Two aging playboys are both after the same attractive young woman, but she fends them off by claiming that she plans to remain a virgin until her wedding night. Both men determine to find a way around her objections.
Robert Leffingwell is the president's candidate for Secretary of State. Prior to his approval, he must first go through a Senate investigation to determine if he's qualified. Leading the Senate committee is idealistic Senator Brig Anderson, who soon finds himself unprepared for the political dirt that's revealed, including Leffingwell's past affiliations with a Communist organization. When Leffingwell testifies about his political leanings, he proves his innocence. Later, however, Anderson learns that he lied under oath and even asks the president to withdraw Leffingwell for consideration, especially after the young senator begins receiving blackmail threats about a skeleton in his own closet. Written by
Daniel Bubbeo <email@example.com>
When Senator Brig Anderson (Don Murray) returns home after the black-tie party, he enters his bedroom and removes his tuxedo jacket. An undershirt is clearly visible under his dress shirt. He then goes into the bathroom and removes his tie, but having awakened his wife, comes back into the bedroom before taking off his shirt, at which point, he's no longer wearing an undershirt. See more »
[a boy is selling newspapers outside the U.S. Capitol, with the headline "Leffingwell Picked for Secretary of State"]
[to a customer]
[taking change from Danta]
Good morning, senator... thank you.
[Danta gets into a taxicab]
See more »
Allen Drury's sprawling novel of Washington intrigue gets a bit over-condensed in Wendell Mayes' screenplay--the exposition comes fast and furious and unconvincing, and some important subplots in the book, such as the space race, are altogether missing. But what's left is pretty juicy and compelling, as Secretary of State nominee Henry Fonda (top-billed, but with surprisingly little screen time) sets off a destructive round of politicking that ends in death, destruction, and satisfying upholding of the Constitution. Preminger handles the gay subplot with as little subtlety as you'd expect, and while he was clearly trying to show some sympathy to an oppressed minority, he comes off as a square homophobe. Don Murray is oversold as an Ideal Husband and Father to artificially ratchet up the poignancy, and as his wife, Inga Swenson just cries and cries, and seems a shrew and a scold. But the dialog is sharp, even with all the overexposition, and the cast is wonderful: Peter Lawford as a Kennedy-esquire Rhode Island senator, Burgess Meredith as a weak witness, George Grizzard as a Roy Cohn-like meddler, Gene Tierney as Pamela Harriman more or less, Charles Laughton as a tasty-ham Southern senator, Lew Ayres as a Vice President with hidden strength, Franchot Tone as the horse-trading President, and Walter Pidgeon as the sort of Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi or Harry Reid should aspire to be. Even such solid character actors as Paul Ford, Russ Brown, and Betty White turn up in tiny parts. The cinematography's clean and uncluttered, and while this congressional bunch is far more articulate and epigrammatic than our own, the theme of backstage double-dealing feels more relevant than ever. Very fast-moving, and dated as it is, it still packs a wallop.
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