IMDb > The Contender (2000)
The Contender
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The Contender (2000) More at IMDbPro »

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The Contender -- Sexy secrets from a womans past come to light as she runs for Vice President.


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Up 1% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Writer (WGA):
Rod Lurie (written by)
View company contact information for The Contender on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
13 October 2000 (USA) See more »
Sometimes you can assassinate a leader without firing a shot. See more »
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 1 win & 20 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Important, Dynamic Film See more (373 total) »


  (in credits order)

Gary Oldman ... Shelly Runyon

Joan Allen ... Laine Hanson

Jeff Bridges ... President Jackson Evans

Christian Slater ... Reginald Webster

Sam Elliott ... Kermit Newman

William Petersen ... Jack Hathaway

Saul Rubinek ... Jerry Tolliver

Philip Baker Hall ... Oscar Billings

Mike Binder ... Lewis Hollis

Robin Thomas ... William Hanson

Mariel Hemingway ... Cynthia Charlton Lee

Kathryn Morris ... Paige Willomina

Kristen Shaw ... Fiona Hathaway

Douglas Urbanski ... Makerowitz
Noah Fryrear ... Timmy

Angelica Page ... Dierdra (as Angelica Torn)

Joseph Lyle Taylor ... Paul Smith (as Joe Taylor)

Kevin Geer ... Congressman Skakle

Doug Roberts ... Congressman Harding
Bev Appleton ... Congressman Marshall
Sandra Register ... Glenda

Anthony Booth ... Peter Crenshaw (as Tony Booth)
Andrew C. Boothby ... Steven Poullet (as Andrew Boothby)

Irene Ziegler ... Maggie Runyon
Del Driver ... Director Friend

Sean Pratt ... Wilke
Bill Bevins ... Anchorman
Ed Sala ... Show Producer
Kirk Penberthy ... Stevenson

Justin Dray ... Stagehand
David Laubacher ... Reporter #4 (as Jackie Laubacher)
David Bridgewater ... Aide
Kevin Grantz ... Secret Service Chief
Michael Kennedy ... Congressman Fletcher
David Londoner ... Congressman Jones
Billy Dye ... Waiter

Larry King ... Larry King
Amit Mehta ... ABU Hunter
Greg Cooper ... Ted Edwards

J. Scott Shonka ... Cappy
Scoot Powell ... Attorney
Catherine Shaffner ... Patricia Lavameer
Stan Kelly ... Alan
William L. Chandler ... Personal Waiter
Liz Marks ... Sheila

Robert Harvey ... Lobbyist
Steve Hurwitz ... Lobbyist
Ricardo Miguel Young ... Reporter (as Ric Young)
Sherri Richmond ... Reporter
Teresa Jones ... Reporter (as Teresa Wells Jones)
Lynn West ... Reporter
Dave Guertler ... Reporter

Michael Goodwin ... Reporter
Heather Rosbeck ... Elaine Bidwell
Roderick Jimenez ... Trevor
Donald 'Spec' Campen Jr. ... Sergeant at Arms (as Donald Campen)
Justin Lewis ... Producer
Fred Iacovo ... Joe Smith

Dawn Westbrook ... Secretary
Jolene Carroll ... Maid
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Genia Lear Morgan ... Rep. Reginald Webster's Fling (scenes deleted) (as Genia Morgan)

Ryan Cafeo ... Senate Page (uncredited)

Ashly Covington ... Aide (uncredited)
David Cureton ... Congressman (uncredited)

Kimberly Dimaiwat ... Spectator (uncredited)

Louis Ferreira ... America Live Producer (uncredited)
David Foster ... Photographer (uncredited)
Lucas N. Hall ... Congressional Aid (uncredited)

Rodney J. Hobbs ... Congressman (uncredited)

Mark Hyde ... Reporter (uncredited)
Raymond H. Johnson ... News Photographer (uncredited)

Rick Kain ... Congressional Aid (uncredited)

