6.8/10
44,487
218 user 76 critic

The American President (1995)

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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3,964 ( 456)

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

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Cast

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Storyline

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

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

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Details

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Release Date:

17 November 1995 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mi querido presidente  »

Box Office

Budget:

$62,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£1,132,043 (UK) (15 December 1995)

Gross:

$65,000,000 (USA)
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Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

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Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

In the second of the three character errors, replace the link in the form "nm0166479" with a link in the form "Grover Cleveland", which links to the same page of facts about President Grover Cleveland. Using the form "nm0166479" serves no purpose, except to hide President Cleveland's name, and to force readers to search for this one factoid on the linked page. See more »

Quotes

Sydney Ellen Wade: [with dread as she realizes that she was in fact speaking with the president on the phone] Mr. President... um... uh... I'm sure there's an appropriate thing to say at this moment... probably some formal apology for the "nice ass" remark would be in order, I just... I don't quite know how to word it.
President Andrew Shepherd: No, it's my fault. I shouldn't have called you at home. Should I call you at the office tomorrow?
Sydney Ellen Wade: No, no, of course not... I mean, yes, you can call me anytime you want... this is fine, right now is...
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Connections

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

Soundtracks

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
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User Reviews

Warm, fun film with a big heart
15 February 2002 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

US President Andrew Shepherd is a widower who was sweep into power on the back of great public sympathy. Three years into his presidency he meets and falls for Sydney Ellen Wade, an environmental lobbyist. Eventually they begin to date against the counsel of his advisors, giving his rivals (most notably Senator Rumson) and the media the ammunition they need to begin to attack his presidency.

This is not exactely a political thriller. In fact it is as far removed from reality as you could imagine. However that's the point, this film doesn't pretend to be anything other than a romantic comedy - it has some political wranglings but it is very far from the (still very tidy and clean) rule of Martin Sheen's President in TV's The West Wing. However the story is nicely handled and Rob Reiner is natually very good at this type of thing. Here it occasionally is far too sickly sweet and sentimental, but most of it works well.

Douglas is good in the lead and looks quite acceptable as the President of the US - lets be honest, if it was him or "oil baron" Bush who would you pick? Bening is also good as Sydney but neither have anything outside of the usual romantic leads to do. The real strength here is the supporting cast - both in terms of class and sheer enterainment value.To name a few - Sheen, MJ Fox, Mathis, Dreyfuss - all big names, all funny performances.

Overall this is a big sloppy romantic comedy, but it's done with so much class that it's hard not to like it. Not brillant, but very enjoyable all the same.


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