5.9/10
13,910
45 user 16 critic

The Distinguished Gentleman (1992)

In the conniving world of politics, even a professional shyster like Thomas Jefferson Johnson (Eddie Murphy) can find himself outmatched. After using name recognition to get elected, ... See full summary »

Director:

Jonathan Lynn

Writers:

Marty Kaplan (story), Jonathan Reynolds (story) | 1 more credit »

On Disc

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4 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Eddie Murphy ... Thomas Jefferson Johnson
Lane Smith ... Dick Dodge
Sheryl Lee Ralph ... Miss Loretta
Joe Don Baker ... Olaf Andersen
Victoria Rowell ... Celia Kirby
Grant Shaud ... Arthur Reinhardt
Kevin McCarthy ... Terry Corrigan
Charles S. Dutton ... Elijah Hawkins
Victor Rivers ... Armando
Chi McBride ... Homer (as Chi)
Sonny Jim Gaines Sonny Jim Gaines ... Van Dyke
Noble Willingham ... Zeke Bridges
Gary Frank ... Iowa
Daniel Benzali ... 'Skeeter' Warburton
Cynthia Harris ... Vera Johnson
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Storyline

In the conniving world of politics, even a professional shyster like Thomas Jefferson Johnson (Eddie Murphy) can find himself outmatched. After using name recognition to get elected, Johnson enjoys many of the same financial perks as other politicians. However, while investigating the connection between electric companies and cancer in young children, he unexpectedly develops a conscience. Unfortunately, fellow Congressman Dick Dodge (Lane Smith) isn't about to let him rock the boat.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

From con man to congressman

Genres:

Comedy | Crime

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and a scene of sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Jonathan Lynn - Director

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 December 1992 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

De estafador a senador See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$50,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$46,666,502
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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Did You Know?

Trivia

First film Eddie Murphy starred in which was not produced by movie studio Paramount Pictures. See more »

Goofs

When the Congressmen are out in the field hunting, they spot a flock of geese and commence firing. However, even though we hear the sound of multiple rapid gunfire, none of the weapons (M16s) have any fire spitting from the barrels, nor do any spent cartridges eject. See more »

Quotes

Thomas Jefferson Johnson: HEY, hey, hey, hey, HEY, hey, hey!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Rederiet: Ändrad kurs (1993) See more »

Soundtracks

HAPPY DAYS ARE HERE AGAIN
Written by Milton Ager and Jack Yellen
See more »

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User Reviews

 
One of the Best Political Comedies Ever
27 August 2000 | by kallahSee all my reviews

I've seen Citizen Kane and wasn't half as impressed with it as I was with this film which I credit to producer and writer Marty Kaplan (who, as I understand, is a CPA). The only thing this movie lacks is violence and nudity, not that it needs either.

I've never seen a more thorough and realistic comedy about government and politics before or since this film. Only Bulworth comes close, yet the solutions suggested in that film were just as liberal as the institution it parodied. There are a few liberal connotations in The Distinguished Gentleman (particularly environmental), but they are immediately balanced and authenticated by the conditions presented in the story.

This film isn't an absolute probe into political science, but it gives a more lucid perspective of politics than the media would ever care to attempt. Eddie Murphy's performance is vintage, particularly his mimicking skills and his genuine comedic brilliance. A moment that defines the film is when his character gives a victory speech which consists exclusively of several cliches coined by historic politicians ("'Four score and seven years ago...' 'If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen...' 'We have nothing to fear but fear itself...' 'Ask not what your country can do for you...' and in conclusion 'Read my lips!'"). The crowd response, as with actual politicians, is full of mindless cheers of concurrence.

Political experts may find this film silly and full of inconsistencies. Yet, the fact is, most movies are silly compared to reality. This film, however, does not insult the viewer and gives political novices a good idea of political mechanics while presenting a hilarious performance. The fact presented in this film is that the most powerful people are the most corrupt, and corruption can only be defeated by more clever and deceptive corruption.

This is not a film for "Generation X"ers who rate a film on its music soundtrack and how thoroughly the females cast in it prostitute themselves. If you appreciate the comedy of Eddie Murphy and have a critical appreciation for politics, you will enjoy this film.

I'd give it a 9.5, but the IMDB won't allow decimals.


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