7.8/10
4,979
63 user 33 critic

Advise & Consent (1962)

Not Rated | | Drama, Thriller | 6 June 1962 (USA)
Senate investigation into the President's newly nominated Secretary of State, gives light to a secret from the past, which may not only ruin the candidate, but the President's character as well.

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay)
Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Best Man (1964)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

The two front runners for their party's Presidential nomination, one principled and the other ruthless, vie for the ex-President's endorsement.

Director: Franklin J. Schaffner
Stars: Henry Fonda, Cliff Robertson, Edie Adams
Drama | Romance | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

United States military leaders plot to overthrow the President because he supports a nuclear disarmament treaty and they fear a Soviet sneak attack.

Director: John Frankenheimer
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas, Fredric March
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A woman reports that her young daughter is missing, but there seems to be no evidence that she ever existed.

Director: Otto Preminger
Stars: Keir Dullea, Carol Lynley, Laurence Olivier
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A strung-out junkie deals with a demoralizing drug addiction while his crippled wife and card sharks pull him down.

Director: Otto Preminger
Stars: Frank Sinatra, Kim Novak, Eleanor Parker
Crime | Film-Noir | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Det. Sgt. Mark Dixon wants to be something his old man wasn't: a guy on the right side of the law. But Dixon's vicious nature will get the better of him.

Director: Otto Preminger
Stars: Dana Andrews, Gene Tierney, Gary Merrill
Angel Face (1953)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Ambulance driver Frank Jessup is ensnared in the schemes of the sensuous but dangerous Diane Tremayne.

Director: Otto Preminger
Stars: Robert Mitchum, Jean Simmons, Mona Freeman
Hurry Sundown (1967)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Following the Second World War, a northern cannery combine negotiates for the purchase of a large tract of uncultivated Georgia farmland. The major portion of the land is owned by Julie Ann... See full summary »

Director: Otto Preminger
Stars: Michael Caine, Jane Fonda, John Phillip Law
Whirlpool (1950)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A woman secretly suffering from kleptomania is hypnotized in an effort to cure her condition. Soon afterwards, she is found at the scene of a murder with no memory of how she got there and seemingly no way to prove her innocence.

Director: Otto Preminger
Stars: Gene Tierney, Richard Conte, José Ferrer
In Harm's Way (1965)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A naval officer reprimanded after Pearl Harbor is later promoted to rear admiral and gets a second chance to prove himself against the Japanese.

Director: Otto Preminger
Stars: John Wayne, Kirk Douglas, Patricia Neal
Certificate: M Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

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.

Director: Otto Preminger
Stars: William Holden, David Niven, Maggie McNamara
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
The President
...
The Vice President - Harley Hudson
...
Robert Leffingwell
...
Senate Majority Leader Bob Munson
...
Senator Seabright Cooley
...
Senator Brigham Anderson
...
Senator Lafe Smith
...
...
Herbert Gelman
Eddie Hodges ...
Johnny Leffingwell
...
Senator Stanley Danta
...
...
Ellen Anderson
...
Hardiman Fletcher
...
Senate Minority Leader
Edit

Storyline

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 <dbubbeo@cmp.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Are the men and women of Washington really like this?

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

6 June 1962 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Tormenta sobre Washington  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Although the character of The President (played by Franchot Tone) carries no role name, at one point in the script Munson (played by Walter Pidgeon) calls him "Russ". See more »

Goofs

As the security guard enters Senator Anderson's office the telephone is ringing. The rings (apparently added in post-production) each echo around the office, but the final ring stops abruptly and there is no echo. Even if the caller had hung up in mid-ring, that ring, like the others, would still have briefly reverberated around the room. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
[a boy is selling newspapers outside the U.S. Capitol, with the headline "Leffingwell Picked for Secretary of State"]
Paperboy: [to a customer] Thank you.
Stanley Danta: Morning, son.
Paperboy: [taking change from Danta] Good morning, senator... thank you.
[Danta gets into a taxicab]
See more »

Connections

Featured in Henry Fonda: The Man and His Movies (1982) See more »

Soundtracks

The Song from Advise and Consent
Music by Jerry Fielding
Lyrics by Ned Washington
Sung Frank Sinatra - voice on juke box
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A Necessity for Every Civics Class Everywhere
5 August 2010 | by (Cincinnati, OH, United States) – See all my reviews

Henry Fonda has a way of playing the kind of man I would vote for. In 12 Angry Men, he's the only one of a dozen who's willing to consider every uncertain facet of circumstance, and succeeds in persuading the other eleven to do so. In Fail-Safe, he's an American president so painstakingly objective and diplomatic that he simply cannot escape the cataclysmically horrific facts of his situation. I'm unsure of whether or not it's just coincidence that Sidney Lumet's two masterpieces and Otto Preminger's Advise & Consent are all three phenomenal marvels of American cinema, but a pattern is clearly developed. What makes Advise & Consent intriguing, however, is that Fonda's on screen for less than half of the film. What Fonda says to defend his position as a nominee for Secretary of State is of astonishing insignificance compared to what's done behind his back, and what he does behind other backs, to approve or deny his appointment as head of foreign affairs.

