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The Best Man (1964)

Approved | | Drama | 6 April 1964 (USA)
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 (as Franklin Schaffner)

Writer:

Gore Vidal (screenplay)
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Henry Fonda ... William Russell
Cliff Robertson ... Joe Cantwell
Edie Adams ... Mabel Cantwell
Margaret Leighton ... Alice Russell
Shelley Berman ... Sheldon Bascomb
Lee Tracy ... President Art Hockstader
Ann Sothern ... Sue Ellen Gamadge
Gene Raymond ... Don Cantwell
Kevin McCarthy ... Dick Jensen
Mahalia Jackson ... Mahalia Jackson
Howard K. Smith ... Howard K. Smith
John Henry Faulk ... Gov. T.T. Claypoole
Richard Arlen ... Sen. Oscar Anderson
Penny Singleton ... Mrs. Claypoole (scenes deleted)
George Kirgo George Kirgo ... Speechwriter
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Storyline

Intellectual William Russell and down-to-earth Joe Cantwell are front runners for a party nomination that will almost certainly mean the Presidency. Cantwell is prepared to use anything to achieve his goal while Russell sees himself as a man of principle - though his philandering means he is relieved his wife is prepared to appear alongside him. Both men crucially need the support of the ailing President, and as the stakes become higher each team has to decide how dirty they are prepared to get. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Best Man is Dynamite See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

MGM

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

6 April 1964 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Gore Vidal's The Best Man See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The play was nominated for the 1960 Tony Award for Best Play, written by Gore Vidal, who also penned the screenplay for this movie version, but lost out to William Gibson for "The Miracle Worker". See more »

Goofs

During the roll call, the chairman of the Pennsylvania delegation begins his announcement by saying "Mr Chairman, the State of Pennsylvania....". Pennsylvania is actually a Commonwealth, and any leading politician would refer to it as such. See more »

Quotes

President Art Hockstader: Oh, there have been moments when I've questioned your methods.
Joe Cantwell: Well, you got to fight fire with fire, Mr. President.
President Art Hockstader: And the end justifies the means, huh?
Joe Cantwell: Yes, I believe that.
President Art Hockstader: Well, son, I got news for you about both politics and life. And may I say the two are exactly the same? There are no ends, Joe, only means.
See more »

Crazy Credits

During the opening credits, a picture of every single U.S. President appears in order, from George Washington to Lyndon Johnson. See more »

Connections

Featured in Gore Vidal: The United States of Amnesia (2013) See more »

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User Reviews

Henry Fonda's Political Career
13 April 2002 | by schappe1See all my reviews

Four great films of the early 60's are good looks at the political concerns of the era, most of which are still with us. Advise and Consent, (1962), shows the machinations in Congress when Henry Fonda is nominated for Secretary of State. He eventually has to withdraw his nomination. The Best Man has Henry, who is now Secretary of State, running for President. We get to see the political machinations of a party convention. Henry again withdraws his nomination. Seven Days in May has General Burt Lancaster trying to take over the country as we see the machinations of the Pentagon. Somehow Henry isn't in this one but Frederic March fills in admirably as the President. Henry gets to be President, however, in Fail Safe.

All are excellent films and would make quite a good marathon if you like to visit the video store to put on your own little films festival,. as I do. I just have one question: how does Henry get all these jobs without anybody's permission?


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