Sturges' first film as writer/director, a wonderfully dry satire which takes the American political system apart through the tale of a bum (Donlevy) who rides on a tide of corruption to become state governor. A totally dishonest man, he gets his comeuppance only because - through the influence of his wife, a sweet prig whose liberal conscience comes in for some rude knocks - he is for one fatal moment tempted to be honest. Cast in flashback from the sleazy banana republic cantina where the disgraced Donlevy has found refuge as a barman - and tells his story to a bank cashier (Heydt) suicidally regretting a momentary temptation to embezzlement - the script is underpinned by some slyly subversive thoughts about the success ethic and living up to expectations. Although the Sturges stock company was not yet fully formed, a number of familiar faces keep popping up to give the whole thing a delightfully quirky vitality.
Cast and crew
Louis Jean Heydt