He’s the dumbest human being I ever saw. Every time he opens his mouth he subtracts from the sum total of human knowledge. We’re going to capitalize on his dumbness.
You mean you’re going to admit it?
Admit it? We’re going to shout it from the housetops. We’re going to make him even dumber than he is. We’re going to convince the voters that at last they’re getting one of their own kind to represent them.
This is a quite winning little political satire/screwball comedy. A deadlocked political convention ends up with an ignorant country bumpkin getting the nomination. He’s wittily and wonderfully played by Guy Kibbee, reliably funny as always. Warren William is Hal, the hot-shot campaign manager who has to turn this sow’s ear into a silk purse by Election Day. I hadn’t really seen William in much before, but he’s a lot of fun here, very high energy, lean, lanky with a great pop-eyed double take that he gets to use just a whole lot. Bette Davis is on hand, but under-used, as Hal’s long-suffering girlfriend. Hal’s ex-wife is played by Vivienne Osborne and she’s a riot; at one point, she’s hired by the opposing campaign to seduce Kibbee’s character into a sex scandal. She’ll do it because she’s getting paid and also because she wants to sink Hal any way she can. That section of the film plays like a screwball comedy and it’s really funny. Also really great is a section revolving around Kibbee’s first appearance at a debate. There’s a great twist in the scene that I didn’t see coming. The film gets a lot of mileage out of its political satire for certain. There’s a great scene where William’s character is making a speech and he notices that, on the other side of the stage, Kibbee has taken his shoes off and is massaging his feet. “But DON’T LOOK AT THE CANDIDATE,” William bellows, “Look at the issues.” It’s broad certainly, but it’s very funny. I laughed out loud several times and the film isn’t afraid to get its laughs from a variety of sources, pointed political satire or slapstick pratfalls. I really loved it actually and I’m not sure why it’s been mostly forgotten. The cast is appealing and funny and when political corruption and stupidity are your punchlines, the jokes don’t get old, they just get funnier. It’s a sharp satire on the political game with a healthy dose of screwball energy mixed in. 4 stars.
tl;dr – sharp political satire is as funny now as it’s ever been; a heaping dose of screwball energy and a game cast make for an uproariously funny comedy. 4 stars.