"Mr. Murphy Goes to Washington." As a sly con man from Florida, Thomas Jefferson Johnson (a name he enjoys reciting), Murphy seems just about perfectly cast. And the notion that a crook would be drawn to Capitol Hill like a fly to honey is a cheap, cynical idea that could be milked for a few belly laughs. The chief bad guy, a greedy lobbyist aptly named Dick Dodge (Lane Smith), is a perfect, smarmy target, but the movie loses its cool and turns earnest and patriotic, striking a high-minded attitude that it has scarcely earned. It may have seemed a clever idea hiring a Brit, Jonathan Lynn (Clue) to direct, but he doesn't bring a fresh eye to the material. Sheryl Lee Ralph and Joe Don Baker bat cleanup. --David Chute
Thomas Jefferson Johnson:
Chairman Dodge, please! Would you tell him that it's Mr. Joshua Benjamin from the NAACP on the line! Actually Mame, you could be a great deal of help, I have a few minor questions. I would like to know how many members of the Chairman's committee are African American?... None... Well, surely, there must be a Latino member on the committee... No Latinos either... Ah! Does ah! the Chairman have any Asians or Native Americans on the Committee? Does the Chairman have any Handicaps or Gays on the Committee? No Gays. Well, thank you mame, you've been a great deal of help. Just forget I even called. Just tell him I said 'hi'.
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