Last Hurrah, The
In The Last Hurrah, John Ford explores the quintessential Irish-American rogue: the big city politician. Widely believed to be based on the life of Boston mayor James Curley. The Last Hurrah stars Spencer Tracey (whom Ford discovered) as mayor Frank Skeffington, the last of a dying breed of grassroots politicians. Facing a re-election challenge from a new kind of candidate- the TV candidate- Skeffington pulls out all the stops in an old-fashioned, rip-roaring campaign which enrages the WASP establishment. Supported by a superb cast of character actors, including Pat O'Brien, John Carradine, Basil Rathbone and James Gleason (heralded at the time as the largest collection of scene-stealers ever assembled), Tracey gives a spellbinding performance in this frank and funny, and ultimately wrenching, portrait of a great man's final days.