Button Gwinnett Brown (Lee Tracy
) is a new congressman in the U.S. House of Representatives
. He refuses bribes, vowing to rid Washington of corruption; but crosses swords with powerful senator Edward Norton (Alan Dinehart
), who wants to enlist Brown to help Prohibition bootleggers. Norton also happens to be chasing elder senator Wylie's (Walter Connolly
) granddaughter Alice (Constance Cummings
), who Brown has also fallen for. In order to silence the idealistic newcomer, politicians stage a phony re-count and Brown loses his government seat. However, with the help of Senator Wylie and Alice, Brown manages to win back his place and clean up the halls of justice.
The New York Times
wrote, ""Washington Merry-Go-Round
" is a sturdy piece of work with melodramatic interludes. At times it is somewhat reckless in its dealings, but, allowing for its explosive utterances and its eagerness to win popular favor as an entertainment, it arouses a certain amount of interest. There are excellent performances by the cast, headed by the vehement Lee Tracy, and Mr. Cruze's direction is for the most part genuinely able";
while more recently Allmovie
called it "a ridiculously contrived political tale that even in its time must have been viewed as overly simplistic";
whereas Leonard Maltin
wrote that the film "remains surprisingly relevant today, with engaging performances and strong feel for the political arena, but peters out after great first half."