6.5/10
12,593
72 user 26 critic

My Fellow Americans (1996)

Two former U. S. Presidents, hated rivals, join forces to expose the current, corrupt President at the risk of their lives.

Director:

Writers:

(story), (story) | 3 more credits »
Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Out to Sea (1997)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A failed gambler, intent on meeting a rich widow, tricks his widowed brother-in-law into boarding a cruise ship as dance hosts.

Director: Martha Coolidge
Stars: Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau, Dyan Cannon
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

John and Max resolve to save their beloved bait shop from turning into an Italian restaurant, just as its new female owner catches Max's attention.

Director: Howard Deutch
Stars: Walter Matthau, Jack Lemmon, Ann-Margret
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A lifelong feud between two neighbors since childhood only gets worse when a new female neighbor moves across the street.

Director: Donald Petrie
Stars: Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau, Ann-Margret
Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Oscar and Felix take a road trip to their son and daughter's wedding.

Director: Howard Deutch
Stars: Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau, Richard Riehle
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
Edit

Storyline

Kramer and Douglas, two former presidents from opposite ends of the political spectrum, become reluctant allies when they become the target of a conspirator in President Haney's administration. The two ex-presidents realize they have an enemy within the government and set out to find evidence that will clear their names. The search takes them across the Southern Appalachians; along the way they meet a homeless couple, thwart kidnapers in the parking lot of a fast-food restaurant, and find themselves marching in a gay pride parade. Written by Dennis Lewis <dsl@sprynet.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A comedy about life, liberty and the pursuit of two ex-presidents.

Genres:

Adventure | Comedy

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for salty language and innuendo | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

20 December 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Grumpy Old Presidents  »

Box Office

Budget:

$21,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$2,860,334 (USA) (20 December 1996)

Gross:

$22,294,341 (USA) (14 March 1997)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The name of the book that former Democrat President Matt Douglas (James Garner) wrote was "The Challenging Years" whilst the names of some of the seven books that former Republican President Russell Kramer (Jack Lemmon had written included "Hail to the Chef !", "Read My Tulips", and "Executive Obedience: Learn from the Master". See more »

Goofs

When presidents Kramer and Douglas walk into the rental-car office in West Virginia, there is a Wachovia bank branch across the street behind them. Wachovia does not have branches in West Virginia. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Edwin Newman: It has been described as one of the most vicious presidential races in the history of American politics, and one of the closest. The Republican nominee, Senator Russell P Kramer of Ohio, is practically dead even in the polls with his bitter rival, Democratic Governor Matt Douglas of Indiana. To say there is no love lost between these two candidates is a gross understatement. And yet tonight, in spite of their almost overwhelming distaste for each other, one of these men will have ...
See more »

Connections

References Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939) See more »

Soundtracks

In the Midnight Hour
Written by Wilson Pickett and Steve Cropper
Performed by Wilson Pickett
Courtesy of Atlantic Recording Corp.
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
The Missing Matthau / Lemmon film
6 August 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

In the 1990s there were a slew of films in which Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau appeared together. The first two were GRUMPY OLD MEN, and it's sequel GRUMPIER OLD MEN, both of which had good box office. Then came THE GRASS HARP, which is technically one of their joint films, but is actually a dramatization of a fine novel by Truman Capote that had an excellent ensemble cast, and that only had one scene with the two actors together. OUT TO SEA was another Lemmon and Matthau romp, and finally came THE ODD COUPLE II, which was a weak (but amusing) sequel.

Technically, between THE GRASS HARP and OUT TO SEA there was to be this film. It was to star Matthau as a Democratic ex-President, whose one term in office was following the one term of his rival, Republican ex-President Lemmon, and both would be followed by Republican incumbent Dan Ackroyd. But Matthau could not be in the film, presumably due to health problems. Instead, his role was filled in by James Garner. Although one likes watching the chemistry of Matthau and Lemmon in their comedies, the substitution of Garner is probably for the best. Garner's character is like Bill Clinton or John Kennedy, a ladies' man type. In fact, his wife is divorcing him during the film (we only see her briefly when he is elected President). Somehow Matthau could not have fit that type of role.

The 1990s also saw several pictures that tackled the problems of the Presidency. The best of these was THE American PRESIDENT, wherein Michael Douglas tries to balance his job's duties, with his performance ratings, and his falling in love with a woman whose political agenda can be used to bash him (Annette Benning). There was also DAVE, which was a variation on an old Akim Tamiroff film THE MAGNIFICENT FRAUD, wherein a double (KEVIN KLINE) finds he must continue to play the role of the President when the President (who is corrupt) has a devastating stroke. There the double finds himself falling in love with the First Lady (SIGOURNEY WEAVER - who reciprocates), and fighting an unscrupulous, power-hungry chief of staff (FRANK LANGELLA). MY FELLOW Americans fits in with this pair of films in continuing the trend.

Lemmon wins his term as President by defeating his Democratic rival Garner. But four years later Garner defeats incumbent Lemmon. But four years after that Garner is defeated by Lemmon's former Vice President Ackroyd. In the third year of his term, Ackroyd is told by his chief of staff, Bradley Whitford (ironically a member on the television series THE WEST WING currently), that a major financial scandal involving Ackroyd is about to be revealed, and will finish him politically. Ackroyd and Whitford decide to kill the scandal by framing Lemmon for taking the bribes involved. But Lemmon is tipped off about the scandal by news reporter Sela Ward (seeking an exclusive), and Garner learns of it from Democratic Party head Wilfrid Brimley (and encouraged to check into it with the possibility of being renominated for the Presidency again). When the key man in the scandal is shot and killed by a rogue CIA man (Everett McGill, in an exceptionally good, creepy performance), the lives of the two ex-Presidents are in danger. They are forced to join forces to prove Ackroyd's perfidy. They are also forced to confront each other and their own failings.

The reason the film works is it forces the audience to think of what is wrong with the political system. The initial ten minutes, with it's rapid turnover of one term Presidents, mouthing the typical clichés, reminds us that our leaders (with rare exceptions) rarely do more than protect their political hides by not doing anything that would really rock things. This is similar to the situation in THE American PRESIDENT where Douglas will not confront his Republican rival, Richard Dreyfus, who is questioning the influence of Benning on the President's policies, and who is willing to make a deal to pass some cosmetic, worthless "crime bill" instead of tackling the pro-gun lobby.

In MY FELLOW Americans the moment of truth is when both ex-Presidents learn that their mediocre policies cost a nice family their job and their home. Garner finally shows how fed up he is, towards the end, when he tells Lemmon that he is sick of thinking of how little he really accomplished in the four years he was President, and how he wants to demolish Ackroyd's corrupt administration because it is what the starry eyed believers of Democracy expect their Presidents to do.

The cast was quite in the film, but one wishes Lauren Bacall had had more scenes with Lemmon (her husband in the movie), and that Esther Rolle had been in a few more scenes as the White House cook. But otherwise it is a good Garner/Lemmon comedy, even though it was to have been a Matthau/Lemmon film.


23 of 23 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page