Michael Stanton Kennedy ... Congressman X (uncredited)
Gerard Malbrough ... Congressional Staffer (uncredited)

Denis Maloney ... White House Photographer (uncredited)

Caryn Mower ... Drowning Victim (uncredited)

Robert Shepherd ... Congressman (uncredited)
Cynthia Webb ... Nurse (uncredited)
Joseph M. West Jr. ... Secret Service Agent (uncredited)

Directed by
Rod Lurie 
Writing credits
Rod Lurie (written by)

Produced by
Stephanie Antosca .... producer: Washington DC
Rainer Bienger .... executive producer: Cinerenta (as Dr. Rainer Bienger)
Willi Bär .... producer (as Willi Baer)
Marc Frydman .... producer
Maurice Leblond .... executive producer
Steve Loglisci .... co-producer
Gary Oldman .... executive producer
Scott Shiffman .... co-producer
James Spies .... producer
Douglas Urbanski .... producer
Original Music by
Larry Groupé 
Cinematography by
Denis Maloney 
Film Editing by
Michael Jablow 
Casting by
Mary Jo Slater 
Production Design by
Alec Hammond  (as Alexander Hammond)
Art Direction by
Halina Gebarowicz 
Set Decoration by
Eloise Crane Stammerjohn  (as Eloise Stammerjohn)
Costume Design by
Matthew Jacobsen 
Makeup Department
Wyatt Belton .... additional hair stylist
Sofia Carney .... assistant makeup artist
JoJo Guthrie .... key hair stylist (as Jo-Jo Guthrie)
Marsha Lewis .... hair department head
Alessandra Sampaolo .... makeup department head
Fabrizio Sforza .... makeup department head
Jo Jo Stephens .... hair assistant: colorist, Joan Allens
Brandon Waggoner .... hair stylist
Production Management
Erica Frauman .... post-production supervisor
Oriana Robertson .... unit production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Marco Londoner .... first assistant director
Aida Rodgers .... second assistant director
Jamie Sheridan .... second second assistant director (as James Sheridan)
Scooter Yancey .... second unit director (uncredited)
Art Department
Jamie Bishop .... additional on-set dresser (as James Bishop)
Cherie Bowers .... on-set painter
Susan A. Burig .... graphic designer (as Susan Burig)
Adam Caperton .... additional on-set dresser
Harris Chandler .... construction foreman
Michael R. Clark .... paint foreman
Tim Crane .... swing gang
Kelly Elam .... art department coordinator
Thomas B. Grimes .... additional on-set dresser (as Thomas Grimes)
Michael D. Harrell .... property master (as Michael Harrell)
R. Mark Hughes .... on-set dresser (as Mark Hughes)
Michael Ivey .... art department production assistant (as Mike Ivey)
Andrea Levine .... assistant property master
Gordon McVay .... swing gang
Chad Mentzer .... construction coordinator
Thomas C. Mentzer .... construction coordinator
Curtis Moore .... on-set painter
Dane Moore .... swing gang
Angela Ratliff .... greensperson
Jennie Hill Robinson .... key greens
Stephen G. Shifflette .... lead man
Richard F. Ward III .... construction foreman (as Richard Ward III)
Sound Department
James Bailey .... foley walker
Bruce Bell .... adr mixer (as Bruce R. Bell)
Bruce Bell .... foley mixer (as Bruce R. Bell)
Dean Beville .... supervising dialogue editor
Matthew C. Beville .... sound effects editor
David V. Butler .... assistant sound editor
Guy Carbonneau .... audio recording facilites: Le Mobile (as Guy Charbonneau)
Stephanie Flack .... dialogue editor
Judee Flick .... supervising adr editor
Stephen Hunter Flick .... sound designer
Stephen Hunter Flick .... sound supervisor
