7.7/10
6,315
73 user 42 critic

Advise & Consent (1962)

Not Rated | | Drama, Thriller | 6 June 1962 (USA)
Trailer
4:45 | Trailer
Senate investigation into the President's newly nominated Secretary of State, gives light to a secret from the past, which may not only ruin the candidate, but the President's character as well.

Director:

Otto Preminger

Writers:

Allen Drury (novel), Wendell Mayes (screenplay)
Reviews
Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Franchot Tone ... The President
Lew Ayres ... The Vice President
Henry Fonda ... Robert Leffingwell
Walter Pidgeon ... Senate Majority Leader
Charles Laughton ... Senator Seabright Cooley
Don Murray ... Senator Brigham Anderson
Peter Lawford ... Senator Lafe Smith
Gene Tierney ... Dolly Harrison
Burgess Meredith ... Herbert Gelman
Eddie Hodges ... Johnny Leffingwell
Paul Ford ... Senator Stanley Danta
George Grizzard ... Senator Fred Van Ackerman
Inga Swenson ... Ellen Anderson
Paul McGrath ... Hardiman Fletcher
Will Geer ... Senate Minority Leader
Learn more

More Like This 

The Best Man (1964)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

The 2 front runners for their party's presidential nomination, one principled and the other ruthless, vie for the former President's endorsement.

Director: Franklin J. Schaffner
Stars: Henry Fonda, Cliff Robertson, Edie Adams
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A strung-out junkie deals with a demoralizing drug addiction while his crippled wife and card sharks pull him down.

Director: Otto Preminger
Stars: Frank Sinatra, Kim Novak, Eleanor Parker
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Det. Sgt. Mark Dixon wants to be something his old man wasn't: a guy on the right side of the law. Will Dixon's vicious nature get the better of him?

Director: Otto Preminger
Stars: Dana Andrews, Gene Tierney, Gary Merrill
In Harm's Way (1965)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A Naval officer, reprimanded after Pearl Harbor, is later promoted to Rear Admiral and gets a second chance to prove himself against the Japanese.

Director: Otto Preminger
Stars: John Wayne, Kirk Douglas, Patricia Neal
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

United States military leaders plot to overthrow the President because he supports a nuclear disarmament treaty and they fear a Soviet sneak attack.

Director: John Frankenheimer
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas, Fredric March
The Cardinal (1963)
Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A young Catholic priest from Boston confronts bigotry, Nazism, and his own personal conflicts as he rises to the office of cardinal.

Director: Otto Preminger
Stars: Tom Tryon, John Huston, Romy Schneider
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Follows the progress of a female ex-convict as she tries to rebuild her life after being released from prison.

Director: John Cromwell
Stars: Lizabeth Scott, Jane Greer, Dennis O'Keefe
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Insurance agent Jesse Arno is posing as a sailor while on the trail of a gang of waterfront thieves, supposedly headed by Tip Banning. Arno is aware that a gang member has been murdered by ... See full summary »

Director: Seymour Friedman
Stars: Warner Baxter, Mary Beth Hughes, Mike Mazurki
The Tin Star (1957)
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A cynical former sheriff turned bounty hunter helps a young, recently appointed acting sheriff with his advice, his experience and his gun.

Director: Anthony Mann
Stars: Henry Fonda, Anthony Perkins, Betsy Palmer
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Actress Patty O'Neill meets playboy architect Donald Gresham on the observation deck of the Empire State Building and accepts his invitation to join him for drinks and dinner in his apartment.

Director: Otto Preminger
Stars: Hardy Krüger, Johannes Heesters, Johanna Matz
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Junie Moon's face has been disfigured by ill-gotten burns, and she depends on her wit and her friends, Warren and Arthur, to cope. Yearning for independence, the three leave the hospital ... See full summary »

Director: Otto Preminger
Stars: Liza Minnelli, Wayne Tippit, Guy Sorel
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A serial killer strikes again during WWII in Germany. The wrong man is arrested and a detective hunts down the real killer. But justice in Nazi Germany is not so easily administered.

Director: Robert Siodmak
Stars: Claus Holm, Annemarie Düringer, Mario Adorf
Edit

Storyline

Robert Leffingwell is the president's nominee for Secretary of State. Prior to his approval, he must go through a Senate investigation to determine if he's qualified. Leading the Senate committee is idealistic Senator Brig Anderson, who soon finds himself unprepared for the opposition and political dirt that's revealed, including Leffingwell's past affiliations with a Communist organization. When Leffingwell testifies about his political leanings, he proves his innocence. Later, however, Anderson learns that he lied under oath and asks the president to withdraw Leffingwell from consideration, especially after the young senator and his wife begins receiving blackmail threats about a skeleton in his own closet. Written by Daniel Bubbeo <dbubbeo@cmp.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Are the men and women of Washington really like this?

