Cast & Crew
George M. Cohan
A committee of four senators believe that Theodore K. Blair is the ideal man to pull the United States out of the Depression, but he is a stick-in-the-mud and lacks the necessary personality to run for office. When they encounter Peter "Doc" Varney, a medicine man who is Blair's exact double and has a sparkling salesman's personality, the committee decides to use Varney as a front for Blair during the campaign. Varney and Blair grudgingly agree to the scheme, and Varney uses his charm to win over the American people. Although Felicia Hammond refused Blair's marriage proposal, she falls in love with Varney, thinking that he is Blair undergoing a personality change to win her back. While Varney is a huge success nationwide and with Felicia, Blair becomes resentful and plots to have Varney kidnapped just after the national conventions. After she discovers that Blair and Varney are actually two different men, Felicia also learns of Blair's plan, and she fools the kidnappers into thinking that Blair is Varney. Consequently, Blair is kidnapped instead of Varney and is sent to a deserted island in the Arctic. When Varney tries to reveal the scam to the nation over a radio broadcast, the committee has Varney's medicine show sidekick Curly, read a prepared speech instead. In the meantime, Varney, with Felicia's help, convinces the senators to let him run with his own name and with Felicia as his fiancée. Varney is elected president, while Blair listens to the inauguration in the company of a seal.
George M. Cohan
Blair lacks political charm. Blair has no flair for savoir faire.- Prof. Aikenhead
I'm just trying to figure out which one of us looks the most alike.- Doc Varney
The opening credits announce "the first appearance on the talking screen of that eminent stage star, playwright and composer, Mr. George M. Cohan." George F. Worts's story was published serially in Blue Book Magazine (Nov 1931-March 1932). This film was released during the campaign of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. An early script in the Paramount story files at the AMPAS Library, dated January 27, 1932, lists Herman J. Mankiewicz as associate producer, while a script dated July 15, 1932, lists Benjamin Glazer as associate producer. Although Cohan's actual film debut was in 1917 in Broadway Jones (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1911-20; F1.0494), this is his first sound feature. According to modern sources, Cohan was reluctant to make a film, and his ensuing difficulties with the studio during production further swayed him against making another film.