Alexandra Gonzales .... dialogue editor
Dana Gustafson .... foley editor
William Jacobs .... sound effects editor (as Bill Jacobs)
Christopher S.P. Jones .... cable person
Ryan Juggler .... assistant sound editor (as Ryan B. Juggler)
Andy Kopetzky .... sound editor
Samuel Lehmer .... re-recording mixer
Patricio A. Libenson .... sound effects editor (as Patricio Libenson)
Jay Meagher .... sound mixer
Jon Michaels .... assistant sound editor
Ryan Murphy .... sound recordist
Timothy Pearson .... foley artist
Randy Pease .... boom operator
Jeffrey Perkins .... supervising sound re-recording mixer
James Wright .... stereo sound consultant: Dolby
Peter Brown .... sound editor (uncredited)
Jamie Hardt .... sound intern (uncredited)
Flavio Leocata .... assistant sound editor (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Michael H. Clark .... special effects technician
Gary Pilkinton .... special effects foreman
Robert Vazquez .... special effects coordinator
Barbara Vazquez .... special effects assistant (uncredited)
Visual Effects by
Howard Anderson .... opticals
Peter Koczera .... senior digital artist
Nina Saxon .... main and end titles designed by
Daniel W. Barringer .... stunts (as Dan Barringer)
Loyd Catlett .... stunt coordinator
Doug Coleman .... stunts
Hubie Kerns Jr. .... stunts (as Hubie Kerns)
Caryn Mower .... stunts: drowning girl in car
Ronnie Rondell Jr. .... stunts (as Ronnie Rondell)
Camera and Electrical Department
Peter Albert .... digital video assist operator
Alan Aldridge .... first assistant camera
Eric Bartsch .... key grip
Michael Bonsignore .... dolly grip
Frank Boone .... grip
Jack Cooperman .... underwater director of photography
Matt Doll .... key rigging grip (as Matthew Doll)
Kent Eanes .... still photographer
Max Fischer .... second assistant camera: "b" camera
Michael Flynn .... electrician
Matthew Haskins .... second assistant camera: "a" camera
Matthew Hawkins .... second assistant camera
Jennifer Hill .... camera loader
David Jackson .... electrician
Jay Kemp .... chief lighting technician
John Kimmer .... grip
Charles Laughon .... 24 frame video operator (as Chaz Laughon)
Greg Martin .... best boy grip
Gino Mifsud .... still photographer
Robert Spencer .... assistant chief lighting technician
Michael C. Stailey .... first assistant camera: "b" camera (as Michael Stailey)
Henry Tirl .... Steadicam operator
Henry Tirl .... camera operator: "a" camera
Russell A. Wicks .... electrician (as Russell Wicks)
Tim Wicks .... grip
Christopher A. Thompson .... rigging electrician (uncredited)
Scooter Yancey .... camera operator (uncredited)
Casting Department
Kate Hereford .... extras casting
Sandy Holt .... adr voice casting
Liz Marks .... casting: East Coast
Christy Pracht .... extras casting assistant
Carmen Tetzlaff .... casting associate
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Hannah Anderson .... costume: for Noah Fryrear provided by
Linda M. Boyland .... set costumer (as Linda Boyland)
Sister A. Daniels .... costume supervisor (as Sister Daniels)
Pamela Dennis .... gowns: and suits designer
Laura Downing .... set costumer
Catharine Fletcher Incaprera .... key costumer (as Catharine Incaprera)
Jennifer Rizzo .... set costumer
Editorial Department
Sven E. Fahlgren .... post-production coordinator (as Sven E.M. Fahlgren)
Kindra Marra .... assistant editor
Heather Mullen .... first assistant editor
