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The Candidate (1972)

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Bill McKay is a candidate for the U.S. Senate from California. He has no hope of winning, so he is willing to tweak the establishment.

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Marvin Lucas
...
John J. McKay
...
Senator Crocker Jarmon
...
Klein
Karen Carlson ...
Nancy McKay
Quinn K. Redeker ...
Rick Jenkin (as Quinn Redeker)
Morgan Upton ...
Wally Henderson
...
Paul Corliss
...
Floyd J. Starkey
Christopher Pray ...
David (as Chris Prey)
Joe Miksak ...
Neil Atkinson
Jenny Sullivan ...
Lynn
Tom Dahlgren ...
Pilot
Gerald Hiken ...
Station Manager
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Storyline

Californian lawyer Bill McKay fights for the little man. His charisma and integrity get him noticed by the Democratic Party machine and he is persuaded to run for the Senate against an apparently unassailable incumbent. It's agreed he can handle it his own way, on his own terms. But once he's in the race and his prospects begin to improve, the deal starts to change. Written by Jeremy Perkins <jwp@aber.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Too Handsome. Too Young. Too Liberal. Doesn't have a chance. He's PERFECT! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

11 August 1972 (Ireland)  »

Also Known As:

El candidato  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Robert Redford originated the project and personally hired Michael Ritchie to direct it as he had worked as a technical adviser on various political campaigns. See more »

Goofs

On election night, the television announcer says they will be shifting to their correspondent at McKay headquarters at the "Regency Hyatt" (sic) hotel, but later when McKay is escaping the crowds in the hotel, he rides in an elevator with a busboy. The busboy's uniform has the name 'Fairmont" on the front. See more »

Quotes

Lucas: You're the Democratic nominee!
Bill McKay: You make it sound like a death sentence.
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Soundtracks

A Better Way
Music by John Rubinstein
Lyrics by David Colloff
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User Reviews

 
The timeless definitive campaign
24 June 2001 | by (Philadelphia, PA) – See all my reviews

This is a truly excellent and overlooked Redford vehicle, and his performance comes full circle. From wide-eyed idealism to resigned cynicism, all the way back to little-boy-lost and overwhelmed. Redford is flawless! Peter Boyle is right-on as the experienced campaign hand. Also it is easy to overlook Don Porter's effortless portrayal of the smooth and experienced incumbent senator, just on the verge of decline. Porter's seamless delivery makes it look easy.

Douglas is also excellent as John J. McKay, Redford's father and the former governor. Obviously a traditional machine politician, and apparently estranged from his activist son for that, and perhaps for other reasons we are left to imagine, Douglas revels in the younger man's initiation to the corrupt world of politics. Catch the hunting scene to illustrate how these two are poles apart.

An intelligent, realistic, and rewarding film about politics, done at a time when folks were perhaps looking for a political fairy tale.


14 of 15 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Melvyn Douglas is so great in this old_tv_guy
note handed to Jarmon xchar
Does McKay have an affair? the_ccramaster1
Groucho Marx karmacoupe
Question on why they wanted McKay as candidate ednalyn99
McKay's secret probably would have cost him the election cryptical70
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