NOTE: This review may make some people angry.
All the king’s horses and all the king’s men could NEVER put this movie together again! I mean, my God! Considering that this movie has a 96% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, I was stunned by this movie’s awfulness! Now let me make one thing perfectly clear- If you liked this movie, more power to you. I would like to hear your personal thoughts on the film and why you like it. With that said, here’s why the movie didn’t do it for me.
Willie Stark (Broderick Crawford) is running for governer. He makes a bunch of good speeches and wins the crowd over, but forgets what his priorities were once he gets into office. Keep all your Obama jokes to yourself.
I can sum up this movie in one word. Unsubtle. This film is so obvious and apparent that it’s actually kind of astounding. Look at the picture. Willie is standing right in front of a banner that has his name on it, but you only see the LIE. Get it! Because he LIES! Willie’s friend Jack and his girlfriend are talking, and Jack asks “What do you want from me?” “I don’t know”. The two of them stand right in front of a huge picture of the GOVERNER. Get it? Someone accuses Willie of making deals with the people he originally was working against. And he flat out says “Yes. I’ve got nothing to hide. I’d make a deal with the devil if it would help me.” GET IT?
Which brings me to another problem: the dialogue. None of it sounds natural, and some of it is just plain confusing. “You’re throwing money around like it was money.” What does that even MEAN? From what I can gather, the number one reason that people like this movie is for Crawford’s performance. Which, I’m sorry to say, is just okay. There’s also a decent performance from Mercedes McCambridge, who would later be known for voicing the demon in The Exorcist. As for the technical aspects, nothing really stands out except for the inconsistent editing. One minute we’re sitting down talking and the next we’re flying past footage like a cartoon.
Again, if you liked this movie, I’d love to hear why in the comments. But man, I really detest this one. But hey, at least we got something out of 1949: Best Song winner Baby It’s Cold Outside! I’ll be listening to that one all night, and it’s not even Christmas.