MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 388 this week

Power (1986)

 -  Drama  -  31 January 1986 (USA)
5.7
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 5.7/10 from 1,850 users  
Reviews: 16 user | 9 critic

Pete St. John is a powerful and successful political consultant, with clients spread around the country. When his long-time friend and client Ohio senator Sam Hastings decides to quit ... See full summary »

Director:

0Check in
0Share...

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 36 titles
created 12 Dec 2010
 
a list of 41 titles
created 13 Oct 2012
 
a list of 32 titles
created 25 Jun 2013
 
a list of 45 titles
created 24 Jul 2013
 
a list of 44 titles
created 2 weeks ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Power" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Power (1986)

Power (1986) on IMDb 5.7/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Power.
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Crime | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A woman wakes up next to a murdered man. Did she do it herself, and if not, is she in danger herself?

Director: Sidney Lumet
Stars: Jane Fonda, Jeff Bridges, Raul Julia
Guilty as Sin (1993)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

A female lawyer takes an accused wife-murderer as a client, but finds herself morally compelled to betray him one way or another.

Director: Sidney Lumet
Stars: Rebecca De Mornay, Don Johnson, Stephen Lang
Action | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

A racist cop receives a heart transplant from a black lawyer he hates, who returns as a ghost to ask the cop to help take down the men who murdered him.

Director: James D. Parriott
Stars: Bob Hoskins, Denzel Washington, Chloe Webb
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A newly elected District attorney finds himself in the middle of a police corruption investigation that may involve his father and his partner.

Director: Sidney Lumet
Stars: Andy Garcia, Richard Dreyfuss, Lena Olin
Carbon Copy (1981)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

A white corporate executive is surprised to discover that he has a black teen-age son who can't wait to be adopted into the, almost-exclusively-white community of, San Marino, California.

Director: Michael Schultz
Stars: George Segal, Susan Saint James, Jack Warden
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

When police officer Xavier Quinn's childhood friend, Maubee, becomes associated with murder and a briefcase full of ten thousand dollar bills, The Mighty Quinn must clear his name. Or try to catch him, which could be even trickier.

Director: Carl Schenkel
Stars: Denzel Washington, Robert Townsend, James Fox
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Detective Emily Eden is a tough New York City cop forced to go undercover to solve a puzzling murder. Her search for the truth takes her into a secret world of unwritten law and unspoken ... See full summary »

Director: Sidney Lumet
Stars: Melanie Griffith, John Pankow, Tracy Pollan
Critical Care (1997)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Werner Ernst is a young hospital resident who becomes embroiled in a legal battle between two half-sisters who are fighting over the care of their comatose father. But are they really ... See full summary »

Director: Sidney Lumet
Stars: James Spader, Kyra Sedgwick, Helen Mirren
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

A TV producer who is the mistress of her boss, tries to have him make their relationship more permanent, and begins a relationship with a younger man. When her boss hears of this, he tries ... See full summary »

Director: Sidney Lumet
Stars: Ali MacGraw, Alan King, Myrna Loy
Lovin' Molly (1974)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Spanning nearly 40 years from 1925 to 1964, two Texas farm boys; straight-arrow Gid and laid-back Johnny fight over the affections of the beautiful and headstrong Molly Taylor, who ... See full summary »

Director: Sidney Lumet
Stars: Anthony Perkins, Beau Bridges, Blythe Danner
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

Jessie is an ageing career criminal who has been in more jails, fights, schemes, and lineups than just about anyone else. His son Vito, while currently on the straight and narrow, has had a... See full summary »

Director: Sidney Lumet
Stars: Sean Connery, Dustin Hoffman, Matthew Broderick
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

An African American officer investigates a murder in a racially charged situation in World War II.

Director: Norman Jewison
Stars: Howard E. Rollins Jr., Adolph Caesar, Art Evans
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
Senator Sam Hastings, Ohio
...
Claire Hastings
...
Wallace Furman, New Mexico Gubernatorial Candidate
...
Governor Andrea Stannard, Washington
...
Jerome Cade, Ohio Senatorial Candidate
E. Katherine Kerr ...
Irene Furman
Polly Rowles ...
Lucille DeWitt
Matt Salinger ...
Phillip Aarons, Independent Ohio Senatorial Candidate
...
Sheikh
Omar Torres ...
Roberto Cepeda, Presidential Candidate
Edit

