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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.

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1,916 ( 356)
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)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

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Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Produced by Rob Reiner's production company, Castle Rock Entertainment, which is named for a small town appearing in many works by Stephen King and the film adaptations thereof. It was the location of Reiner's own film Stand by Me (1986), but this was not the first film to feature the town. It previously appeared in Cujo (1983) and The Dead Zone (1983). The latter film featured Martin Sheen as a future Presidential candidate. See more »

Goofs

When Lewis is chewing out the congressman, the hand holding the telephone changes between shots. See more »

Quotes

Leo Solomon's Secretary: Dig it, Miss Wade... you're the President's girlfriend!
See more »

Connections

References It's a Wonderful Life (1946) See more »

Soundtracks

Brandenburg Concerto No. 5, BWV 1050, 1st Movement: Allegro
by Johann Sebastian Bach
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User Reviews

 
A First Rate Film
3 March 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Director Rob Reiner and Aaron Sorkin, fresh off their success with the film A Few Good Men, came up with this gem more then thirteen years ago. With a top notch cast and production values The American President is the continuation of an old Hollywood tradition of films where nobility wins out in the game of politics. While that might seem like a bad thing the fact is the film is all the better for it.

First off there's the cast. Michael Douglas gives one of his finest performances as President Andrew Shepherd. The same can be said of his love interest and co-star Annette Benning in her performance as lobbyist Sydney Ellen Wade. Together they have a strong chemistry whether it be the film's comedic, romantic or dramatic moments.

Then there's the supporting cast. Martin Sheen, Anna Deavere Smith, Samantha Mathis, David Paymer and Michael J. Fox give fantastic performances as the White House staff with Sheen and Fox in particular getting moments to shine. Richard Dreyfuss gives a delicious performance as Presidential contender Bob Rumson. Even in the small roles the actors (like Joshua Malina and John Mahoney) give good performances.

The film's production values are just as strong as its cast. The White House sets are excellent and give the feeling of being in the real place. The same can be said of virtually all the sets in the film. Also of special mention is the score by Marc Shaiman, especially in the opening credits of the film.

Then there is the script by Arraon Sorkin. Sorkin's effortlessly blends together the elements of a good romantic comedy and a good political based film to create a hybrid of the two. Unlike other attempts at mixing comedy/satire with a political film that often end up failing to be successful as either (such as the more recent film Man of the Year for instance) here it works. In one scene you can have a speech about something political and have a romantic comedy scene the next. The result is that the styles don't clash but rather compliment each other nicely. It's easy to see where the genesis of Sorkin's later magnum opus The West Wing came from.

The American President is a first rate film. With its top notch performances, excellent production values and a first rate script it's hard to beat that. The only shame of the film is the fact it didn't any major awards because it definitely deserved to.


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