Friday, March 18, 2016

Preston Sturges series: Screening of "The Great McGinty" March 22 at Daystar Center

Preston Sturges series: The Great McGinty
Where: The Venue 1550 at the Daystar Center, 1550 S. State Street, Chicago, IL
When: March 22, 2016
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Hosted by Stephen Reginald

The Great McGinty (1940)  is the movie that began Preston Sturges’s writer/director career. Supposedly Sturges sold his script to Paramount for $10 in a deal so he could direct his first film. The Great McGinty won an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay and stars Brian Donlevy as a tramp who rises to political power with the help of a corrupt political boss (Akim Tamiroff). The cast also includes Muriel Angelus, Allyn Joslyn, Thurston Hall, and Sturges stock company player, William Demarest.

The suits at Paramount gave Sturges a B-picture budget of $350,000 and a three-week shooting schedule, as well as cheap talent under contract to the studio. Donlevy, a staple in films for almost a decade, was perfect for the role of McGinty, a man who goes from bum to city mayor and then state governor. It’s a wild ride, along with boss Tamiroff, who plans every step of McGinty’s political career. Eventually, the corruption and deal making catches up with both The Boss and McGinty. Will they both go down for the count?

The Great McGinty was a hit when it premiered on August 15, 1940 in New York City. Popular with both moviegoers and film critics, it was named on of the 10 best films of 1940 by the New York Times.

For a preview of the film, check out the clip below. Could McGinty be from Chicago?

Have some Joe and Enjoy the Show!
Before the movie, grab a cup of coffee from Overflow Coffee Bar, located within the Daystar Center. You can bring food and beverages into the auditorium; we even have small tables set up next to some of the seats. General Admission: $5 Students and Senior Citizens: $3.

Join the Chicago Film club; join the discussion
Twice a month we screen classic films and have a brief discussion afterward. For more information, including how to join (it’s free), click here. The Venue 1550 is easily accessible by the CTA. Please visit Transit Chicago for more information on transportation options.

Stephen Reginald is a freelance writer and editor. He has worked at various positions within the publishing industry for over 25 years. Most recently he was executive editor for McGraw-Hill’s The Learning Group Division. A long-time amateur student of film, Reginald hosts “Chicago Film Club,” a monthly movie event held in the South Loop, for the past two years. Reginald has also taught several adult education film classes at Facets Film School, Chicago.

Daystar Center located at 1550 S. State St. works through a grassroots network of collaborations and partnerships with individuals and other nonprofit organizations. Through this web, they’re able to provide educational, cultural, and civic activities that enrich and empower their clients, guests, and community members. To learn more about classes and events offered at the Daystar Center, please visit their Web site.

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