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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 41,444 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?


While watching television at Camp David there is a very brief clip of the 1994 movie "North" also directed by Rob Reiner. A movie that was voted the worst film of 1994 by both Siskel and Ebert. See more »


When Lucy takes the book it is rotated 180 degrees from the position it was when the president hands it to her. See more »


President Andrew Shepherd: This is NOT the business of the American people!
A.J.: With all due respect, sir, the American people have a funny way of deciding on their own what is and what is not their business.
See more »


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
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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