8.0/10
673
8 user 25 critic

Tanner '88 

Not Rated | | Comedy | TV Mini-Series (1988– )
A behind-the-scenes look at a former Michigan U.S. Representative's campaign as he vies for his party's Presidential nomination.
Reviews

Watch Now

From $1.99 (SD) on Prime Video

ON DISC

Episodes

Seasons


Years



1  
1988  
Won 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 3 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Tanner on Tanner (TV Series 2004)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

"Everybody's Making Pictures," observes Martin Scorsese in this sly sequel to Robert Altman and Garry Trudeau's Emmy Award-winning satirical miniseries, Tanner '88. Sixteen years after Jack... See full synopsis »

Stars: Cynthia Nixon, Michael Murphy, Pamela Reed
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A full-length adaptation, originally staged as a play, of the court-martial segment from the novel "The Caine Mutiny".

Director: Robert Altman
Stars: Eric Bogosian, Jeff Daniels, Brad Davis
Short Cuts (1993)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

The day-to-day lives of several suburban Los Angeles residents.

Director: Robert Altman
Stars: Andie MacDowell, Julianne Moore, Tim Robbins
Secret Honor (1984)
Biography | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A fictionalized former President Richard M. Nixon offers a solitary, stream-of-consciousness reflection on his life and political career - and the "true" reasons for the Watergate scandal and his resignation.

Director: Robert Altman
Stars: Philip Baker Hall
Meantime (TV Movie 1983)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

When one brother gets a job from their wealthy aunt, the other becomes increasingly jealous.

Director: Mike Leigh
Stars: Marion Bailey, Tim Roth, Phil Daniels
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

O.C. and Stiggs aren't your average unhappy teenagers. They not only despise their suburban surroundings, they plot against it. They seek revenge against the middle class Schwab family, who embody all they detest: middle class.

Director: Robert Altman
Stars: Daniel Jenkins, Neill Barry, Jane Curtin
HealtH (1980)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A parody and satire of the U.S. political scene of the time, HealtH is set at a health food convention at a Florida luxury hotel, where a powerful political organization is deciding on a new president.

Director: Robert Altman
Stars: Carol Burnett, Glenda Jackson, James Garner
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A repressed, middle-aged divorced U.S. Greek meets a young singer through a dating service and becomes smitten.

Director: Robert Altman
Stars: Paul Dooley, Marta Heflin, Titos Vandis
The Player (1992)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A Hollywood studio executive is being sent death threats by a writer whose script he rejected, but which one?

Director: Robert Altman
Stars: Tim Robbins, Greta Scacchi, Fred Ward
Streamers (1983)
Crime | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Four young soldiers waiting to be shipped to Viet Nam deal with racial tension and their own intolerance when one soldier reveals he's gay.

Director: Robert Altman
Stars: Matthew Modine, Michael Wright, Mitchell Lichtenstein
Comedy | Crime | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A free-spirited woman "kidnaps" a yuppie for a weekend of adventure. But the fun quickly takes a dangerous turn when her ex-convict husband shows up.

Director: Jonathan Demme
Stars: Jeff Daniels, Melanie Griffith, George 'Red' Schwartz
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Aging Cuban musicians whose talents had been virtually forgotten following Castro's takeover of Cuba, are brought out of retirement by Ry Cooder, who travelled to Havana in order to bring the musicians together, resulting in triumphant performances of extraordinary music, and resurrecting the musicians' careers.

Director: Wim Wenders
Stars: Compay Segundo, Ibrahim Ferrer, Rubén González
Edit

Cast

Series cast summary:
Michael Murphy ...  Jack Tanner 11 episodes, 1988
Pamela Reed ...  T.J. Cavanaugh 11 episodes, 1988
Daniel Jenkins ...  Stringer Kincaid 11 episodes, 1988
Matt Malloy ...  Deke Connors 11 episodes, 1988
Ilana Levine ...  Andrea Spinelli 11 episodes, 1988
Cynthia Nixon ...  Alex Tanner 10 episodes, 1988
Jim Fyfe ...  Emile Berkoff 10 episodes, 1988
Veronica Cartwright ...  Molly Hark 10 episodes, 1988
Frank Barhydt Frank Barhydt ...  Frank Gatling 9 episodes, 1988
Sandra Bowie Sandra Bowie ...  Stevie Chevalier 8 episodes, 1988
Wendy Crewson ...  Joanna Buckley 8 episodes, 1988
Kevin J. O'Connor ...  Hayes Taggerty 7 episodes, 1988
Richard Cox ...  David Seidelman 7 episodes, 1988
Greg Procaccino Greg Procaccino ...  Barney Kittman 7 episodes, 1988
Edit

