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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:
...
...
...
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Senator Crocker Jarmon
...
Klein
...
...
Rick Jenkin (as Quinn Redeker)
...
Wally Henderson
...
Paul Corliss
...
Christopher Pray ...
David (as Chris Prey)
Joe Miksak ...
Neil Atkinson
...
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

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Release Date:

11 August 1972 (Ireland)  »

Also Known As:

El candidato  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Robert Redford and Michael Ritchie had recently worked together on Downhill Racer (1969), when they approached Jeremy Larner together wanting to make a movie about "a candidate who sold his soul." According to Larner: "Warners would not have financed the film were not Redford willing to take responsibility for it, and though he did not want the credit, he was a most conscientious producer from beginning to end, and the movie certainly reflects his personality." See more »

Goofs

When the TV commentary comes on, McKay's assistant leans forward and puts his chin on his right hand but in the shot from the front his chin goes on his left hand. See more »

Quotes

Bill McKay: So vote once, vote tuh-wice, for Bill McKay... you middle-class honkies.
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Connections

Referenced in Doc: The Candidate (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

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

 
Timeless political comedy with bite.
25 October 2002 | by See all my reviews

Unobtrusive, documentary-style direction by the underrated Michael Ritchie lends verisimilitude to Jeremy Larner's witty (Oscar-winning) script. It feels like you're really on the campaign trail with a "pretty-boy" senatorial candidate (played with typically effortless charm by Robert Redford), who can barely keep up with a platform being built on the fly and the relentless media blitz that dogs him every step. Events move swiftly to their inevitable, ironic conclusion, highlighted by one of the best closing lines in cinema history.

Terrific support is provided by character actors Peter Boyle, Allen Garfield, Melvyn Douglas and others, plus a host of cameos by real politicians of the era such as Alan Cranston and Hubert Humphrey. If you want an idea how modern American politics works, this is still a pretty good primer.


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