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Anxious to keep out of the rain on a bus layover in that ubiquitous little village in Pennsylvania, Dick Powell and his troupe of traveling musicians attend a political rally for governor-to-be Raymond Walburn. The candidate is an incompetent drunkard, and his Square Deal Party backers turn to Powell & Co. to liven up the campaign. A victim of circumstance, Powell soon replaces Walburn as candidate for governor with the hope of losing the election and gaining a radio career. Beating Preston Sturges’s Hail the Conquering Hero to the punch by about nine years, this is the rare political satire that’s more transcendent than mean (the New York Times noted it was “pardonable but definitely incorrect of you to assume from this that the new film is an attack on the intelligence of the Pennsylvania electorate”), and Dick Powell is at his pre-noir best. (Julian Antos, Northwest Chicago Film Society)