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"The Lookout" displaying his nervous energy

The Lookout is a nervous character in The Great McGinty. Associated with Benny Felgman, the Lookout keeps an eye out for suspicious characters, but spying Dan McGinty alone, is told to let him in. He also critiques Benny's solitaire game.

"The Lookout," the name ascribed to the character in the final screen credits, is in fact a euphemism. In the original screenplay, the character is bluntly called "The Hophead" and has a pronounced stutter.[1] As played by Conlin, the character is still mildly suggestive of an addict, as he hops around, flinches, and grasps at a tiny cigarette whose precise content is left to the imagination.

Whether due to a drug habit or his own natural timidity, the Lookout/Hophead is unable to stop McGinty's assault on his companion. Though he nearly summons the courage to pick up a bottle and enter the fray, he swiftly backs down and continues to watch helplessly and clutch at his cigarette.


  1. Five Screenplays by Preston Sturges. Brian Henderson, ed. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995. 81-84