A behind-the-scenes look at a former Michigan U.S. representative's campaign as he vies for his party's Presidential nomination.
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1  
1988  
Won 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 3 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Series cast summary:
...
 Jack Tanner (11 episodes, 1988)
...
 T.J. Cavanaugh (11 episodes, 1988)
...
 Stringer Kincaid (11 episodes, 1988)
...
 Deke Connors (11 episodes, 1988)
...
 Andrea Spinelli (11 episodes, 1988)
...
 Alex Tanner (10 episodes, 1988)
...
 Emile Berkoff (10 episodes, 1988)
...
 Molly Hark (10 episodes, 1988)
Frank Barhydt ...
 Frank Gatling (9 episodes, 1988)
Sandra Bowie ...
 Stevie Chevalier (8 episodes, 1988)
...
 Joanna Buckley (8 episodes, 1988)
...
 Hayes Taggerty (7 episodes, 1988)
...
 David Seidelman (7 episodes, 1988)
Greg Procaccino ...
 Barney Kittman (7 episodes, 1988)
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Storyline

A behind-the-scenes look at a former Michigan U.S. representative's campaign as he vies for his party's Presidential nomination.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A Political Fable. See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

Not Rated

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

15 February 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Tanner: A Political Fable  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(11 parts) | (10 parts)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Aaron Sorkin has acknowledged that Tanner had an influence on The West Wing, which he created over a decade later, in its underlying idealism and in its view of political staffers as people who at least struggle to do the right thing. See more »

Quotes

[making a toast at his son's wedding rehearsal dinner]
Tanner's Father: One hundred years ago, William Gladstone, after a particularly acrimonious debate in Parliament, bellowed across the floor at his arch-rival Benjamin Disraeli, "You, sir," he said, "will one day end your days on the gallows or of venereal disease." Disraeli raised himself up and replied, "That, sir, would depend on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."
Alex Tanner: Grandpa.
Tanner's Father: I tell this humorous story because it hasn't been altogether clear...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Followed by Tanner on Tanner (2004) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A wise and funny commentary on American politics.
9 November 2000 | by (Takoma Park, MD.) – See all my reviews

A long-time Altman fan, I rented the video of Tanner 88 just in time for the final days of the 2000 election. In fact, on election night, I was flipping back and forth between Altman's clever take on presidential politics and the "real" thing, and I can tell you, Tanner 88 was much better television.

The mini-series of 10 half-hour episodes is available on three VHS tapes.

It was excellent, overall. Especially good was the way it punctured so many of the hot-air balloons and pretensions of American politics, but clearly sympathized with the people who want to believe in it. We see a liberal Democratic candidate, Jack Tanner, played skillfully by Michael Murphy, go through a campaign from the New Hampshire primary to the end of the convention. Typical of the series, Tanner is on the one hand shallow and full of empty rhetoric, while also sincere, idealistic and sometimes inspiring. Tanner's campaign manager, a woman, is also extremely smart, more than a little cynical, but capable of being inspired by her candidate whose weaknesses she knows very well. The first half of the series, which takes place in New Hampshire, is extremely funny, especially in showing how the citizens there have become inured to the hoopla of the candidates and the media. Also outstanding in this series is the way the working press is portrayed as part of the life of the campaign--these are real people, not just role players. The last two episodes, at the convention, lack the bite of the first five or or six, and could be skipped without losing much.


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