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The Distinguished Gentleman (1992)

 -  Comedy | Crime  -  4 December 1992 (USA)
5.8
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Ratings: 5.8/10 from 10,701 users   Metascore: 45/100
Reviews: 45 user | 16 critic | 21 from Metacritic.com

A Florida con man uses the passing of the long time Congressman from his district who he just happens to share a name with, to get elected to his version of paradise, Congress, where the ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Lane Smith ...
...
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Olaf Andersen
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Celia Kirby
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Arthur Reinhardt
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Terry Corrigan
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Elijah Hawkins
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Armando
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Homer (as Chi)
Sonny Jim Gaines ...
Van Dyke
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Zeke Bridges
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Iowa
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'Skeeter' Warburton
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Vera Johnson
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Storyline

A Florida con man uses the passing of the long time Congressman from his district who he just happens to share a name with, to get elected to his version of paradise, Congress, where the money flows from lobbyists. But soon he learns the nature of the game and decides to fight back the only way he knows how, with a con. Written by Craig D. Barker <cdbarker@umich.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

From con man to congressman

Genres:

Comedy | Crime

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and a scene of sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

4 December 1992 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

De estafador a senador  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Gross:

$46,666,502 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The first time Eddie Murphy appeared in a film that was not distributed by Paramount Pictures. See more »

Goofs

The videotape at the end sounds different when played back than the actual conversation that took place. See more »

Quotes

Thomas Jefferson Johnson: Hey, yo, Van Dyke!
Van Dyke: Yeah?
Thomas Jefferson Johnson: Y'all remember Willie Sutton?
Van Dyke: My hero.
Thomas Jefferson Johnson: What did he say when they asked him why he robbed banks?
Van Dyke: 'Cause that's where the money is.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Tosh.0: Phil Davison (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

SOUL TRIILOGY III
Written by Chuckii Booker and Derek 'DOA' Allen
Performed by Chuckii Booker
Courtesy of Atlantic Recording Corp.
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products
See more »

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User Reviews

A pretty obvious satire but enjoyable nonetheless and featuring a mostly on form Murphy
4 August 2006 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Thomas Jefferson Johnson is a small time con artist who realises the money in politics when he overhears Congressman Jeff Johnson during one of his scams. When the Congressman dies between his secretary's legs in his office while "poling the electorate" Thomas sees his opportunity. Dropping his first name in the hope that name recognition will see him through, Thomas and his crew go to work and it is not long before they slide their way to Washington. Once in town he gets on the gravy train straight away – joining his colleagues in Congress, he is soon up to his neck in contributions and fund raisers but is this really what it is all about?

Although it starts out with plenty of big, easy targets the first half of the film is lively and quite funny. The broad satire is never that cutting or intelligent but it does the job for an Eddie Murphy comedy. Unfortunately, around the halfway mark the obvious plot suddenly has Thomas develop a heart and the film grinds to a halt. Happily it gets its senses back in the final section and is a return to the lively first part – this is not to say that it is brilliant because it isn't, but it is amusing and pretty enjoyable apart from the narrative arch having a massive hole in the middle of it.

The cast are mixed dependant on their material. Murphy himself is on good form. His con artist character suits his on screen personae and he works the dialogue really well – he is all at sea when he has to convince the audience of the change in his character but he moves through that as quickly as he can. The supporting cast are all in his shadow on this but at least there are plenty of famous faces. Smith, Dutton, McBride, Baker, Ralph and McCarthy all add an ensemble feel to the film even if it is very much Murphy's vehicle. Lynn's direction is OK but he can't do much of real intelligence with the basic tools presented to him by the writers.

Overall this is not the sharpest of satires but the big simple targets are still enjoyably hit. The middle section is poor but Murphy ensures that the majority of it will be good enough to please his fans even if it could have been so much better.


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