Our Leading Citizen

  • 1939
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Drama

Ever since Will Rogers died in 1935, producers had been attempting to find someone who could replace his down-home humor on screen, and they thought they had that someone with bazooka-playing Arkansas philosopher Bob Burns. They were wrong. This very naive picture stars Burns as an attorney who welcomes his late partner's son, Allen, into lawyering, much...read more

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Ever since Will Rogers died in 1935, producers had been attempting to find someone who could replace his down-home humor on screen, and they thought they had that someone with bazooka-playing Arkansas philosopher Bob Burns. They were wrong. This very naive picture stars Burns as an

attorney who welcomes his late partner's son, Allen, into lawyering, much to the delight of Burns' daughter, Hayward. Allen, after practicing in New York, has now returned to his roots. Lockhart is the local heavyweight factory owner and Allen is all for becoming his attorney, despite the fact

that Burns says Lockhart doesn't care much about his workers and has been firing people and slashing production costs in order to make more money. Lockhart's workers strike when he gives them a ten percent wage cut and Burns drops Lockhart as a client, but Allen continues to work for the

businessman and Hayward is disappointed with that decision. Bickford leads a group of scabs to break the strike, the factory explodes from a bomb, and a man is killed. This causes the locals to have a meeting at which Burns pleads for them to be calm, follow the Golden Rule, and try to smooth out

the problems. Lockhart backs Burns, then puts Allen up as a candidate for US senator from their unnamed state. Allen is thrilled, but Burns sees right through Lockhart's ploy, so he tells Lockhart to stop the nomination for Allen or risk being exposed by Burns for having wrongfully taken the

property of Patterson, a mountain woman. Lockhart agrees to pay Patterson back and Burns shows Allen the Lockhart-signed IOU; then Burns says he'd like to nominate Allen. At the finale, Burns triumphs when he has Bickford tossed out of town. Lockhart nominates someone else at the convention, Allen

proposes Burns as a candidate, and the picture ends with Allen and Hayward in each other's arms again. Not funny and not fast, this is a B film all the way, despite the fact that Paramount attempted to elevate it by inviting a score of state governors to the premiere.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: Ever since Will Rogers died in 1935, producers had been attempting to find someone who could replace his down-home humor on screen, and they thought they had that someone with bazooka-playing Arkansas philosopher Bob Burns. They were wrong. This very naive… (more)

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