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.


Otto Preminger


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





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


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Are the men and women of Washington really like this?


Drama | Thriller


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


There was genuine lingering animosity between Charles Laughton and Henry Fonda, stemming from Laughton having directed Fonda in the 1954 Broadway production of "The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial," during which Fonda had insulted Laughton and made sneering references to his homosexuality, according to Elsa Lanchester and others. See more »


When the Senate is voting on Mr. Leffingwell's placement as Secratery Of State Mr.Satinas was called between Mr.Caufield and Mr. Chambers out of alphabetical order. See more »


[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]
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Alternate Versions

Also available in a computer colorized version. See more »


Referenced in Will & Grace: Advise and Resent (2000) See more »


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

Clarence Thomas and Anita Hill
14 April 2016 | by inspectors71See all my reviews

I saw Otto Preminger's Advise and Consent in 1981 or 1982 on, I think, KSTW or WTBS, and I have loved this movie for 35 years. It's a complex story of politics, and the thuggery that walks hand in hand with it.

The review on IMDb by "Snow Leopard" on 22 November 2005 is excellent, so I won't belabor this review with a synopsis. Ten years after I saw the film--and I read the series of books in the '80s--Advise and Consent became all too real. President George H. W. Bush nominated the head of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Clarence Thomas, to the Supreme Court. The head of the Senate Judiciary Committee, a reptile named Joe Biden, assured the President that the nominee would work out well. Thomas was being nominated to replace Thurgood Marshall, and Bush was interested in putting another African-American on the SCOTUS bench.

Only one problem. Clarence Thomas was a conservative, and a black Republican must be destroyed at all costs.

So, raw interview information by the FBI (what everyone who has an important job to do in the Executive Branch has to go through; all information, true or false, is collected) got dumped into the public trough. A former aide or secretary--I can't remember--had accused Thomas of sexual harassment. Anita Hill's private interview with the FBI had gone public.

It appeared the nominee's chances had been mortally wounded.

Everyone took sides. Feminists said that it didn't matter if it was true, that the mere accusation was proof enough. Conservatives huffed and flustered and wished Bush had picked somebody different. Liberals, smelling blood began, in Thomas' words, "a high-tech lynching."

When the anger and the nastiness and the general behavior that makes Americans hate politics cleared, Thomas was confirmed by a majority of 4 votes.

It was like watching Advise and Consent in real life. The good guys, the bad guys, the thugs, cretins, and other media were all there. Talk about life imitating art! Sheesh!

Besides the excellent performances, the realistic settings, and the general feeling that Preminger got it right, Advise and Consent is the sort of movie you can watch if you want to know how Washington really works.

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Official Sites:

Warner Bros.





Release Date:

6 June 1962 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Advise & Consent See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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