“I’d prefer an engaging rogue to a complete fool.”
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
The biggest divide between Tracy’s Frank Skeffington and Fitzsimons’ Kevin McCluskey — other than their ethnic and religious heritage (Catholic versus Protestant) — is campaign style, with television making a huge difference for the younger candidate:
Indeed, we see ample evidence of nearly everyone under fifty (excepting Hunter and his wife) being addle-brained and easily manipulated, as when Tracy bribes his political enemy’s son (O.Z. Whitehead) with a position as “fire chief”:
… or any of the several times we see Tracy’s own son (Arthur Walsh) breezing in and out of various events with immense privilege and ignorance:
There’s not much to the storyline other than following Tracy around on voting day, and waiting to see how things turn out; to that end, the voting tally sequence is appropriately tense and well-filmed.
Meanwhile, Ford fans will likely enjoy seeing a bevy of his stock actors (too many to list) in various supporting roles.
Notable Performances, Qualities, and Moments: