7.7/10
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38 user 24 critic

The Best Man (1964)

Approved | | Drama | 18 June 1964 (West Germany)
The two front runners for their party's Presidential nomination, one principled and the other ruthless, vie for the ex-President's endorsement.

Director:

(as Franklin Schaffner)

Writer:

(screenplay)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
William Russell
...
Joe Cantwell
...
Mabel Cantwell
...
Alice Russell
...
Sheldon Bascomb
...
President Art Hockstader
...
Sue Ellen Gamadge
...
Don Cantwell
...
Dick Jensen
...
Mahalia Jackson
...
Howard K. Smith
John Henry Faulk ...
Gov. T.T. Claypoole
...
Sen. Oscar Anderson
...
Mrs. Claypoole (scenes deleted)
George Kirgo ...
Speechwriter
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Storyline

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 <jwp@aber.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Does The Best Man Always Get To The White House?

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

18 June 1964 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Gore Vidal's The Best Man  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of the filming locations is the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. In 1968, Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated here during his campaign to win the Democratic Party's nomination for president. See more »

Goofs

When Joe Cantwell (Cliff Robertson) enters the helicopter he sits in the right seat. When he exits, he exits from the left seat. See more »

Quotes

Alice Russell: As someone sooner or later is bound to say, 'politics makes strange bedfellows.'
William Russell: I was hoping it wouldn't be you.
See more »

Crazy Credits

During the opening credits, a picture of every single U.S. President appears in order, from George Washington to Lyndon Johnson. See more »

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User Reviews

 
mutually assured destruction
8 December 2005 | by (Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico) – See all my reviews

A sharp as nails look at US politics, maybe a bit old fashioned, but in a good way, with great performances and writing, and very well put together. It pits the packaged candidate of "the people", a scary Cliff Robertson against the principled liberal played by Henry Fonda, with Lee Tracy as the dying ex-president whose endorsement both vie for. While he favors Robertson for his decisiveness, he fears his utter lack of principles, but can't support the wavering Fonda. Sex, mental illness, shady characters dredged up by political operatives (in this case a great part by Shelley Berman), the fabulous portrayals of both of the wives (especially a cute and dangerous Edie Adams), the film transcends the characters, and hits home as much today as when it came out in 1964.


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