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The Candidate (1972)

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
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John J. McKay
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Senator Crocker Jarmon
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Klein
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Nancy McKay
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Rick Jenkin (as Quinn Redeker)
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Wally Henderson
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Paul Corliss
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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>

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Taglines:

Nothing matters more than winning. Not even what you believe in. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

11 August 1972 (Ireland)  »

Also Known As:

El candidato  »

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(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

A prop campaign button from this film is on display at the Smithsonian's Museum of American History in Washington. It is on display with several authentic campaign buttons. See more »

Goofs

When McKay is laying on the couch with the cup, his arm and head changes position between camera shots. See more »

Quotes

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

Featured in The Contender: The Making of a Political Thriller (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

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

 
The Candidate
22 March 2000 | by (Seattle) – See all my reviews

Robert Redford, in one of his unjustly overlooked films from 1972, stars as a lawyer and the son of the former governor of the state of California in an election year where the senatorial incumbent has no competition. Peter Boyle convinces Redford to run, fully expecting and anticipating to lose, therefore being able to run on a platform of pure integrity to show how out of touch the current senator has become. But suddenly the public realizes that some fresh, younger blood with an idealistic eye might be what they truly want rather than another in a long succession of terms by the same old huckster. Melvyn Douglas also stars as Redford's father. Even though this film is almost 30 years old, the Oscar-winning screenplay by Jeremy Larner shows just how timeless the same old issues the candidate has to decide where he stands upon (abortion, the environment, health care) actually are. The script really is eye-opening, because it underlines very well the point that even if, say, Jesus Christ were to run for office today, what He would say is not as important as how and when He'd say it. Directed by Michael Ritchie (Smile, The Bad News Bears, Semi-Tough), one of the few American directors who has been able to successfully show the black humor of the strange, fetid underbelly of competition in this society. Blink and you'll miss Natalie Wood at a fund-raiser. Completely climatized to the Seventies, she looks like Donovan's aide-de-camp.


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