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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 10,570 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

In the scene between Eddie Murphy and Charles S. Dutton eating crab in Baltimore, they are inauthentically eating Dungeness crab (latin name 'Metacarcinus magister' named for Dungeness, Washington State, USA), which is found only on the Pacific coast of North America. The Baltimore, Maryland area is world renowned for their Chesapeake blue crab or Atlantic blue crab (latin name Callinectes sapidus) which is a species of crab native to the western Atlantic Ocean and especially concentrated in the Chesapeake Bay of Maryland, where it is culinarily significant and economically crucial, the Maryland state crustacean, and an extensive fishery. The Chesapeake blue is an entirely different species from Dungeness, and typically eaten exactly as shown in the film, however Dungeness crabs are not eaten that way. 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

[blackmailing Congressman Dodge]
Thomas Jefferson Johnson: I want you to resign. You can tell people it's for health reasons. Most of us will believe that, cuz we've seen you in the steam room.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Cutting Edge: The Magic of Movie Editing (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

HAPPY DAYS ARE HERE AGAIN
Written by Milton Ager and Jack Yellen
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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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