Another parallel more pertinent to Preminger's film as a whole is Network. Decades after its release, no matter how iconic or influential it's become in American culture, not only has its unsettling, paradigm-shifting conveyance been completely overlooked, but the very reverse it warns against has happened. In Advise & Consent's case, we continually take for granted that the President is responsible for every single bill, law, regulation, deregulation that's put into practice, as if he waves a wand or pushes a button, rather than if we were to just watch this story. Watch, realize in its mesmerizing realism a chronicle of just how little power a president has. The president has the last word, says whether he likes something or not, but he's nothing more than a glorified bureaucrat. He has his vision, views, ideas, but what of the hundreds upon hundreds of officials he must answer to, wait for, consider the visions and views of, before something's actually done? Otto Preminger, one of the edgiest, darkest filmmakers of the studio era, gives us a political chronicle wherein the President is known simply as…the President. We never catch his name. Even in 1962, Preminger, original novelist Allen Drury and screenwriter Wendell Mayes, could see clearly that after all those yard signs, banners, campaign ads, the lionized images of men who seemingly lead us in all our decisions, acts and deeds as a people mean very little. What does mean something? Our own acts and deeds. Our own standards. What are we willing to accept? How much of us are willing to accept it while the rest of us stay behind wallowing in tradition and fear? Those more vulnerable than those like Charles Laughton's Seabright Cooley, who's so eloquent and confident in his robust figure and white suit that we're hardly aware or even expectant to see Franchot Tone's President.

The film seems to culminate into a focus on rookie Senator Brigham Anderson, played by Don Murray, who has a past, or an identity, that a Barney Frank or Gerry Studds couldn't have been so open about in 1962. Again, Preminger was an extraordinary filmmaker not simply because of his capacity for deliberately, subtly, beautifully constructed compositions and the architecture of tension that could de-vein a shrimp---all penetratingly evident here---but his penchant for bringing things to the screen that would deliver a well-deserved kick in Hays' balls. Things that opened doors and minds for the generations beholding it in theaters at the time, whether they were prepared or not. What should he have done? Waited till they were prepared to see heroin addiction, grisly consequences of rape, the repression of homosexuality? HAHAHAHAHA! When would that have been? Now?! Phffft! Good ole Rose Nylund has a bit part as a female Senator, for instance. In the close confines of the Senate floor, it's accepted. There's the abstract feeling that the masses outside of it would've been more surprised at her sex. But don't get me wrong. Advise & Consent is not just a masterpiece in my eyes purely because it's some sort of liberal parable. It isn't. Indeed, Wyoming Senator Fred Van Ackerman, played with unabashed unscrupulousness by George Grizzard, is apparently a liberal, which is educational for me, a young 2010 man who has never seen liberalism as oppressive, much less the sort who would want Fonda's nomination withdrawn, to the extent that blackmail of a closet homosexual would seem justified. Advise & Consent is not a politically radical chestnut but a docudrama of what happens behind the voters' backs. What Liberal and Conservative mean now bear little direct context with what they meant in 1962.

But what they meant then is certainly frightening: Preminger's not only extremely clever in his casting, but publicly vindictive in it. Burgess Meredith, who was blacklisted in the 1950s, here plays a witness who testifies that Fonda has a Communist past. Perhaps now in a less fascist time in our country it's clearer that whether or not Fonda does is beside the point. Walter Pidgeon's perfect for the strongest ally of the President. He's perfect for the strongest ally of anybody! Look at the unaffectedness of this man. No matter what role, what film, he's as natural as dust in the wind. And he befits the age and weather-beaten disposition of his character, named Bob Munson: There couldn't be a more perfect name for this character. And Preminger actually casts Gene Tierney as a person this time. As a student filmmaker with attractive female friends, I know how he feels, frankly. You try to cast them according to their talent but it's difficult to see past astonishing curves. Nevertheless, we get from her one of the most relatable scenes I've ever seen, prudish affluent American women, grown, socially active, trying to get straight what the functions of Congress actually are.


6 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?