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 <email@example.com>
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 »
[a boy is selling newspapers outside the U.S. Capitol, with the headline "Leffingwell Picked for Secretary of State"]
[to a customer]
[taking change from Danta]
Good morning, senator... thank you.
[Danta gets into a taxicab]
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Also available in a computer colorized version. See more »
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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