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The President's Analyst (1967)

7.1
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At first, Dr. Sidney Schaefer feels honored and thrilled to be offered the job of the President's Analyst. But then the stress of the job and the paranoid spies that come with a sensitive ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Godfrey Cambridge ...
Severn Darden ...
V.I. Kydor Kropotkin
Joan Delaney ...
Nan Butler
...
Arlington Hewes (as Pat Harrington)
Barry McGuire ...
Old Wrangler
Jill Banner ...
Snow White
...
Ethan Allan Cocket
Walter Burke ...
Henry Lux
...
Dr. Lee-Evans
...
Wynn Quantrill
...
Jeff Quantrill
Sheldon Collins ...
Bing Quantrill
...
Sullivan
...
1st Puddlian
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Storyline

At first, Dr. Sidney Schaefer feels honored and thrilled to be offered the job of the President's Analyst. But then the stress of the job and the paranoid spies that come with a sensitive government position get to him, and he runs away. Now spies from all over the world are after him, either to get him for their own side or to kill him and prevent someone else from getting him. Written by Ken Yousten <kyousten@bev.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The picture dedicated to life, liberty and the pursuit of happenings. See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

21 December 1967 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

T.P.A.  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The subtitle option on the DVD translates the spoken Russian (between Kropotkin and his superior, and later with Masters greeting his old friend) into English. See more »

Goofs

Every line referring to the "FBR" or "CEA" is dubbed, often quite obviously. The actors were actually saying "FBI" and "CIA," but at the behest of the actual agencies the names were changed in post-production. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Sidney Schaefer: If I was a psychiatrist, which I am, I would say that I was turning into some sort of paranoid personality, which I am!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Film disclaimer: 'This film has not been made with the consent or cooperation of the Federal Board of Regulations (F.B.R.) or the Central Enquires Agency (C.E.A.). Any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental, and so forth and so on. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Inner Manipulations
Composed by Barry McGuire and Paul Potash
Sung by Barry McGuire
(A Dunhill Records Artist)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Spy vs. Spy vs. Spy vs. Spy and so on and so forth ...
25 May 2007 | by (St. Louis, Missouri) – See all my reviews

My lasting view of Soviet-U.S. relations was clearly defined after watching THE PRESIDENT'S ANALYST. Soviet spy/assassin V.I. Kydor Kropotkin, played by Severn Darden, explains to kidnapped American psychiatrist Dr. Sidney Schaefer, played by the irrepressible James Coburn: "Logic is on our side: this isn't a case of a world struggle between two divergent ideologies, of different economic systems. Every day your country becomes more socialistic and mine becomes more capitalistic. Pretty soon we will meet in the middle and join hands." Beautiful, simple logic, clearly stated in a whacked-out, slightly psychedelic satirical farce about Cold War paranoia. A gem of genius in a world gone mad.

Of course, it didn't pan out that way. The U.S.S.R., trying to maintain its communistic ideology in a world of blissful capitalistic greed, just couldn't keep up and went bankrupt -- financially, morally, socially and politically -- long before the great day of unification could arrive. If only the Reds had made THE PRESIDENT'S ANALYST required viewing, maybe they could have hung in there just a tad longer. Of course, the U.S. still continues to slip-slide to the left, but, oh well, that's politics.

Coburn stars as the title character, a New York psychiatrist who lands the plum job of being the confidant to the President of the United States, who basically needs a shoulder to cry on before the job drives him looney tunes. At first, Coburn is elated at his new job, but soon he learns that a President's life isn't an easy one -- nor is the life of his shrink. But worse, the things that the good doctor learns under physician-patient confidentiality are a valuable commodity in international espionage circles. Thus, some people want to kidnap him and brainwash him for his secrets -- others just want him dead. Dr Schaefer suffers a bit of a nervous breakdown and hits the road; a gaggle of spies in hot pursuit.

You'd be hard pressed to come up with a political satire more quintessentially sixties than Theodore J. Flicker's THE PRESIDENT'S ANALYST; giddily spaced out and always flirting with being just a little too silly and a little too over the top. It's a 1967 political satire made in the days before political satire became mean and strident. I mean, the unseen "president" in the title is treated with surprising respect, even though it would be fair to assume that he might be LBJ, hardly a man who endeared himself to anybody. Politics and political satire became surprisingly mean and vindictive from the Nixon years on, but a film like THE PRESIDENT'S ANALYST retains a sense of mischief rather than malice.

As such, the film exists in something of a protective bubble of style. It is very sixties in tone -- dreamy pop-rock music in the score, a vaguely anti-establishment attitude, etc. -- yet, though the sexual revolution is just taken for granted, there isn't a mention of Viet Nam, anti-war protests, social unrest or anything too real that might distract from the superficial style and goofy story. Unlike, say DR. STRANGELOVE, the sardonic comedy isn't threatened by the gravity of its dark subject matter.

As a spy movie, the film is sort of anti-James Bond; by the time it gets around to the high-tech shenanigans about a plot to control the world, it has already taken a good-natured look at everything from suburbia to rock 'n' roll. There aren't any Connery-esquire Bond types -- or even anyone like Coburn's own Derek Flint -- rather the superspies the film offers tend to be chubby and middle-aged, with a cheerfully pragmatic view of their profession. Indeed, America's top agent is played by roly-poly African-American comedian Godfrey Cambridge. And though practically everyone in the film turns out to be a secret agent, the film gleefully works to avoid as many spy clichés as possible, and only surrenders to the clichés that can be gently mocked.

The film has that giddy air of laid-back sophistication that suggests that it was created by smart people, all of whom were just a little bit high on some sort of illegal substance. Rather than having the martini-sipping, Playboy magazine-style of cool detachment of Bond, the film goes for the trippy, brownies-munching cool disenchantment of Sgt. Pepper. With a bit of MAD Magazine's "Spy vs. Spy" tossed in. The result is as amusing as it is thought provoking. And it is a sensational solution to the hostility problem -- assuming, of course, you don't already have a license to kill.


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