Storyline

A behind-the-scenes look at a former Michigan U.S. Representative's campaign as he vies for his party's Presidential nomination.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

For real. See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

Not Rated

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Criterion Collection

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 February 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Tanner: A Political Fable See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Home Box Office (HBO) See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(11 parts) | (10 parts)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Aaron Sorkin has acknowledged that this miniseries had an influence on The West Wing (1999), which he created, in its underlying idealism, and in its view of political staffers as people who at least struggle to do the right thing. See more »

Quotes

Jack Tanner: You know, T.J., just before you called me last spring, Lexy and I went down to the Democratic Leadership Conference in South Carolina. The last night, we were sitting aroud with Kirk O'Donnell, and Hart, and Biden, a couple of the other candidates, who were shooting the breeze about how much the party had changed since the Sixties. And suddenly, out of the blue, Lexy turned to Hart and she asked him who his favorite Beatle was. Now, at first, Hart laughed, and then he stumbled around trying to ...
[...]
See more »

Alternate Versions

As a prelude to the first screening of the sequel _"Tanner on Tanner" (2004) (mini)_, the original mini-series was shown again on the Sundance Channel (in the US) and BBC 4 (in the UK). The re-release was subtitled "Once More in '04", and each episode was preceded by a newly filmed introduction, in which one of the main characters talks to camera about their memories of the '88 campaign, 16 years on. See more »

Connections

Followed by Tanner on Tanner (2004) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Only in America
17 August 2005 | by CSM126-1See all my reviews

During the 1988 presidential campaign, Democratic hopefuls spiritedly canvass the country and jostle for their party's nomination and the honor of opposing Republican Vice President George Bush when congressman Jack Tanner emerges from a long political hiatus to challenge such opponents as Al Gore, Michael Dukakis, Gary Hart and Jesse Jackson. The Tanner campaign appears at all the events and interacts with many important figures. What no one seems to realize, or particularly care about, is that Jack Tanner doesn't even exist. Michael Murphy stars in this hilarious and biting satire of media-age politics - relevant now more than ever.

Renegade filmmaker Robert Altman and Pulitzer-winning Doonesbury cartoonist G.B. Trudeau created the Jack Tanner character, but they couldn't hope to predict the frenzy he'd create. Politicians were eager to meet him, and more than happy to pretend they knew him. If it would make them look good, of course. Everyone from Pat Roberston to Bob Dole happily talked to Jack and his crew, knowing he had a media blitz surrounding him. The catch is they didn't know why he had a blitz around him.

Altman and crew were constantly filming Michael Murphy as he took the Tanner role and ran with it, frequently improvising, as Trudeau couldn't keep up with the goings-on well enough to script half of what Murphy did. What Trudeau did script was the behind-the-scenes action of the Tanner campaign. Campaign Manager T.J. Cavanaugh (masterfully portrayed by Pamela Reed) and her slew of assistants hustled and bustled in their HQ, desperately trying to spin everything Jack did to make him look 'For real', so as to match his slogan. Unfortunately, as T.J. put it, 'things happen to this man'.

Tanner has a lot of problems both in front of and behind the camera. First there's the camera-man Deke, who reads Jack's diary and puts his personal thoughts into campaign commercials and, after being fired, joins the NBC news crew that is assigned to follow Jack, which gives Deke even more chances to ruin Jack's life. Secondly there's the fact that Jack has fallen deeply in love with Michael Dukakis' (fictitious) campaign manager, Joanna Buckley. Thirdly, Jack's daughter, Alex, bounces between free-spiritedness and megalomania, both of which make Jack look bad. Last, but not least, is the fact that Jack never takes a definite stance on anything except drug legalization. This makes him look like more of a hippy than a politician.

Over the course of six hours and eleven episodes, Altman and Trudeau use their characters and the real politicians to weave a brilliant fable about the state of politics in a world where image means more than qualifications and standards. Pathetic as it may be, it's true. In most of the encounters Jack has with politicians it is quite clear that these people have no idea what is going on, yet they still pretend to be completely in control. When we put them in the White House, do they know what they're doing or are they just pretending to be completely in control? "Tanner '88" is a mockumentary that actually has a point, and makes that point very well.


11 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 8 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed