Often shrugged off as a Ford failure, but it improves with acquaintance. Sentimental, certainly, and featuring a perilously protracted death-bed scene, but with Ford superbly at ease on his Irish-American home ground in an elegiac account of the last, doomed campaign of a New England political boss (based by way of Edwin O'Connor's novel on Boston's Mayor Curley), defeated by time and new-fangled media image-making. Sidestep-ping the corruption inseparable from this sort of old-style politicking, Ford prints the legend with a warm, rueful (almost testamentary) sense of recollection. Outstanding camera-work by Charles Lawton, and a rich gallery of performances in which Hollywood veterans and Ford's stock company are well to the fore.
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