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The Candidate (1972)

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3:08 | Trailer

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Bill McKay is a candidate for the U.S. Senate from California. He has no hope of winning, so he is willing to tweak the establishment.

Director:

Michael Ritchie

Writer:

Jeremy Larner
Reviews
Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Redford ... Bill McKay
Peter Boyle ... Marvin Lucas
Melvyn Douglas ... John J. McKay
Don Porter ... Senator Crocker Jarmon
Allen Garfield ... Klein
Karen Carlson ... Nancy McKay
Quinn K. Redeker ... Rick Jenkin (as Quinn Redeker)
Morgan Upton ... Wally Henderson
Michael Lerner ... Paul Corliss
Kenneth Tobey ... Floyd J. Starkey
Christopher Pray Christopher Pray ... David (as Chris Prey)
Joe Miksak Joe Miksak ... Neil Atkinson
Jenny Sullivan ... Lynn
Tom Dahlgren Tom Dahlgren ... Pilot
Gerald Hiken Gerald Hiken ... Station Manager
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Storyline

Californian lawyer Bill McKay fights for the little man. His charisma and integrity get him noticed by the Democratic Party machine and he is persuaded to run for the Senate against an apparently unassailable incumbent. It's agreed he can handle it his own way, on his own terms. But once he's in the race and his prospects begin to improve, the deal starts to change. Written by Jeremy Perkins <jwp@aber.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Nothing matters more than winning. Not even what you believe in. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Warner Bros.

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

11 August 1972 (Ireland) See more »

Also Known As:

El candidato See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Candidate was released a month prior to the 1972 California Presidential primary. Promotional sheets were put up in southern California resembling political posters. They had simply a photo of Robert Redford, with the slogan, "McKay: The Better Way!" - "McKay" got write-in votes in the June election. See more »

Goofs

The red convertible driven by Marvin Lucas (Peter Boyle) has three different license plates during the opening credits: "677 EIY", "185 ENV", and "772 DYD". All are from the 1972 era in California. See more »

Quotes

[last lines]
Bill McKay: What do we do now?
See more »


Soundtracks

Just a Friend
Music by John Rubinstein
Lyrics by David Colloff
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User Reviews

 
One of the best political movies
25 September 2017 | by HotToastyRagSee all my reviews

Political scientists and political film buffs need to watch The Candidate. It's one of the greatest classic political films ever made. I've studied dozens of political campaigns, conducted mock elections during my undergraduate and graduate courses, and volunteered for real campaigns when I was old enough. This movie is very realistic; the only other film that comes close in realism is 2015's Our Brand is Crisis.

Peter Boyle is a Democrat campaign manager, and in the California Senate election, the Republican sitting senator Don Crocker is a shoe-in. Whoever the Democrat candidate is doesn't stand a chance, so no one wants to ruin their career that way. Boyle approaches Robert Redford, the son of former Californian governor Melvyn Douglas. He's handsome, charismatic, and has name recognition—but he's a guaranteed loss so there's no consequence to anything he says or does. With the freedom to run as an honest politician, he becomes a very interesting and alluring candidate.

Even though the movie is about an election, it doesn't take too much of a stand about which party is right and which is wrong. Yes, it's the 1970s and Robert Redford is the lead, so there will be some environmental and "look out for the little guy" messages, but mostly, the film comments on the politics in general. It's really funny and sarcastic in the nicest way possible, and it has one of the most memorable last lines ever!


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