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The American President
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The American President -- Comedy-drama about a widowed US president and a lobbyist who fall in love. It's all aboveboard, but "politics is perception" and sparks fly anyway.

Overview

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6.8/10   37,599 votes »
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Director:
Writer (WGA):
Aaron Sorkin (written by)
Contact:
View company contact information for The American President on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
17 November 1995 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
Why can't the most powerful man in the world have the one thing he wants most?
Plot:
Comedy-drama about a widowed US president and a lobbyist who fall in love. It's all aboveboard, but "politics is perception" and sparks fly anyway. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Nominated for Oscar. Another 1 win & 8 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
A startlingly well made political love story, The American President succeeds hugely in the tremendously difficult task of being a good love story and a good political story at the same time. See more (204 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Michael Douglas ... President Andrew Shepherd

Annette Bening ... Sydney Ellen Wade

Martin Sheen ... A.J. MacInerney

Michael J. Fox ... Lewis Rothschild

Anna Deavere Smith ... Robin McCall

Samantha Mathis ... Janie Basdin

Shawna Waldron ... Lucy Shepherd

David Paymer ... Leon Kodak
Anne Haney ... Mrs. Chapil

Richard Dreyfuss ... Senator Bob Rumson

Nina Siemaszko ... Beth Wade

Wendie Malick ... Susan Sloan

Beau Billingslea ... Agent Cooper

Gail Strickland ... Esther MacInerney

Joshua Malina ... David

Clement von Franckenstein ... President René Jean D'Astier
Efrat Lavie ... Madame Monique Danielle D'Astier

John Mahoney ... Leo Solomon

Taylor Nichols ... Stu

John Mahon ... Chairman of the Joint Chiefs
Tom Dahlgren ... Defense Secretary
Ralph Meyering Jr. ... General
Kurt Boesen ... Security Advisor

Joseph Latimore ... Secret Service Agent
Darryl Alan Reed ... Secret Service Agent
Andrew Steel ... Secret Service Agent

Jordan Lund ... Carl

Richard McGonagle ... Rumson Staffer
Frank Cavestani ... Rumson Staffer
Richard Stahl ... Rumson Staffer
Alice Kushida ... Carol

Renee Faia ... Lisa
Beans Morocco ... Doorkeeper
Kathryn Ish ... Education Secretary
Kamilah Martin ... Flower Girl
Augie Blunt ... Groundskeeper

Thom Barry ... Guard

Steve Gonzales ... Housing & Urban Development Secretary

Gabriel Jarret ... Jeff

Karen Maruyama ... Leo's Secretary
Nancy Kandal ... Leslie

George Murdock ... Congressman
Bernie McInerney ... Congressman Millman
Jack Gilroy ... Congressman Pennybaker
Matthew Saks ... Congressional Staffer

Googy Gress ... Gil

Ron Canada ... Lloyd, Reporter
Brian Pietro ... Reporter
Rick Garcia ... Reporter

Aaron Sorkin ... Aide in Bar

Kymberly Newberry ... Sally
Greg Poland ... Mark

Jennifer Crystal Foley ... Maria, White House Staffer (as Jennifer Crystal)

Arthur Senzy ... Deputy

Nick Toth ... White House Aide

Jorge Noa ... White House Aide
Maud Winchester ... White House Aide
Jeffrey Anderson ... TV News Anchor
Suzanne Michaels ... TV News Anchor
Mark Thompson ... Kenneth Michaels
David Drew Gallagher ... New Guy
Todd Odom ... Secret Service Agent
Michael G. Alexander ... Color Guard Officer
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Leslie Bega ... Laura Staf

Anthony Backman ... Senator from Arizona (uncredited)

Arthur Eckdahl ... TV Anchor (uncredited)

Jill Gable ... Lobbyist (uncredited)

Matthew James Gulbranson ... White House Military Aide (uncredited)
Mark Norris ... Reporter (uncredited)
Roger Steffens ... Radio Announcer (voice) (uncredited)

Helen Thomas ... Herself (uncredited)
Ray Uhler ... Senator (uncredited)
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Directed by
Rob Reiner 
 
Writing credits
(WGA)
Aaron Sorkin (written by)

Produced by
Barbara Maltby .... associate producer
Charles Newirth .... executive producer
Rob Reiner .... producer
Jeffrey Stott .... executive producer
 
Original Music by
Marc Shaiman 
 
Cinematography by
John Seale (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Robert Leighton 
 
