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The Distinguished Gentleman
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The Distinguished Gentleman More at IMDbPro »

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Jeff Johnson: the name you can trust

Author: Newsense from United States
10 January 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The Distinguished Gentleman is one of those movies that was a little too smart for its audience. Because of this, it came and went in theaters. I think its one of Eddie Murphy's better movies.

The story: Eddie Murphy plays Thomas Jefferson Johnson, a small-time crook that runs for Congress and wins. He ran with intentions of getting rich and left with intentions of helping the little people that get ran over by those corporate fat cats in the oval office. This being after he meets up a cancer-stricken girl that is a victim of the power lines over her school.

Eddie Murphy is great as the slick con man and he looks like he wants to be in this movie not like these later flicks where he phones in his performance. Lane Smith is perfect as the corrupted chairman Dick Dodge and so is Joe Don Baker as Olaf Anderson. Victoria Rowell(who plays Celia Kirby) and Charles S. Dutton(who plays Elijah Hawkins) turn in some good performances too. I like how this movie targets the don't-give-a-damn mentality of all of these politicians in the White House. It was good in its satire even when the humor misses(rarely). The Distinguished Gentleman is underrated but is definitely recommended to the crowd that can see past their nose.

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

A Smash!!!

Author: bixman71 from (Yankton, SD USA)
6 July 2002

Eddie Murphy is a great actor and he proves it in this movie. In it, Con man Murphy decides he can make more money as a United States Congressman than a hood. Victoria Rowell as Murphy's lawyer-activist love interest, Lane Smith as his double-dealing "political" mentor, and Joe Don Baker as the power magnate who tries to put both men in his pocket, bat great cleanup. All of this movie, coming from a pure political buff like myself, is great. For all you Alan Keyes fans out there, watch this movie for Charles S. Dutton's great performance as Eliah Hawkins, a preachy minister-Maryland congressman who I think is like Keyes in every way.

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Amusing Comedy

Author: steve7531 from San Diego, Ca
21 April 2002

Another film from the Director of My Cousin Vinnie. It has some very funny scenes in it, and it's worth a view. The acting was very good. Lane Smith does a good job of being a corrupt politician, as does Joe Don Baker as being the CEO of a Power company. It's not always believable, but it's good natured fun.

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Eddie Murphy's best performances.

Author: cmyklefty from Philadelphia
11 January 2002

Eddie Murphy plays a con turned congressman. He goes to Washington and cons he way into congress. This movie has a lot of political humor that holds true about the Capital and politics today. Murphy fits this role to a T and one his best acting performances. Well worth to trouble to see.

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5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Truly, a different side of Eddie

Author: hotcupofjava-1 from United States
26 June 2007

I agree with some of the comments made here, and disagree with others. For those of us who were looking for the usual Eddie Murphy, you will not find him here. While watching this movie on T.V., I went to IMDb to find out more. I saw that COMEDY was not one of the genres listed for this movie. At first, I thought that nobody had added it yet, that is until I saw the whole movie. I believe it may have been an attempt for Eddie Murphy to explore a serious character-role for a change. I think he did a great job!! Although he was not cracking us up with jokes and impersonations (but he did do a few on the phone to get important information), he was still entertaining to watch. Also, the political side of the story may not have been true-to-life, but it does give the laymen (and laywomen) an idea of some of the games the big-wigs play in the United States of Americow.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Please let's give this guy a big hand!!!

Author: edmundmuskie from America
8 August 2003

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Once in awhile Eddie Murphy will come out with a great film that puts his comedy into perspective and instead of just being silly he might actually try to say something. While this movie was not as successful as some of his other movies it is still pretty funny. In this movie he is a con artist who uses the same name as a dead congressman to get elected as a member of a very small party.

While it may be a little predictable the movie does have some interesting about how politicians operate and how bad the system can be. Murphy does an excellent job but as is often true of Murphy films many in the supporting cast are excellent as well. Lane Smith and Joe Don Baker.

Special mention should be given to Charles S. Dutton who plays a very socially conscious representative who is extremely honest. His character name is Elijah Hawkins, from Maryland. I am not sure but I believe he is based on an actual Maryland congressman named Elijah Cummings, but I do not know for sure.

In this movie James Garner has a small part and watch for a hilarious two minute long appearance by Della Reese. The script is only OK but Murphy really is the glue that holds it together. He is a great one-man band. One of the best parts of the movie is the finale where of course (spoiler) the bad guys are exposed for the crooks they are.

This is not Murphy's best role but he does all right here. I do recommend this movie, any Eddie Murphy fan should enjoy this, or anyone looking for a good laugh.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

The Distinguished Eddie

Author: jtpaladin from U.S.A.
3 December 2002

To really appreciate this film, you have to consider that it was released in 1992 when the Democrats controlled the House and the Senate and graft and corruption were the rules of Congress. The film centers around Murphy as a con man who gets himself elected to Congress and his attempts to put as much money in his pocket as possible.

In order to maximize his influence with lobbyists, Murphy gets himself appointed to the most powerful committee in Congress, which in real-life is the Ways & Means Committee and when this film was made, was run by Dan Rostenkowski, but in the film is run by the equally corrupt Dick Dodge.

In 1994, Rostenkowski was indicted on corruption charges and stepped down as Ways and Means chairman; he lost his House seat in the Congressional elections later that year. He pleaded guilty to mail fraud in 1996, and was fined and served (1996–97) a 17-month sentence.

One of the great things about this film is how it parallels the real-life Congress and how sleazy things were run under the Democrats when they controlled it. This film is a must for anyone interested in politics and for anyone that would like to see Murphy play a different role than his usual fare.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:


Author: chadd from Tallahasee, FL
6 February 1999

I think this movie is very funny and Eddie Murphy is just awesome as usual. I especially liked the first three quarters of the movie - the truth is that given the good cast and essential plot the Director and the writers could have given it a different twist towards the end and THEN it would have been a winner. Pity. But again, the actors and the actresses are the best.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

should be required viewing of every American

Author: jeff cox ( from santa cruz, ca
22 January 1999

i found myself laughing nervously at this movie. not that it isn't absolutely hilarious (it is). it's just that the movie hits too close to the concerns i feel when i view the "comedy" that goes on every day in washington!

if it weren't for the blatantly funny lines and over-the-top portrayal by murphy, i think this could be classified as a "black comedy". to me, it's almost as scary as "seven days in may". instead of a military takeover of the government, it's been taken over by people who have the money to buy congressional votes! the scary part is that it's already happened!

i think that "the distinguished gentleman" should be required viewing of every american that is of voting age! maybe it would mobilize us to become more vocal when it comes to capturing back our representatives' attention!

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

A Fun Little Movie

Author: StanGellner from Dodge City, KS
4 January 2002

I quite enjoyed "The Distinguished Gentleman." In my opinion, it's one of Eddie Murphy's better efforts. If you are just familiar with his latest endeavors, that may not be saying much. But if you are familiar with such classics as "Beverly Hills Cop," "Trading Places," and "48 Hours" you know that it is high praise indeed. If you are a fan of early Murphy, I recommend you see this underrated little gem. 8/10

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