The Great McGinty

Synopsis: 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...
Genre: Comedy
Director(s): Preston Sturges
Production: Paramount Pictures
Rotten Tomatoes:
82 min



You buy me a drink, Tommy?



You don't feel so good tonight, Tommy,


I'll be all right.

- Two maiden's prayer.

- On the fire.

I had a wife and a couple of kids.

The house was almost paid for.

It was what they call half-timber,

with tapestry brick underneath.

My brother, he live in a big house, too,

with many butlers and maids.


Oh, it doesn't matter.

People used to say,

"You watch that Thompson boy.

"He'll go a long way in this world. "

I came a long way, all right.

One crazy minute.

- You want the Tabasco in it?

- Do you want Tabasco in it?


- Yeah.

- Yeah.


What do you do back home, Tommy?


What do you care what I did?

Oh, I was just talking, Tommy.

Thank you.

That's right. Don't lose any of it.

It's wonderful stuff.

She used to play that.

Give that to the band.

You go home so soon, Tommy?

No, I'm going in there.

You feel bad, huh?

You ask a lot of questions, don't you?

What's that got to do with me?

All right.

- I got him.

- Thank you.

Go ahead. Heave-ho.


Give me that gun!

What happened? Why shoot him,

you big bull? What is wrong?

Get outta here. Somebody lit a firecracker.

I'll bring him out.

Let me at it, then. What do you care?

Go on. Let me do it.

I'm not like the rest around here.

I don't fit, see? I'm not a crook.

- Come on, now.

- Don't you understand?

I was a cashier at the First National Bank.

- I was going places, I had a future.

- Come on, come on. Outside.

Cashier at the... what?

What's the matter, Tommy?

What happened?

Oh, you.

You leave him alone, you big horse.

The guy wants to burn his brains

cos he was cashier of a bank. No fooling.

And I suppose you

was the president of the bank?

Who? Me?



I was the governor of a state, baby.

What you were?

Oh, yeah.

Oh, yeah.

All the latest news.

Move along and give your friends a chance.

And don't forget the mayor

who didn't forget to remember the less

fortunate on this cold election night.

Boys, mosey on to that tool shed

around the corner. Don't forget.

Come on, boys, step right along.

There's a couple of bucks in it for you.

On to the tool shed.

You could use a couple of bucks.

- You're kidding.

- I ain't kidding.

Soon as you finish your soup, go to

that tool shed. They'll tell you what to do.

- All right, boys, step right up.

- Right over there.

- On to that tool shed.

- Come on. Give your friends a chance.

Come on, you're next.

Hold it, boys. Come on. One at a time.

Don't forget who give it to you, boys.

- Soup guy sent me over.

- Some soup, ain't it? Kind of the mayor...

Never mind the apple sauce,

how do I get the two bucks?

Simple, baby-face,

you go and vote for Mayor Tillinghast,

- and come back here and collect.

- How do I know you'll be here?

How do you know I'll be here?

How do you like that?

Listen to this guy. You fill him full of soup

and right away he don't trust nobody.

You got your soup, didn't you?

You'll get your two bucks.

The nerve some guys got.

"How do I know you'll be here?"

Go round the corner to the barbershop.

- Did you register?

- No.

When the guy asks your name,

that's the watcher, see?

You say, "Hello, Bill",

then he'll call out the right name for you.

You vote and that's all there is to it.

- What do you get for repeating?

- Who said anything about repeating?

Where do you think this is?

Some people is too lazy to vote, that's all.

Some of them are sick and can't vote.

Maybe a couple of 'em croaked recently.

That ain't no reason why Mayor Tillinghast

should lose their support.

Rate this script:3.0 / 2 votes

Preston Sturges

Preston Sturges (; born Edmund Preston Biden; August 29, 1898 – August 6, 1959) was an American playwright, screenwriter, and film director. In 1941, he won the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for the film The Great McGinty, his first of three nominations in the category. Sturges took the screwball comedy format of the 1930s to another level, writing dialogue that, heard today, is often surprisingly naturalistic, mature, and ahead of its time, despite the farcical situations. It is not uncommon for a Sturges character to deliver an exquisitely turned phrase and take an elaborate pratfall within the same scene. A tender love scene between Henry Fonda and Barbara Stanwyck in The Lady Eve was enlivened by a horse, which repeatedly poked its nose into Fonda's head. Prior to Sturges, other figures in Hollywood (such as Charlie Chaplin, D.W. Griffith, and Frank Capra) had directed films from their own scripts, however Sturges is often regarded as the first Hollywood figure to establish success as a screenwriter and then move into directing his own scripts, at a time when those roles were separate. Sturges famously sold the story for The Great McGinty to Paramount Pictures for $1, in return for being allowed to direct the film; the sum was quietly raised to $10 by the studio for legal reasons. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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