Casting by
Janet Hirshenson 
Jane Jenkins 
 
Production Design by
Lilly Kilvert 
 
Art Direction by
John Warnke 
 
Set Decoration by
Karen O'Hara 
 
Costume Design by
Gloria Gresham 
 
Makeup Department
Janice Alexander .... hair stylist
Enzo Angileri .... hair stylist: Ms. Bening
Lydia Bensimmon .... hair stylist: Washington D.C. unit (as Lydia Bensimmon-Benaim)
Kathryn Blondell .... key hair stylist
Hallie D'Amore .... makeup artist
Tom Lucas .... makeup artist: Mr. Douglas
Carol Meikle .... hair stylist: Mr. Douglas
Valli O'Reilly .... makeup artist: Ms. Bening
Daniel C. Striepeke .... key makeup artist
Carrie Angland .... makeup artist: Ms.Bening, Washington D.C. (uncredited)
 
Production Management
Alan Edward Bell .... post-production supervisor
Allegra Clegg .... production supervisor
Charles Newirth .... unit production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Frank Capra III .... first assistant director
William M. Connor .... second second assistant director (as Bill Connor)
Cherylanne Martin .... second assistant director
Alison C. Rosa .... second second assistant director: Washington
Laura Sylvester .... dga trainee
 
Art Department
Carl Aldana .... production illustrator
Laurie Arnow-Epstein .... set estimator
Robert A. Blackburn .... general foreman
Tristan Paris Bourne .... on-set dresser
Lloyd A. Buswell .... construction welding foreman
Dennis Butterworth .... greensman
Frank Capello .... construction foreman
Patrick Cassidy .... set dresser
Chuck Eskridge .... stand-by painter
Andrea Mae Fenton .... set dressing buyer
Elizabeth Flaherty .... art department coordinator
Amanda J. Flick .... set painter
Trish Gallaher Glenn .... property master (as Trish Galaher Glenn)
Bryan D. Garofalo .... assistant property master
Jess Gonchor .... construction foreman
Joann Hicks .... assistant property master
John Holcombe .... construction foreman
Heidi Kashyap .... art department coordinator
Alan S. Kaye .... set designer
Jonas Kirk .... construction foreman
Sharon Lipton .... floral designer
Kathy Lucas .... set dresser (as Katherine Lucas)
James E. Marchwick .... set dresser
Michael Molen .... construction foreman
Louis Montejano .... set designer
Nick Navarro .... set designer
Christopher S. Nushawg .... assistant art director
Thomas J. O'Brien .... paint foreman
Eric Orbom .... set designer
Tommy Samona .... set dresser
Quentin Schierenberg .... set dresser
Hal Schlax .... construction foreman
Kenneth Turek .... lead man
Robb W. Ward .... construction coordinator: Washington D.C.
Butch West .... construction coordinator
Elizabeth M. Burhop .... art department researcher (uncredited)
Travis Huffman .... propmaker (uncredited)
William H. Phen Jr. .... propmaker foreman (uncredited)
Randal Woodward .... paint gang boss (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
George Baetz .... boom operator
John Banuelos .... sound engineer
Beth Bergeron .... adr editor
John Brilhante .... sound recordist
Louis Counte .... adr recordist
John T. Cucci .... foley artist
Michael Dressel .... sound editor
Kim Drummond .... assistant sound editor (as Kim Haves)
Robert Eber .... sound mixer
Ryan Eldred .... apprentice sound editor
Alison Fisher .... dialogue editor
Leigh French .... adr voiceover coordinator
Nerses Gezalyan .... foley mixer
Jeff Gomillion .... adr mixer
Robert Grieve .... supervising sound editor
Kimberly Harris .... supervising adr editor
Gary A. Hecker .... foley artist
Tim Song Jones .... sound transferer
Gregory King .... supervising sound effects
Rick Kline .... sound re-recording mixer
Rob Knokes .... sound effects editor
Mark Lanza .... sound editor
John Murray .... foley editor
Rob Nokes .... sound effects editor
Kevin O'Connell .... sound re-recording mixer
Paul Parsons .... assistant sound editor
Dan Sharp .... sound recordist
Joel Shryack .... first assistant sound editor
Ed Simon .... foley recordist
Roger V. Stevenson .... boom operator
Daniel Yale .... sound editor
James Dehr .... sound mixer: second unit (uncredited)
 
Special Effects by
Hans Metz .... special effects foreman
Clay Pinney .... special effects supervisor
Martin Simon .... special effects
Douglas Retzler .... special effects assistant (uncredited)
 
