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The American President (1995)

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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.



2,843 ( 1,244)
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)


$65,000,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| | |



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Michael J. Fox has worked with family members of several of his cast mates. Samantha Mathis's mother, Bibi Besch, appeared on 'Family Ties (1981)(TV)'. Annette Bening's niece, Sachi Parker (daughter of Shirley MacLaine) had a small part in Back to the Future (1985). Michael Douglas's father, Kirk Douglas, appeared in Greedy (1994). Martin Sheen's son, Charlie Sheen, replaced Fox on 'Spin City (1998)(TV)'. See more »


At the Christmas party, Syndey's purse cord is across her chest when she walks in but when she walks over to the president it is over her arm. See more »


Lewis Rothschild: But we're not gonna stay at 41. The numbers are gonna go back up.
Lewis Rothschild: But they're gonna go back up.
Lewis Rothschild: All right George...
Lewis Rothschild: Congressman...
Lewis Rothschild: Congressman Jarrett...
See more »


References Wall Street (1987) See more »


Hail to the Chief
Music by James Sanderson
[Heard several times including played on trombone by Shawna Waldron]
See more »

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User Reviews

My name is Andrew Shepherd and I AM the president of the United States!
30 June 1999 | by (Toronto, Ontario) – See all my reviews

Is there a genre that Rob Reiner can't work in and make successful? He captured comedy beautifully with The Sure Thing. Music was brilliant with This is Spinal Tap. Horror? How about Misery? Courtroom drama was awesome with A Few Good Men. And now we have a political drama/comedy. There is nothing this man can't do.

This movie works inspite of people's claims that it is too political. Well you know what, it's about the president of the United States of America, there's going to be a bit of poiltics in it. And guess what, guns do kill people, so to have an issue at hand here that deals with gun control is applaudable.

Okay, that's out of the way, let's talk about the film itself. Because it is wonderful. It is funny, well acted, and it is written with a good ear.

The cast in this film is one to be envied by almost everyone except Oliver Stone and Robert Altman who seem to get everyone to do their films. But here we have Douglas as the president, Sheen as his aid, Michael J. Fox, Samantha Mathis, Annette Bening as Sydney Ellen Wade and in my favourite performance, Richard Dreyfuss as the sniveling weasle Senator Bob Rumsen.

As the story goes, the president's character gets questioned when he ( a widow ) finds a girlfriend in Sydney Wade. The issues are handled wonderfully here. Nothing is really tip-toed around as the script writer ( Aaron Sorkin ) writes a brave script about what is right and wrong with being the president and having a girlfriend.

I personally liked the politics in the film. I enjoyed how Shepherd decides to ignore the critisism leveled at him until the very end when he gives one of the best written speeches I've ever seen in film. And when he flexes his authoritative muscles, you feel his power, you feel that the president has spoken. And I was moved. This is a great film and one that should be checked out for sure.

**** I also found it to be interesting that the character in the film that tries to get the issue of gun control brought to the forefront is Michael J. Fox. He is Canadian and we don't have problems with guns here. Is it a coincidence ( probably ) that he was chosen to play this role? Or was it done deliberately? Interesting.

46 of 73 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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