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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 41,441 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?


Martin Sheen, Anna Deavere Smith, Nina Siemaszko, Beau Billingslea, Joshua Malina, Ralph Meyering Jr., Richard McGonagle, Thom Barry, Gabriel Jarret, Ron Canada, Nick Toth and Aaron Sorkin all had roles in both The American President (1995) and The West Wing (1999). Both were written by Sorkin. Some unused script ideas for the movie were later used on the show. The movie President studied under a Nobel Prize winner economist, the show President IS a Nobel Prize winner economist. See more »


At the State Dinner with the French President, when people are shown entering the White House and passing through the metal detector, the detector is clearly not switched on. They are also moving at a reasonably fast pace, sometimes passing through at least two at a time. See more »


[dancing at a state dinner]
Sydney Ellen Wade: I don't know how you do it.
President Andrew Shepherd: It's Arthur Murray. Six lessons.
Sydney Ellen Wade: That's not what I mean. Two hundred pairs of eyes are focused on you with two questions on their minds - who's this girl, and why is the President dancing with her?
President Andrew Shepherd: Well, first of all, the two hundred pairs of eyes aren't focused on me. They're focused on you. And the answers are Sydney Ellen Wade, and because she said yes.
See more »


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


Viens, Mallika
from "Lakmé"
Composed by Léo Delibes
Performed by Mady Mesplé and Danielle Millet
with Alain Lombard conducting The Paris Opéra-Comique Chorus & Orchestra
Courtesy of EMI Classics
under license from CEMA Special Markets
See more »

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User Reviews

I love this film
19 October 1998 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

This film sees the best acting from Michael Douglas (my God, he isn't a villain), Annette Bening (power woman), Michael J Fox (finally not a teen) and Martin Sheen (oh so amusing). This is such a warm film. It is innocent yet powerful. And the humour is second to none. Just fabulous.

39 of 68 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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