Visual Effects by
Okan Ataman .... sabre technical assistant
Kathleen Beeler .... computer graphics artist
Andrea Biklian .... optical line-up
Patricia Blau .... effects senior management
Bob Brophy .... CG systems engineer
Ronn Brown .... assistant matte artist
Anne Calanchini .... visual effects coordinator
Eric Chauvin .... digital matte painter
Caitlin Content .... sabre digital compositor
Betsy Cox .... computer graphics artist
Gail Currey .... CG production manager
Debbie Denise .... visual effects producer
John Ellis .... digital operations manager: ILM
Bart Giovanetti .... computer graphics supervisor
Grant Guenin .... sabre technical assistant
Mark Holmes .... sabre digital compositor
Nancy Luckoff .... CG systems coordinator
Jeff Mann .... effects senior management
Michael McGovern .... visual effects editor
Dan McNamara .... Sabre systems supervisor
Jim Morris .... senior effects manager
Patrick T. Myers .... computer graphics artist (as Pat Myers)
Jason Ortenberg .... sabre digital compositor
Joshua Pines .... scanning supervisor (as Josh Pines)
Ken Ralston .... visual effects supervisor
Durant Schoon .... CG technical assistant
Duncan Sutherland .... camera engineer
Yusei Uesugi .... digital matte painter
Lisa Van Cott .... scanning coordinator
Lisa Vaughn .... sabre coordinator
Bruce Vecchitto .... optical supervisor
Matt Wallin .... computer graphics assistant
John Whisnant .... scanner operator
Tom Williams .... effects senior management
Kevin Willmering .... computer graphics artist: ILM
Rebecca Ramsey .... title producer (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
John Agalsoff Jr. .... video assist operator
Ismael Araujo Jr. .... grip
James Babineaux .... best boy electric
Hans Bjerno .... camera operator: Wescam, Washington D.C.
Branch M. Brunson .... rigging best boy
Clyde E. Bryan .... assistant camera: VistaVision
Kat Bueno .... grip
J. Patrick Daily .... key grip
Nancy Diambekov .... grip
Peter Drinco .... grip
François Duhamel .... still photographer
Jack English .... gaffer
Erik A. Erichsen .... rigging best boy
Rachel A. Flores .... grip
Juan M. García .... rigging best boy
John Gazdik .... assistant camera: VistaVision
Scott Graves .... dimmer board operator
Scott Graves .... electrician
Gene Hara .... electrician
M. Todd Henry .... camera operator
Kent H. Jorgensen .... dolly grip
Robert Glenn Ketchum .... photographer: landscape photographs
Trevor Loomis .... second assistant camera
Christopher Lyons .... electrician
Bruce MacCallum .... camera operator: Washington D.C.
Rick Maddux .... electrician
Michael Maguire .... rigging grip
J. Steven Matzinger .... first assistant camera: "b" camera
Charlie McIntyre .... rigging gaffer (as Charles McIntyre III)
Nicola Pecorini .... Steadicam operator
Calmar Roberts .... first assistant camera
Rodney Sandoval .... camera loader
George Schaafsma .... camera technician: Wescam, Washington D.C.
Gihan 'Sandy' Seneviratne .... electrician
Chris Silano .... first assistant camera: Washington D.C.
Dean Striepeke .... 24 frame video operator
Stephen Thorp .... electrician
Pat Turner .... camera operator: VistaVision
Greg Wardell .... electrician
Tom West .... best boy grip
Eric Whitehead .... grip
George M. Chappell .... electrician (uncredited)
Chris Funk .... rigging electrician (uncredited)
Jason Gary .... grip (uncredited)
Jesse Mather .... lighting technician (uncredited)
Jim McConocha .... electrician (uncredited)
Kevin McNeil .... grip (uncredited)
Marty Miller .... rigging grip (uncredited)
Juan Morse .... electrician (uncredited)
David Norris .... camera technician: Wescam camera (uncredited)
Rick Strodel .... grip (uncredited)
 
Casting Department
Karen Church .... casting assistant
Helen Mayer .... extras casting
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Fran Allgood .... costumer: Mr. Douglas
Betty Birkowski .... costumer: Washington D.C. unit
Elizabeth Clark .... costumer
Rudolph Garcia .... costumer
Adrienne Manhan .... costumer
Jennifer Morrison .... costumer: Ms. Bening
Chuck Velasco .... costume supervisor
Diana Wilson .... costumer
Pamela Wise .... costume supervisor
Gina Dedomenico .... costume digital artist (uncredited)
Bridgitte Ferry .... costumer (uncredited)
 
