The Candidate (1972) - Plot Summary Poster


Plot Summary

  • 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>
  • Idealistic young lawyer Bill McKay (Robert Redford), thoroughly involved with civil rights, legal aid and ecology, agrees to run for the U.S. Senate - not to win, he tells himself, but to bring vital issues before the voters. He despises political deals and compromises, but when the possibility of victory overshadows what seemed like certain defeat, his integrity begins to weaken. A fascinating and dynamic character study showing all the inner conflicts of a decent man torn between his ambition and his conscience. It tells what it costs - emotionally, morally, financially - to run for public office, and conveys all the doubts, all the self deceptions and ultimately all the cynicism of a man who knows he has sold out for something he isn't sure he really wants. Oscar-winning screenplay by Jeremy Lardner.

    - Written by alfiehitchie
  • 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.

    - Written by Robbie Smith <robsmith@u.washington.edu>


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