Storyline

Pete St. John is a powerful and successful political consultant, with clients spread around the country. When his long-time friend and client Ohio senator Sam Hastings decides to quit politics, he is rapidly drafted to help with the campaign of the man destined to succeed him, unknown and mysterious businessman Jerome Cade. In parallel and unaware of the potential dangers, he proceeds to unravel the mystery surrounding Hastings dropping out with the aide of his ex-wife, a prominent Washington-based journalist. But interests more powerful than local arm wrestling are at stake and things start getting awry. Written by Jaber <_Jaber_@yahoo.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

More seductive than sex... More addictive than any drug... More precious than gold. And one man can get it for you. For a price. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

31 January 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Moc  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Gross:

$3,800,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Writer David Himmelstein said that one day, he saw a row of television monitors playing political commercials for different candidates. He said the spots all looked the same to him, so he did research to find out why and what he discovered he put into the script. See more »

Quotes

Claire Hastings: [to Ellen, who is about to write an hurtful article about the Hastings] When you'll write this, make sure I'm the monster!
See more »

Connections

Featured in The 77th Annual Academy Awards (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Sing, Sing, Sing
Written by Louis Prima
Performed by Benny Goodman
Courtesy of RCA Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
An semi-realistic look at the illusionary political campaigns
22 August 2011 | by (São Paulo, Brazil) – See all my reviews

Sidney Lumet's "Power" makes an analysis on how political campaigns are made and the work of people behind it like Pete St. John (Richard Gere), a media consultant chosen to work for a unknown candidate for Ohio senate, the businessman Jerome Cade (J.T. Walsh) who is about to take the seat of an more experienced Senator (E.G. Marshall) longtime friend of Pete. Pete's unsure if this man will make the same good things his old friend did while as member of the Congress but he takes the challenge and accept the job.

Pete will make things work out, after all he's the best man in his business, young, talented and ambitious with an enormous taste for the power (the biggest aphrodisiac of all, some might say). But, in this particular campaign he'll join forces with Arnold Billing (Denzel Washington), a unscrupulous public relations who doesn't trust Pete and vice versa, and while working on promoting the new Senator, Pete investigates Billing trying to figure out what he and his associates have to hide from him. And of course the other side will do the same and that will give something to St. John reflect on his way of living and the way he conduces things (e.g. the manipulated video campaign of a Latin politician trying to save a girl during a protest; Pete was behind everything telling how the man should act in order to get sympathy from his voters). Luckily, on his side there's old friends like his ex-wife, the journalist Ellen (Julie Christie) and his former partner in business Wilfrid (Gene Hackman), now a drunken, decadent and highly ethical man who no longer makes good campaigns for his clients.

David Himmelstein's screenplay fascinates us for showing the importance of a candidate's image and how influential media consultants can be in doing marvelous (and totally manipulated) campaigns. One small thing makes a huge difference in getting elected or not. "Power" has a realistic view of money and power and how they work together but there's a catch in the final moments that almost ruins the film. This realism which was working quite well succumbed to a happy ending where good idealism and honesty wins over the power of corruption, lies and deceptions, quite rare back in the 1980's and even more now in the 21st century, specially when it comes to politics. The movie denied itself with this; the writer's rhetoric failed at this point but it's nothing so harmful, it's just a little contradiction.

However, the script has another problem, this one concerning the motivations behind the characters, what they were fighting for, what they were up against; there's too many sides (Cade's working for powerful people like him, who seems to be dealing with oil from the Arabs; the idealist junior candidate played by Matt Salinger wants to protect the environment; and there's another one but we cannot care about him); it was all confusing, muddled, quite complicated to follow everyone and everything. To give an example of another work directed by Sidney Lumet on a similar subject of media that worked better with these side issues "Network" was terrific and effectively great, we all knew which character was standing for and why.

Just like "Network" this also has big names in the casting but the performances pale in comparison. Gere is quite comfortable in the main role, even though most critics argue he wasn't a good choice; I enjoyed him playing this kind of guy who seems to be a villain but it turns out he's not that bad; Christie is good; Hackman was very underused and Beatrice Straight was quite distractive as the old Senator's wife. The movie offers a highlight to Denzel Washington playing a tough type to crack, the real antagonist even though this is not being the usual hero versus villain film. By far, Denzel is the one you can't take your eyes off for the whole thing.

Highly watchable for what the story has to say, the lessons some of us can learn with elections and how illusionary they can be. "Power" indeed is a powerful drama. 9/10


3 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Is it just me, or is this rated awfully low? viewtifuljoe1010
Please...a decent DVD would be nice. rickert
Hilary for Governor of Washington State in 1986 psbate-1
Are there any photos or videos around?? samcarter-1
Does Anybody Know If This Was Originally BUG JACK BARRON? drprod
Discuss Power (1986) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?