Lila Green is an insecure and aging showgirl for Madame Olga's stage shows. When her boyfriend, Rick, runs off with the show's money, Madame Olga and Ronny let Lila go. Lila goes to stay ... See full summary »
Franklin J. Schaffner
Film screenwriter Jake Armitage and his wife Jo Armitage live in London with six of Jo's eight children, with the two eldest boys at boarding school. The children are spread over Jo's three... See full summary »
The filmmakers follow Oliver North's unsuccessful 1994 bid for a Virginia Senate seat, focusing on North's campaign strategist, Mark Goodin, and a Washington Post reporter. Mudslinging ... See full summary »
Intellectual William Russell and down-to-earth Joe Cantwell are front runners for a party nomination that will almost certainly mean the Presidency. Cantwell is prepared to use anything to achieve his goal while Russell sees himself as a man of principle - though his philandering means he is relieved his wife is prepared to appear alongside him. Both men crucially need the support of the ailing President, and as the stakes become higher each team has to decide how dirty they are prepared to get. Written by
Jeremy Perkins <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Actor Lee Tracy reprized in this film the role of President Art Hockstader that he had created on Broadway and for which he was nominated for the 1960 Tony Award for Best Actor, losing to co-star Melvyn Douglas, who played the William Russell character on stage, the latter of whom is portrayed by Henry Fonda in this movie. See more »
Several times, stock footage of actual political rally doesn't match scenes shot especially for movie. In several shots, no one is sitting in upper seats of auditorium that are nonetheless packed in newsreel footage of same alleged event. See more »
Nice thing about you, Joe, is that you can sound like a liberal, but at heart you're an American
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During the opening credits, a picture of every single U.S. President appears in order, from George Washington to Lyndon Johnson. See more »
Released in 1964 - It was on account of Cliff Robertson (one of my favourite actors of the 1960s) that I decided to watch The Best Man. And, after the show was all over, I was certainly very impressed by both Robertson's powerful performance and by the riveting intensity of this first-rate political drama.
Filmed in b&w, The Best Man's story is set in sunny Los Angeles, during a huge political convention, where the 5 delegates running for the office of U.S President meet (along with their many, many supporters) to see which one of them will be the victorious winner in this race for the most-coveted of all positions.
The two reigning front-runners in this "winner-takes-all" campaign are Joe Cantwell (played by the young and handsome, Cliff Robertson) and William Russell (played by the older and somewhat weary, Henry Fonda).
Soon enough Cantwell and Russell, as the ultimate favourites, square-off for a literal political showdown.
With each of these men vying to gain the all-important endorsement from the present U.S. President, Art Hocksteader, matters inevitably turn to ruthless muck-slinging where the name of the game is, yes, "Dirty Politics".
With its top-notch cast, its superb direction by Franklin Schaffner, and its scathing screenplay penned by Gore Vidal, I'd confidently rate The Best Man (now 50 years old) as one of the best political dramas ever made.
From start to finish, this film holds the viewer's undivided attention with its compelling story-line of a behind-the-scenes look at dirty, American politics.
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