Editorial Department
Alan Edward Bell .... associate editor
Karen Dimmig .... assistant editor
Albert Farrar .... assistant editor
Dale E. Grahn .... color timer (as Dale Grahn)
Mo Henry .... negative cutter
Doug Jones .... negative cutter
Danny Miller .... assistant editor (as Dan Miller)
 
Music Department
Jeff Atmajian .... orchestrator
Terry Brown .... assistant music engineer
Lane Burch .... assistant music engineer
Sandy DeCrescent .... music contractor
Greg Dennen .... assistant music engineer
Mark Eshelman .... assistant music engineer
Arlene Fishbach .... music supervisor
Mark Herman .... assistant music editor
Artie Kane .... conductor
Jo Ann Kane .... music preparation
Dennis S. Sands .... score mixer
Marc Shaiman .... music producer
Scott Stambler .... supervising music editor
Bill Talbott .... assistant music engineer (as Bill Talbot)
Fred Vogler .... assistant music engineer
Larry Blank .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Tom Boyd .... musician: oboe soloist (uncredited)
James Thatcher .... musician: French horn (uncredited)
Nick Vidar .... music programmer (uncredited)
 
Transportation Department
Charles Conn .... driver
Thomas P. Donovan .... driver (as Tom Donovan)
Joe Dugan .... driver
Sean Dugen .... driver
Glen Enzen .... driver
Ronnie D. Huffey .... driver
Howard Jackson .... driver
Joe Jaramillo .... driver
Morgan Jones .... driver
Darwin Joston .... driver
Steve Mann .... transportation captain
Tim C. McHenry .... driver
Dennis McLaughlin .... driver
Patrick A. McLaughlin .... driver
Edward A. Powell .... driver
Tim Roslan .... transportation coordinator
Craig Scott .... driver
Timothy Sheehan .... driver (as Tim Sheehan)
Howard Taft .... driver
Robert Vincent .... driver
Eddie Lee Voelker .... transportation coordinator: Washington D.C.
 
Other crew
Emidio Antonio .... stand-in
Stephanie Antosca .... assistant location manager: Washington D.C.
Lori Arnold .... production assistant
Tim Atzinger .... production assistant
Catherine Balsam-Schwaber .... consultant: White House
Jennifer Bell .... production assistant
Robert Bennett .... stand-in
Kristin Bernstein .... production assistant (as Kristin Cameron)
Jan Bickler .... post-production accountant
Andrea Bronzo .... plate photography coordinator
Jonathan Capra .... production assistant
Gerrard Coffey .... accounting clerk
Kyle Cooper .... title designer
Tracey Costello .... stand-in
Charles Croughwell .... stand-in: Mr. Fox
Jeff Dash .... assistant accountant
Richard Davis Jr. .... location manager
Dan Dobson .... 24 frame computer display operator
Pam Ellington .... production accountant
Michael Everett .... 24 frame computer display operator
Leslie Feibelman .... accounting clerk
Veronica Ferran .... stand-in
Laurie G. Firestone .... state dinner consultant
Paige Fischer .... assistant: Mr. Reiner
Jay Gianukos .... production assistant
Jamie Gordon .... assistant: Mr. Newirth
Richard Grant .... click meister
Sam Haggin .... stand-in
Craig Hosking .... helicopter pilot: Washington D.C.
Debra James .... production coordinator
Pam Jones .... assistant: Mr. Reiner
Michael Kaufman .... projectionist
Shelley Kirkwood .... unit publicist
Rob Klein .... production assistant
David R. Lawson .... first aid
Steven D. Levine .... assistant location manager
Stacy Mar .... production assistant
Dan March .... video coordinator
Gail Martin-Sheridan .... production accountant
Dakotah Masset .... stand-in
Dylan K. Massin .... production assistant
Kerry Lyn McKissick .... script supervisor
Jamie Midgley .... assistant: Mr. Douglas
Ellen Moore .... assistant: Ms. Bening
Bettina Tendler O'Mara .... product promotions coordinator
Anthony D. Parrillo .... production assistant
Patty Presock .... consultant: White House
Peggy Pridemore .... location manager: Washington D.C.
Catherine Rae Purves .... assistant: Mr. Stott
Willie Radcliff .... craft service
Anne Rapp .... script supervisor: Washington D.C.
Margaret L. Schlaifer .... teacher
Douglas V.R. Shellow .... production assistant
Alison Sherman .... production coordinator: Washington D.C.
Robert R. Snow .... secret service consultant
Paul Taglianetti .... 24 frame computer display operator
Paul Taglianetti .... video image supervisor
Tom Tierney .... 24 frame computer display operator
Philip Wood .... travel services
Frank D. Woodward .... caterer
Laurie Arnow-Epstein .... construction accountant (uncredited)
Paul LaZebnik .... assistant production coordinator (uncredited)
Bill McCamey .... location nurse (uncredited)
Anne Verrier Scatolini .... stand-in (uncredited)
Bruce Wright .... display graphics (uncredited)
 