Laura Rindner .... assistant editor
David C. Whitten .... color timer (as Dave Whitten)
Location Management
Susan Jones .... assistant location manager
Christopher Rock .... assistant locations
J. Bradley Smith .... location manager (as Bradley Smith)
Wade Whitman .... location assistant
Music Department
Ted Barela .... score recording crew
Charles Bouis .... assistant score recording engineer
Charlie Bouis .... score recordist
Bruce Donnelly .... orchestrator
James Fahlgren .... score recording crew
Arlene Fishbach .... music consultant
Larry Groupé .... orchestrator
Richard A. Harrison .... music editor
Simon James .... music contractor
David Sabee .... orchestra contractor
Armin Steiner .... score mixer
Armin Steiner .... score recordist
Jason Taylor .... assistant score recording engineer
Frank Macchia .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Transportation Department
Arno Andrischok .... driver
Ken Arrington .... driver
Mike Barbour .... driver
Robie Dowdy .... driver
Brian Ellis .... driver
Bob Foster .... transportation coordinator (as Robert Foster)
Rob Foster .... driver
James L. Garrett .... driver (as James Garrett)
Hoot Gipson .... driver
Ted Glenn .... driver
Kris Golashesky .... driver
April H. Grantham .... driver (as April Grantham)
BJ Hallett .... driver
Bobby Jones .... driver
Bobby Jones .... transportation captain
Albert Mitchell .... driver
Robert Lee Mitchell .... driver (as Lee Mitchell)
Shelly Newton .... driver
Gerald Nuckols .... driver (as Jerry Nuckols)
Riley Ordoyne .... driver
Tinker Pickens .... driver
Robert Proffitt .... driver
Ellis Pryor .... driver
Bobby Raikes .... driver
Steve Robison .... driver
Ted Robison .... transportation captain
Ronald Taylor .... driver
Darwin Witte .... driver
Other crew
Jacqueline Astbury .... stand-in
Veronique Bouedo .... production assistant
Lisa Brown .... assistant production coordinator
Andrew Carnwath .... production assistant
Cynthia Carpenter .... contracts: and escrows supervisor
Amanda Curry .... assistant accountant
John De Simio .... publicist
Judy Dickerson .... dialect coach: Gary Oldman
Jessica Driscoll .... production secretary
Meghan Driscoll .... assistant: Mr. Oldman
Michael E. Fajohn .... medic: Virginia
Karen Golden .... script supervisor
Dave Guertler .... stand-in: Christian Slater
Jim Hanna .... head chef
Nicola Hulme .... assistant: Mr. Bridges
William J. Immerman .... legal services: Kenoff & Machtinger
Jeff Juberget .... production assistant
Harriet Katz-Stevens .... post-production accountant
Victoria Lang .... set production assistant
Matt Lawford .... shortfall insurance
Sloane Lewis .... production assistant
Amit Mehta .... assistant: Mr. Lurie
Diana M. Mendenhall .... production assistant
Steve Moore .... stand-in: Gary Oldman
Brian Murphy .... production assistant
Nathan Hutch Murray .... production assistant
Robin O'Dell .... stand-in: Joan Allen
Jeremy Roberts .... paymaster
Ken Roy .... representative: Central VA Film Office
Albert G. Ruben .... insurance
Gloria D. Ruiz .... legal services: Kenoff & Machtinger
Nina Saxon .... title designer: New Wave Entertainment
George Sweney .... production accountant
Rex M. Teese .... production assistant (as Rex Teese)
Carol Ann Thomas .... production coordinator
Yori Tondrowski .... production assistant
Dirk Vahle .... helicopter pilot
Ty Williams .... production assistant
Rob Coughlin .... gennyman (uncredited)

