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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 41,149 users   Metascore: 67/100
Reviews: 209 user | 75 critic | 21 from

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?


In early showings of the American President was shown, John Mahoney/Leo, read aloud the note that arrived with the ham. Subsequent showings, online scripts and the DVD have excluded that portion of the scene. Many of us would like to know how the note read. See more »


While the US President can't introduce a bill in Congress, it's common practice for him to get a sympathetic legislator to do it for him; this could be colloquially referred to as the President introducing the bill. In any case, he says, accurately, that he's "sending a bill to Congress for its consideration" which is perfectly proper as part of the State of the Union message. See more »


Leon Kodak: [cut to conversation in progress] You see, the country has mood swings.
Lewis Rothschild: Mood swings? Nineteen post-graduate degrees in mathematics, and your best explanation for going from a 63 to a 46 percent approval rating in five weeks is mood swings?
Leon Kodak: Well, I could explain it better, but I'd need charts, and graphs, and an easel.
See more »


Featured in The 79th Annual Academy Awards (2007) See more »


It's Beginning to Look Like Christmas
By Meredith Willson
First line sung by Richard Dreyfuss.
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User Reviews

Okay, without a doubt this is one of my favorite romantic comedies.
7 June 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Okay, without a doubt this is one of my favorite romantic comedies. Michael Douglas comes off as Presidential, Annette Benning is spectacular, Martin Sheen is exceptional, and the supporting cast is marvelous. And this is all directed by Rob Reiner, the 2nd generation actor writer director who understands every aspect of film making and is not afraid to let loose with all the knowledge, power and presence required to make a first class film.

Of particular note are David Paymer, Michael J. Fox, and Anna Deavere Smith, all three exceptional character actors whose contributions add so much to the texture and tone of the film. Paymer is the perfect foil to Fox, and Anna balances them perfectly, giving a unity to the staff presence in the film.

Perhaps the most intriguing part of the film is the incorporation of 'normal' events in the White House during the romance. We are not excluded or merely "clued in", but we participate in all the activities of the President, which makes the film more realistic and visceral. The flow of the film is exceptional, since there are no explosions or other violence to distract us, and the cinematography is amazing. The sets are perfect. Rated PG-13 for a scene of sexual innuendo and a few uses of profanity, this film is far from offensive in its delivery, its demeanor, or its presentation. A classic which will enhance any collection.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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