7.0/10
12,951
102 user 46 critic

Bob Roberts (1992)

Trailer
2:06 | Trailer
A conservative folk singer turns his hand to politics, running for the US Senate. He is not above dirty tricks and smear campaigns to gain an advantage over his opponent.

Director:

Tim Robbins

Writer:

Tim Robbins
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 4 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tim Robbins ... Bob Roberts
Giancarlo Esposito ... Bugs Raplin
Alan Rickman ... Lukas Hart III
Ray Wise ... Chet MacGregor
Brian Murray ... Terry Manchester
Gore Vidal ... Senator Brickley Paiste
Rebecca Jenkins ... Delores Perrigrew
Harry Lennix ... Franklin Dockett
John Ottavino John Ottavino ... Clark Anderson
Robert Stanton ... Bart Macklerooney
Kelly Willis Kelly Willis ... Clarissa Flan
Merrilee Dale Merrilee Dale ... Polly Roberts
Tom Atkins ... Dr. Caleb Menck
David Strathairn ... Mack Laflin
James Spader ... Chuck Marlin
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Storyline

Documentary-style look at the fictional Senatorial campaign of Bob Roberts, an arch-conservative folk singer turned politician. This political satire includes several original songs co-written and performed by writer/director/star Tim Robbins, and cameo appearances by other stars as reporters and news anchors. Written by Scott Renshaw <as.idc@forsythe.stanford.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Coming to a Senate seat near you. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for momentary language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

A soundtrack album was due for release on Warner Bros. Records, but it was not released because Tim Robbins didn't want the songs played outside of the movie's context. See more »

Goofs

The film takes place in 1990, on the eve of the Persian Gulf War. In real life, neither of Pennsylvania's U.S. Senate seats were up for re-election that year. See more »

Quotes

Bob Roberts: [singing] Some people will have / Some simply will not / But they'll complain and complain and complain and complain and complain / Some people will work / Some never will / But they'll complain and complain and complain and complain and complain / Like this: / It's society's fault I don't have a job / It's society's fault I'm a slob / I'm a drunk, I don't have a brain / Give me a pamplet while I complain / Hey pal you're living in the land of the free No-one's gonna hand you opportunity
See more »

Crazy Credits

At the very end of the credits there is the screen-filling four-letter word 'VOTE'. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Last Drive-In with Joe Bob Briggs: Blood Feast (2018) See more »

Soundtracks

What Did The Teacher Tell You
Music and Lyrics by David Robbins & Tim Robbins
Produced and Arranged by David Robbins
Vocals by Novi Novog
Viola by Novi Novog
Robbins Egg Music (c) 1992, A.S.C.A.P.
See more »

User Reviews

As much a satire on the left as the right
28 October 2004 | by Noel-ChevalierSee all my reviews

I can understand why Republicans would be upset by this film, but I think that Democrats and/or small-"l" liberals should squirm when they watch this, too. The real sting in this film is that, devious and repulsive as Bob Roberts is, he is far more charismatic and interesting than his tired rival, Brickley Paiste (Gore Vidal), and he has managed to appropriate all of the weapons of the 1960s protest movements (including that most sacred insitution of all, folk music) and use them with a vigour that is scarily convincing. Roberts has the adulation of young men and women (watch for a young Jack Black as a smitten fan), the power of the record industry, and access to concerts halls and media coverage to get his message across. What does the left have? A rabid underground journalist (Bugs Raplin), a goofy "Saturday Night Live"-type show (Cutting Edge Live) that may once have been edgy, but now just seems silly (even Roberts himself is a fan), a tired old senator droning on about social programs (Paiste), and a few strident voices crying in the wilderness, (including the journalist played by Lynne Thigpen). Roberts has replaced Bob Dylan as the "voice of his generation" (Robbins includes a hilarious riff on Dylan's "Subterranean Homesick Blues" video from "Don't Look Back"). Robbins' real target here is how the ideals of the 60s have failed miserably, how times have changed back, and how greed, self-interest and intolerance have become the new order of the 1990s (and continue today). Roberts is *not* George Bush (senior or junior)--he's a much more frightening animal who shows up just how the voices of dissent have dwindled into insignificance.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA | UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 September 1992 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Bob Roberts See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$314,275, 7 September 1992

Gross USA:

$4,479,470

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$4,479,470
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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