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Rated R for strong sexual content and language
126 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Argentina:13 (theatrical rating) | Argentina:Atp (video rating) | Australia:M | Canada:14A (Alberta/British Columbia) | Canada:PA (Manitoba) | Canada:14 (Nova Scotia) | Canada:AA (Ontario) | Canada:14+ (Ontario) | Canada:13+ (Quebec) | Finland:K-11 | France:Tous publics | Germany:12 | Hong Kong:IIB | Iceland:L (theatrical rating) | Iceland:LH (video rating) | Netherlands:AL | Norway:11 | Peru:14 | Philippines:PG-13 | Portugal:M/12 | South Korea:18 | Spain:7 | Switzerland:12 (canton of Geneva) | Switzerland:12 (canton of Vaud) | UK:15 | USA:R (certificate #37565)

Did You Know?

The film cast includes one Oscar winner: Jeff Bridges; and three Oscar nominees: Gary Oldman, Joan Allen and Mariel Hemingway.See more »
Crew or equipment visible: Near the end of the movie when the President is walking onto the podium to give his speech to Congress, the camera pans across the back of the Assistant Cameraman wearing a gray ball cap and holding the remote focus device for the camera.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.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Polonaise Op. 26, No 1See more »


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40 out of 62 people found the following review useful.
Important, Dynamic Film, 16 October 2000
Author: jhclues from Salem, Oregon

Unless you sleep through your days or live with your head buried in the sand, you know that, without a doubt, politics is a dirty business. But do we need to be reminded of that fact? The answer to that is, inarguably, yes; just as we must be reminded of the Holocaust lest we forget and allow history to repeat itself, we have to at least keep somewhat abreast of anything which so significantly affects our lives. And unfortunately (some would say), politics is one of those things, and whether we approach it actively or view it all with passive ambiguity, the fact remains that what happens in government affects us all in one way or another on a daily basis. `The Contender,' written and directed by Rod Lurie, is a serious and sensitive examination of the political machinations employed to effect power and control within a democracy. In Lurie's scenario, the position of Vice President of The United States has been open for three weeks and must be filled. President Jackson Evans (Jeff Bridges) makes his choice: Senator Laine Hanson (Joan Allen), who would be the first woman in history to hold the position. First, however, she must be confirmed. And at this point, the real story begins to unfold as the beast rears it's head: Enter partisanism, personal agendas, media manipulation and, somewhere near the bottom of the list, Truth. To illustrate this dirtiest of all businesses, Lurie references a specific episode from the not-too-distant past, and draws a number of parallels to more recent political events, all of which are used purposefully and effect the desired results. It becomes not so much a case of good against evil so much as simply a question of what is right and what is wrong, who draws the line and who decides when and where that line should be crossed. To his credit, Lurie objectively presents both sides of the story without delving so deep as to mire the proceedings down with any unnecessary baggage merely to introduce any subjective leanings or to manipulate the audience one way or another. It's like a political campaign; viewers are left to decide for themselves and cast their vote as they may. The theme of the story itself is not virgin territory, but the way it's handled and delivered, including some exceptionally strong performances (there should be some Oscar nominations here), makes it unique. Joan Allen adds another exemplary performance to her resume, further demonstrating her great prowess as an actress. She imbues Laine Hanson with a strength and character that makes her entirely believable and credible. And Gary Oldman (in what is an uncharacteristic role for him) is absolutely dynamic as the ultra-conservative Shelly Runyon, who proves to be a most formidable opponent to Hanson and Evans. Bridges also comports himself well, creating a strong, insightful character in President Evans, exhibiting the very private, human qualities behind the public figure. The excellent supporting cast includes Christian Slater (Reginald Webster), Sam Elliott (Kermit), William Petersen (Hathaway), Philip Baker Hall (Oscar), Mike Binder (Lewis), Robin Thomas (William Hanson) and Saul Rubinek (Jerry). Lurie allows only a single lapse into melodrama (patriotic music begins to swell about half-way through Hanson's final speech), but the closing speech by President Evans is impeccably delivered with force and strength, and his words are exhilarating; how satisfying it is to hear things said that must and should be said, if only in the movies. Using the political arena to address subjects that concern all of us– morality, ethics, principles, truth and honesty– `The Contender' is riveting drama that invokes the conscience of a nation by examining the moral fiber and motives of those who would aspire to greatness. It's gripping entertainment with a message about Truth, Decency and the necessity of bipartisanism in politics; it's a statement well made, and one that should be taken to heart by all. I rate this one 9/10.

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