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

"Advise & Consent" was the first mainstream film to feature a scene set inside a gay bar. See more »

Goofs

When the Majority Leader meets the Vice President in Dolly Harrison's garden during her party, the shadow of the camera is visible on the lawn behind them. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
[a boy is selling newspapers outside the U.S. Capitol, with the headline "Leffingwell Picked for Secretary of State"]
Paperboy: [to a customer] Thank you.
Stanley Danta: Morning, son.
Paperboy: [taking change from Danta] Good morning, senator... thank you.
[Danta gets into a taxicab]
See more »

Alternate Versions

Also available in a computer colorized version. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Contender (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

The Song from Advise and Consent
Music by Jerry Fielding
Lyrics by Ned Washington
Sung Frank Sinatra - voice on juke box
See more »

User Reviews

 
For The Good of the Country: The Political Shocker of 1962
3 February 2008 | by gftbiloxiSee all my reviews

As a Congressional correspondent for the New York Times during the 1950s, author Allen Drury had ample opportunity to witness Washington politicians in their natural habit---and drew upon numerous factual sources, including the controversial Alger Hiss case and the scandalous suicide of Senator Lester Hunt, to create the story of a controversial nominee for Secretary of State. The novel was not only a best seller, it was awarded the Pulitzer Prize.

It was also a book that Hollywood could not film under the film industry's notorious Production Code. As it happened, the book fell into the hands of director Otto Preminger, long-time foe of Hollywood's rules for self-censorship. He not only made the film, he flagrantly broke the code; as such, ADVISE AND CONSENT presents our nation's leaders embroiled in a blackmail plot, finds actress Gene Tierney using the word 'bitch,' and became the first Hollywood film to show a gay bar. It was shocking stuff for 1962.

The story is extremely convoluted. An aging and extremely ill President makes a highly controversial nomination for Secretary of State---which is opposed by a member of his own party, who bears the nominee a personal grudge and who attempts to derail the nomination by accusing the nominee of former membership in the Communist Party. This in turn touches off a vicious battle between those in the party who support the nominee and those who don't, a battle that will ultimately result in the suicide of the only character who has the integrity we would like to see in our political leaders.

The cast is indeed remarkable and, from Lew Ayres to Betty White, plays with considerable conviction and tremendous restraint. Henry Fonda is often cited as the star of the film, but in truth he appears in the small but pivotal role of Robert Leffingwell, nominee for Secretary of State. Screen time is divided between Walter Pigeon as the Majority Leader, Charles Laughton as the senator who opposes the nomination, and Don Murray, an idealist who finds himself chairing the nomination committee. All three play extremely well, but it is really Laughton---in his final screen role---who walks off with the film as the devious and openly vicious Senator from South Carolina. The trio is ably supported by a dream cast that includes Franchot Tone as the President, Lew Ayres as the Vice President, George Grizzard as a growling ideologue, Gene Tierney as a society hostess---and yes, Betty White, who offers a brief turn as the Senator from Kansas.

It has become fashionable to dismiss Otto Preminger films of the 1950s and 1960s as ponderous, all-star, and pseudo-intellectual trash, and indeed it is difficult to find much positive to say about films like EXODUS and HURRY SUNDOWN these days. But Preminger is in many ways under-rated; his films have not always dated well in terms of subject, but they hold up extremely well in the way in which they are put together, with ADVISE AND CONSENT a case in point---and it is worth pointing out that accusations of leftism, adultery, and homosexuality are still enough to prompt everything from impeachment to congressional hearings to resignations. Nor has the process of the political dance itself changed greatly between then and now.

The great flaw of the film is its conclusion, which seems facile to the point of being hokey---but this is also the great flaw of the novel, which ends in much the same way--and at times ADVISE AND CONSENT seems more than a little dry. All the same, it remains a movie worth watching, particularly notable for its performances, fluid camera work, and meticulous recreation of party politics. The DVD offers a near-pristine widescreen transfer with good sound quality and an interesting, if occasionally too academic, commentary by film historian Drew Casper. Recommended.

GFT, Amazon Reviewer


57 of 74 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 73 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Warner Bros.

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

6 June 1962 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Advise & Consent See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed