This broad political satire, George S. Kaufman's directorial debut, is a fine film, but it would have been a much better one had its barbs been aimed at more specific targets. Moreover, the jokes might have worked better had Kaufman contributed to the writing. Myrna Loy and William
Powell make their last appearance together here, though her role is just a small cameo. Powell is a pompous boor of a senator who is too dumb to be true. After two decades of fooling his constituents, Powell thinks that he might make a fine President, so he begins a campaign for the nation's
highest office, with Hayes as his press agent. The political bosses of his party, led by Brown, would like Powell to go away, but Powell has an ace up his sleeve, a diary he's kept over the years that will ruin the party if it ever gets into a journalist's hands. Powell makes a slew of nonsensical
campaign promises, including a three-day work week with eight days' pay, Harvard educations for all Americans, and the introduction of malted milk-producing cows. When Powell's hot diary suddenly disappears, politicians begin booking flights to the Antarctic, Patagonia, and anywhere else that
doesn't have an extradition treaty with the US. Hayes finds the diary and can't make up his mind about what to do with it. If he gives it back to Powell, he'll be doing the country a disservice. If he gives it to his sweetheart, newspaperwoman Raines, Hayes will be out of a job when the spit hits
the fan. Choosing to do the decent thing, Hayes hands the diary to Raines, who prints the truth. Predictably, all the party members flee, with Powell and his wife, Loy, leading the way.
Among the funny scenes to be found in the film is one in which candidate Powell is inducted into an Indian tribe by Cody. A few years after the release of THE SENATOR WAS INDISCREET, the studios began taking bigger risks with political comedies, pulling fewer punches and leaving less doubt as to
the identities of those lampooned.
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- Rating: NR
- Review: This broad political satire, George S. Kaufman's directorial debut, is a fine film, but it would have been a much better one had its barbs been aimed at more specific targets. Moreover, the jokes might have worked better had Kaufman contributed to the writ… (more)