Mr. Ace

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Mr. Ace
Mr. Ace 1946.jpg
Directed by Edwin L. Marin
Produced by Benedict Bogeaus
Written by Fred F. Finkelhoffe
Starring George Raft
Sylvia Sidney
Narrated by Knox Manning (uncredited)
Edited by Karl Struss
Production
company
Benedict Bogeaus Productions
Distributed by United Artists
Release date
  • August 2, 1946 (1946-08-02)
Running time
84 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Mr. Ace is a 1946 American film about a society woman (Sylvia Sidney) who taps a gangster (George Raft) for his political support as she runs for Congress. The movie was written by Fred F. Finkelhoffe and directed by Edwin L. Marin.

George Raft later appeared in a radio show The Cases of Mr. Ace. Mr Ace was turned into a private detective.[1]

Plot[edit]

Wealthy Congresswoman Margaret Wyndham Chase wants to run for governor of an unnamed state and needs the help of a political boss named Eddie Ace to stand a chance of making it all the way. In an attempt to grease him, she invites him to a dinner where also her other powerful friends will be attending.

Margaret has another problem. Her husband, Pembroke Chase III, wants a divorce, but she wants to keep up appearances until the governor's election is over. She refuses to sign the document he lays before her. Chase threatens her by saying he will try to ruin her campaign if she doesn't comply with his wish. She, in turn, threatens to reveal his many affairs to the public.

Chase tries to ruin the dinner by bad-talking Margaret in front of the others. He gets support from Ace, who believes that beautiful women should stay away from politics. Even Margaret's friend, political science professor Joshua Adams, wants Ace to stop her from running for governor. Adams says he isn't opposed to women in politics but doesn't want Margaret to do it, and believes that she needs more "heart" to be a truly great governor.

Ace introduces Chase to his cronies, The Tomahawk Club, and she charms them all. Later they have a date and Ace begins to fall for Ace.

Adams asks Ace to prevent Margaret from being elected, even though he believes that she would make a good governor if she learned to use her heart.

Margaret isn't discouraged by this, but decides to work harder on changing the men's views. She meets with Ace and Adams again to discuss politics, and afterwards she asks Ace to drive her to her house in the country. Ace complies and ends up kissing her goodnight, even though he refuses to change his mind about the governor issue.

Margaret continues to scheme to persuade Ace to help her. She talks to one of Ace's employees, Toomey, and convinces him to help her. With his help, Margaret is finally nominated to run for governor.

But Chase puts gravel in the machinery by forcing her to divorcing him, claiming that she has had an extramarital affair with Ace. He also claims Ace will testify to what happened at the country house. This makes Margaret pull out of the race entirely and agree to the divorce.

Adams and Ace decide to host an independent party to support Margaret as a new, reformed candidate. Adams ask Margaret to run on a special issue opposing machine politics, and she agrees. With thos support behind her, Margaret wins the election. She is unaware that she got the support of Ace in the run.

When Margaret meets Ace after the race, she promises to be the best governor possible, and they kiss to seal the deal.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Producer Benedict Bogeaus had a deal making movies for United Artists. The film was originally going to be called The Congress Woman, and George Raft signed to star in October 1945.[2] It was then retitled Mr Ace and the Queen and Tallulah Bankhead was named as a possible co-star.[3] Later Clare Boothe Luce said she had been approached to play the lead and was considering it.[4] Eventually the female lead went to Sylvia Sidney, who last co-starred with Raft thirteen years previously in Pick Up.[5]

Filming started January 30, 1946.[6] Raft was struck with pleurisy during filming, causing the production to shut down for three weeks.[7][8]

Reception[edit]

Box office[edit]

The film was a box office flop, George Raft's first in years.[9]

Critical[edit]

The Los Angeles Times called it "an entertaining picture".[10]

Legacy[edit]

The film inspired a radio show, The Cases of Mr. Ace (1947) starring Raft as private eye Eddie Ace. This later became The Cases of Eddie Drake.

The film inspired a painting, Mr Ace by Yasuo Kuniyoshi.[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Eddie Ace". thrillingdetective.com. 
  2. ^ "News of the Screen: George Raft Gets Co-Starring Role in Bogeaus Film. 'The Congresswoman'". The New York Times. October 10, 1945. 
  3. ^ Thomas M. Pryor (November 25, 1945). "Rags to Riches: Or the Hectic Saga of Benedict Bogeaus, Producer and Man of Many Affairs Hooking the Big Fish Zippers to Movies". The New York Times. 
  4. ^ "Clare Luce Asked to Co-star in Film". The New York Times. January 8, 1946. 
  5. ^ Edwin Schallert (January 31, 1946). "Jennifer Jones Named for Joan of Arc Role". Los Angeles Times. 
  6. ^ "Metro Schedules 'The Sea of Grass': Studio to Revive Outdoor Epic of Early West, With Tracy and Hepburn as Stars Of Local Origin". The New York Times. January 31, 1946. 
  7. ^ Edwin Schallert (February 15, 1946). "Black Rose' Suggested as Subject for Hayden". Los Angeles Times. 
  8. ^ "Rooney to Resume Andy Hardy Role: Out of Army, He Will Return on Screen as Freshman-- Six Openings This Week". The New York Times. March 11, 1946. 
  9. ^ Everett Aaker, The Films of George Raft, McFarland & Company, 2013. p. 121
  10. ^ John L. Scott (October 19, 1946). "Love Goes Into Politics". Los Angeles Times. 
  11. ^ "The Artistic Journey of Yasuo Kuniyoshi — Postwar Imagery". Smithsonian American Art Museum. 

External links[edit]