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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 10,269 users   Metascore: 45/100
Reviews: 44 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:
...
Lane Smith ...
...
...
Olaf Andersen
...
Celia Kirby
...
Arthur Reinhardt
...
Terry Corrigan
...
Elijah Hawkins
...
Armando
...
Homer (as Chi)
Sonny Jim Gaines ...
Van Dyke
...
Zeke Bridges
...
Iowa
...
'Skeeter' Warburton
...
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
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Johnson quotes several Presidents of the United States (as well as a few other American historical figures including "Live Free or Die" from Revolutionary War General John Stark) during his run for Congress speech. "We have nothing to fear but fear itself" Franklin D. Roosevelt; "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" John F. Kennedy; and "Read My Lips" George Bush (George H.W. Bush, #41). See more »

Goofs

When the Congressmen are out in the field hunting, they spot a flock of geese and commence firing. However, even though we hear the sound of multiple rapid gunfire, none of the weapons (M16s) have any fire spitting from the barrels, nor do any spent cartridges eject. See more »

Quotes

[trying to bribe Congressman Dodge]
Olaf Andersen: This could mean six figures, Dick.
[Dick Dodge raises his eyebrows]
Olaf Andersen: [smiling] HIGH six figures.
[Dodge raises his eyebrows twice]
Olaf Andersen: [frowning] SEVEN figures?
See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

THE THUNDERER
Written by John Philip Sousa
See more »

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User Reviews

 
One of the Best Political Comedies Ever
27 August 2000 | by See all my reviews

I've seen Citizen Kane and wasn't half as impressed with it as I was with this film which I credit to producer and writer Marty Kaplan (who, as I understand, is a CPA). The only thing this movie lacks is violence and nudity, not that it needs either.

I've never seen a more thorough and realistic comedy about government and politics before or since this film. Only Bulworth comes close, yet the solutions suggested in that film were just as liberal as the institution it parodied. There are a few liberal connotations in The Distinguished Gentleman (particularly environmental), but they are immediately balanced and authenticated by the conditions presented in the story.

This film isn't an absolute probe into political science, but it gives a more lucid perspective of politics than the media would ever care to attempt. Eddie Murphy's performance is vintage, particularly his mimicking skills and his genuine comedic brilliance. A moment that defines the film is when his character gives a victory speech which consists exclusively of several cliches coined by historic politicians ("'Four score and seven years ago...' 'If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen...' 'We have nothing to fear but fear itself...' 'Ask not what your country can do for you...' and in conclusion 'Read my lips!'"). The crowd response, as with actual politicians, is full of mindless cheers of concurrence.

Political experts may find this film silly and full of inconsistencies. Yet, the fact is, most movies are silly compared to reality. This film, however, does not insult the viewer and gives political novices a good idea of political mechanics while presenting a hilarious performance. The fact presented in this film is that the most powerful people are the most corrupt, and corruption can only be defeated by more clever and deceptive corruption.

This is not a film for "Generation X"ers who rate a film on its music soundtrack and how thoroughly the females cast in it prostitute themselves. If you appreciate the comedy of Eddie Murphy and have a critical appreciation for politics, you will enjoy this film.

I'd give it a 9.5, but the IMDB won't allow decimals.


9 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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