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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 41,453 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?


The main theme, by composer Marc Shaiman, can often be heard in the queue area of the attraction, Soarin' Over California, in Disney's California Adventure. The theme was also used as the background music in ABC television's coverage of President Ronald Reagan's funeral. See more »


Just after inviting Sydney to a dinner, the President is seen entering and taking off in a helicopter. As a security measure, Marine One always flies in ever-shifting groups with identical decoy helicopters, sometimes as many as five. However, in the film, the helicopter escorting the President is alone. There is a repeat occurrence at Camp David later in the film. See more »


President Andrew Shepherd: [Lucy is putting on his bow tie] That's a little tight, Luce.
Lucy Shepherd: It's supposed to be tight. It's supposed to make you look regal.
President Andrew Shepherd: Is it supposed to cut off the blood flow to my face?
See more »


Featured in The Oprah Winfrey Show: Summer Movie Reviews (1996) See more »


God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
Arranged by Robert Shaw and Alice Parker
Performed by Robert Shaw Chorale
Courtesy of RCA Victor Red Seal, a division of BMG Classics
See more »

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User Reviews

The thinking woman's Pretty Woman
10 July 2003 | by (kansas city, mo) – See all my reviews

I don't mean that as a slam. I like Pretty Woman a lot, too. But this movie is my "cure for all ills" movie. The one I throw in the DVD player on rainy Sunday afternoons and crack out my best junk food. And the political setting seems to give it more meat.

Michael Douglas is perfect. Annette Benning is perfect (and I would give anything to look as beautiful as she does in that blue dress at the State Dinner). Michael J. Fox, Martin Sheen, Anna Devoure Smith. People being passionate about each other and about important issues and about doing the right thing. Everything about this movie lifts me up when I'm feeling down.

I'm not a liberal, and I'm not a conservative - I fall somewhere in the middle. My beliefs in gun control to not include "(getting) the guns". But this movie is so good - that I can look past the occasional differences in political views. Those views are presented in a smart, thoughtful and constructive manner - and I appreciate them even though they are not my own.

I enjoy this movie for what it is - a sweet, smart, funny movie set in one of the most "romantic" settings in the world - The White House.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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