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Bob Roberts (1992)

A right-wing folk singer becomes a corrupt politician and runs a crooked election campaign. Only one independent muck-raking reporter is trying to stop him.




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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 4 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Terry Manchester
Senator Brickley Paiste
Rebecca Jenkins ...
Delores Perrigrew
Franklin Dockett
John Ottavino ...
Clark Anderson
Bart Macklerooney
Kelly Willis ...
Clarissa Flan
Merrilee Dale ...
Polly Roberts
Dr. Caleb Menck
Mack Laflin


Documentary-style look at the fictional Senatorial campaign of Bob Roberts, an arch-conservative folk singer turned politician. This political satire includes several original songs co-written and performed by writer/director/star Tim Robbins, and cameo appearances by other stars as reporters and news anchors. Written by Scott Renshaw <as.idc@forsythe.stanford.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Vote first. Ask questions later. See more »


Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for momentary language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

4 September 1992 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Bob Roberts - Candidato ao Poder  »

Box Office


$4,479,470 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


A soundtrack album was due for release on Warner Bros. Records, but it was not released because Tim Robbins didn't want the songs played outside of the movie's context. See more »


In a scene where Bob gets off the bus in "Harrisburg" a police barrier clearly says "City of Philadelphia." See more »


Kelly Noble: Bob Roberts is yet another of that faction that lives to destroy whatever good came out of the 60s, to rewrite the history of that important period. A period where the American people actually were informed and aware, and realized that they had a voice. They demanded that a war end. Bob Roberts is Nixon, only he's shrewder, more complicated, this Bob Roberts. Now here is a man who has adopted the persona and mindset of a free-thinking rebel and turned it on itself. The Rebel Conservative! That ...
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Crazy Credits

Towards the end of the final credits, there is a heart-shaped outline surrounding the initials EMLA, JHR, MGR & SS (SS is in the center)... These stand for Susan Sarandon, their two children together, Jack Henry Robbins & Miles Guthrie Robbins, his step-daughter Eva Maria Livia Amurri (Susan's daughter with film-maker, Franco Amurri.) This is also in the credits for "Cradle Will Rock", another Tim Robbins directed film. Thanks are given to "The Bob Roberts Dancers"... See more »


Referenced in Honest Trailers: Die Hard (2015) See more »


I've Got To Know
Music and Lyrics by Woody Guthrie
Performed by Woody Guthrie
Published by TRIO-Ludlow Music Inc.
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User Reviews

Interesting, flawed, memorable
31 March 2002 | by (Northeast America) – See all my reviews

I was fascinated by this self-contradictory, sometimes maddening film. I had only seen a snippet of it before, the brilliant song parody of a right-wing folksinger singing about welfare recipients who "complain and complain and complain and complain and complaaaaain!" I was impressed by the quality of this ditty and rented the movie.

Although billed as a comedy, I found this one to be a generally oil-and-water mixture of paranoid leftist diatribe and political comedy. Everytime a stereotypical "Republican" character elicited the response in my brain "nobody acts like THAT" I remembered, "oh yes, it's a comedy". Although I laughed less and my heart beat faster as the movie progressed...

I guess what disturbed me about this picture is it's off-kilter perspective. The viewer realizes that this slimy Machiavellian manipulator needs to be opposed. But the opposition seems to be almost equally unsympathetic. The screaming, cursing, holier-than-thou Saturday night live cast. The urbane liberal running against Bob who maintains that the CIA and National Security Council run the country. (Yeah, right...they can't even figure out that people can fly planes into buildings). The only rational perspective comes from the British documentary reporter, who views our political system with dry distaste. Was Tim Robbins making the statement that all Americans are crazy, including American filmmakers, and that only Europeans can be rational? If so, I strongly disagree (see Exhibits WWI and II)

The other disappointment for me was the downward spiral of song quality as the movie progresses. "Drugs stink"? Songs like this wouldn't bring even the zombified audiences the movie postulates into a frenzy.

Despite its flaws, however, I found Bob Roberts well worth watching for its star performances (Tim was great), its innovative camera work, and its emotional impact. I'd give it an 8.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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