Man of the People (1937)

Genres - Crime, Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Political Drama  |   Run Time - 80 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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One of the advantages of holding an MGM stock-company contract in the 1930s was the occasional opportunity to star in one of the studio's "B"-pictures. Maltese character actor Joseph Calleia, hitherto confined to supporting villainy, was permitted to play the hero in MGM's Man of the People. "Drawn from today's headlines," the story dealt with small-town political corruption. Unable to make a living as a lawyer, Italian-born Jack Mareno (Calleia) sells out to a high-pressure political machine. Elevated to the position of assistant District Attorney, Mareno is expected to "play ball" with the local racketeers. Finally rebelling against this set-up, Mareno turns his back on his dirty-handed sponsors and runs for office as an independent. Designed as just another programmer, Man of the People turned out to be something rather special, thanks in no small part to the heartfelt performance by star Joseph Calleia.



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