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The Contender (2000)

Senator Laine Hanson is a contender for US Vice President, but information and disinformation about her past surfaces that threatens to de-rail her confirmation.



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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 1 win & 20 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Jack Hathaway
Oscar Billings
Paige Willomina
Fiona Hathaway
Noah Fryrear ...


A political thriller about Laine Hanson, a senator who is nominated to become Vice President following the death of the previous office holder. During the confirmation process, Laine is the victim of a vicious attack on her personal life in which stories of sexual deviancy are spread. She is torn as to whether she should fight back, or stick to her high principles and refuse to comment on the allegations. Written by Ted Johnson

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Welcome To The Greatest Show On Earth See more »


Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexual content and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




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Release Date:

13 October 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La conspiración  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$5,363,900 (USA) (15 October 2000)


$17,872,723 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The movie reunites three actors who appeared in Tucker: The Man and His Dream (1988): Jeff Bridges, Joan Allen and Christian Slater. See more »


In the yacht scene, a close-up of the President's West Point Ring can be seen. This reveals the Academy Crest facing away from the heart (as if saluting). Upon Graduation from West Point, graduates face the Class Crest away from the heart and the Academy Crest towards the heart. See more »


[first lines]
Jack Hathaway: Well, I bet you've been getting a lot of Churchills. Probably Mandela. Some DeGaulles. But I'd have to go with Anwar Sadat.
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Crazy Credits

For our daughters See more »


Referenced in Dinner for Five: Episode #1.3 (2002) See more »


Ring Of Fire
Written by June Carter Cash (as June Carter) and Merle Kilgore
Performed by Jeff Bridges and Kim Carnes
Courtesy Of Ramp Records, LLC.
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User Reviews

One of the worst and most manipulative political movies one will ever see
22 October 2014 | by (Pittsburgh) – See all my reviews

I looked forward to seeing this movie because I admire the work of Jeff Bridges, Sam Elliott, Gary Oldman and Joan Allen. After seeing this film, I hoped they had been paid well. It certainly did not showcase their talent.

The Contender has no characters, just caricatures - no script, but cliché piled on top of cliché - no plot, just a two-hour harangue filled with every bumper-sticker political slogan imaginable. If it was meant to be an intelligent criticism of the state of American politics, it actually fell below the actual state of American politics (if such a thought is even conceivable).

Contemporary screenplays provide more than ample evidence of the general poverty of writing in Hollywood, but The Contender has to rank as one of the worst political screenplays ever. Every politician is a cynical and amoral SOB and though I may tend to agree with the characterization, it would have been useful to have someone show some small degree of integrity. Of course, Ms. Allen is Ms. Integrity through and through - she seems consistently honest, though one marvels at the superficiality of her political philosophy and the motivation for her behavior.

At the conclusion of the film, the director informs us that he made the movie "for our daughters". If I wanted my daughter to enter politics, live a life of personal integrity, and actually do something positive for this country, this would be the last film I would recommend to her.

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