Thanks
Lou Butera .... special thanks
Charles Corrado .... special thanks
Robin Dickey .... special thanks
Chad Griffin .... special thanks
Nancy LaLuntas .... special thanks (as Major Nancy Laluntas)
Steve Schweitzer .... special thanks
 
Crew believed to be complete


Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies
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Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Perfect Couple" - Japan (English title)
See more »
MPAA:
Rated PG-13 for some strong language
Runtime:
114 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Michael J. Fox based his portrayal of Lewis Rothschild on George Stephanopoulos.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: The President's hairstyle changes as he visits his daughter for the first time.See more »
Quotes:
A. J. MacInerney:Oh, you only fight the fights you can win? You fight the fights that need fighting!See more »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
Hail to the ChiefSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
4 out of 6 people found the following review useful.
A startlingly well made political love story, The American President succeeds hugely in the tremendously difficult task of being a good love story and a good political story at the same time., 6 August 2002
Author: Michael DeZubiria (wppispam2013@gmail.com) from Luoyang, China

Michael Douglas, who is most well known for his enormous skill in playing stolid villains or regular men who become desperate because they manage to get themselves in way over their head, puts off these characteristics to play the part of the President of the United States, and he delivers a towering performance in this role. The story is based on the fact that President Andrew Shephard (Douglas) will soon be facing reelection, an election which may be compromised by the fact that he is developing a romantic interest in an envorinmental lobbyist named Sydney Ellen Wade (played beautifully by Annette Bening). Matters are complicated by the fact that Shephard's wife died just before he was elected in the first place, and his cabinet members (particularly Lewis Rothschild, played by Michael J. Fox) are urgently trying to persuade him not to date during the election.

One of the strange things about this movie is that it's kind of ironic that no one has really made a political film like this that centers around a romance involving the President. Indeed, watching a man as powerful as the U.S. President using his powers to flirt with someone that he has a crush on (okay, that sounded pretty dumb. Maybe no one's done it before because it sounds ridiculous in writing!), trying at the same time to persuade her that he really is the President. While it doesn't exactly SOUND like it would make the greatest film, this premise has resulted in the exceedingly superior romantic comedy that we see in The American President.

The performances in the film are spectacular throughout, but it's actually the script that deserves even more attention than the actors' performances, which is a rare distinction in a film. I think that the reason that The American President succeeds so well as a political film as well as a romantic comedy is that both elements are so realistically presented. I think it was Roger Ebert who praised The American President for approaching and handling real issues, such as gun control and the environment, instead of side-stepping this and trying to present a President who is not taking any certain stands on any certain issues that might cause the film's audience to like him or the movie less.

The love story, one of the easiest things in the cinematic medium to completely screw up, is done brilliantly here, largely because of the occupations of the two subjects that it centers on as well as the excellent script. The movie has a nearly endless amount of comments to make about the American Presidency, the way that the public sees the office, and the restrictions that it places on its occupants. There is a pleasant irony between such things as President Shephard's ability to get Wade on the phone when she doesn't even have a phone of her own (hey, I'm a poet and I didn't even realize it…), but his complementary inability to even bring her to the house for a nice, innocent dinner.

President Andrew Shephard is faced with the unfortunate task of trying to appease the American public, retain his position in the White House, convince Sydney Ellen Wade that he is who he says he is and that he is genuinely interested in her, and provide for his own romantic happiness, with the added conflict that if any one of them fails, all of the others are likely to fail as well. It's true that, this being a rather light-hearted romantic comedy, we already know how the film is going to end, but brilliant dialogue, a fascinating story, unusually interesting characters, and a tense political atmosphere prevent the material from getting boring just because we really already know how it's going to turn out in the end. Besides that, the romance in the film is so well done that that element alone makes it worth watching.

There's a scene in the film when President Shephard and Wade are dancing in a crowded dinner hall, and she asks him what people are going to think about the whole situation, wondering who that woman is and why the President is dancing with her. In an example of the brilliance of the script as well as the reason that the romantic plot of the film succeeds so well, Shephard responds, `Sydney Ellen Wade, because she said yes.'

You see, romance CAN be done right sometimes.

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