movie series, Flicks on the Bricks makes it possible for you to enjoy classic movies that you love while enjoying the beautiful summer night on the patio of the Athenaeum.

Cast: starring Brian Donlevy, Muriel Angelus, Akim Tamiroff; director, Preston Sturges

Runtime: 1 hr. 22 min.

Tagline: WHATTA GUY! He loved a fight or a frolic…and he usually found one!

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

Told in flashback, Depression-era bum Dan McGinty is recruited by the city’s political machine to help with vote fraud. His great aptitude for this brings rapid promotion from “the boss,” who finally decides he’d be ideal as a new, nominally “reform” mayor; but this candidacy requires marriage. His in-name-only marriage to honest Catherine proves the beginning of the end for dishonest Dan…

Academy Awards, USA: Winner: Best Writing, Original Screenplay, Preston Sturges

Memorable Quote: Skeeters: “What do you think this is, Hicks Corners? Some people is too lazy to vote, that’s all. They don’t like this kind of weather. Some of ’em is sick in bed and can’t vote. Maybe a couple of ’em croaked recently. That ain’t no reason why Mayor Tillinghast should get cheated out of their support. All we’re doing is getting out the vote.”

Fun Trivia: On August 19, 1939, Paramount issued a check to contract writer Preston Sturges to buy the story and screenplay of this movie, in the amount of $10. Sturges promised to sell the script for that amount if he could direct. The studio took him up on it and the film was a hit and won an Academy Award for the screenplay, probably making it the cheapest Oscar-winning script in history.

Genre: Comedy

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