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The American President (1995)

PG-13  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Romance  |  17 November 1995 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 41,436 users   Metascore: 67/100
Reviews: 211 user | 75 critic | 21 from Metacritic.com

Comedy-drama about a widowed U.S. president and a lobbyist who fall in love. It's all above-board, but "politics is perception" and sparks fly anyway.



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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 9 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:


Andrew Shepherd is approaching the end of his first term as President of the United States. He's a widower with a young daughter and has proved to be popular with the public. His election seems assured. That is until he meets Sydney Ellen Wade, a paid political activist working for an environmental lobby group. He's immediately smitten with her and after several amusing attempts, they finally manage to go on a date (which happens to be a State dinner for the visiting President of France). His relationship with Wade opens the door for his prime political opponent, Senator Bob Rumson, to launch an attack on the President's character, something he could not do in the previous election as Shepherd's wife had only recently died. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Why can't the most powerful man in the world have the one thing he wants most?


Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

17 November 1995 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mi querido presidente  »

Box Office


$62,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£1,132,043 (UK) (15 December 1995)


£2,628,944 (UK) (19 January 1996)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| | |



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Camp David is strictly off-limits to the public and the media. The production designer used someone's personal snapshots from the Richard Nixon Era and a lot of imagination when designing the set. See more »


While discussing their nervousness about their budding relationship, the President tells Sydney that all the other first ladies were married to their husbands before they came to the White House. However Grover Cleveland was a bachelor when he became President in March 1885. He married Frances Folsom in a White House ceremony in June 1886. See more »


Robin McCall: Buenas Dias, Senior Presidente.
President Andrew Shepherd: Too tall McCall, how was Mexico?
Robin McCall: I didn't truly appreciate it until I came back and discovered that America isn't a great society?
Lewis Rothschild: He dumped a whole section.
See more »


Referenced in Scene Smoking: Cigarettes, Cinema & the Myth of Cool (2001) See more »


Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 MVT 1
by Johann Sebastian Bach
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User Reviews

good romance
20 December 2002 | by (madison, WI USA) – See all my reviews

This film worked for the same reason the West Wing works... it humanizes the President. Yes, the most powerful man in the world has feelings and falls in love. I liked one reviewer's comment saying that this film is Capra-esque. It certainly is because of its overall feel-good aspect and optimism. I enjoyed this film, and Michael Douglas seldom disappoints me. 8/10.

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