6.8/10
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221 user 55 critic

The American President (1995)

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Comedy-drama about a widowed U.S. President and a lobbyist who fall in love. It's all above-board, but "politics is perception", and sparks fly anyway.

Director:

Rob Reiner

Writer:

Aaron Sorkin
Reviews
Popularity
4,594 ( 209)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael Douglas ... Andrew Shepherd
Annette Bening ... Sydney Ellen Wade
Martin Sheen ... A.J. MacInerney
Michael J. Fox ... Lewis Rothschild
Anna Deavere Smith ... Robin McCall
Samantha Mathis ... Janie Basdin
Shawna Waldron ... Lucy Shepherd
David Paymer ... Leon Kodak
Anne Haney ... Mrs. Chapil
Richard Dreyfuss ... Senator Rumson
Nina Siemaszko ... Beth Wade
Wendie Malick ... Susan Sloan
Beau Billingslea ... Agent Cooper
Gail Strickland ... Esther MacInerney
Joshua Malina ... David
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Storyline

Andrew Shepherd is approaching the end of his first term as President of the United States. He's a widower with a young daughter and has proved to be popular with the public. His election seems assured. That is until he meets Sydney Ellen Wade, a paid political activist working for an environmental lobby group. He's immediately smitten with her and after several amusing attempts, they finally manage to go on a date (which happens to be a State dinner for the visiting President of France). His relationship with Wade opens the door for his prime political opponent, Senator Bob Rumson, to launch an attack on the President's character, something he could not do in the previous election as Shepherd's wife had only recently died. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Why can't the most powerful man in the world have the one thing he wants most?

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French | Spanish

Release Date:

17 November 1995 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Mi querido presidente See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$62,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$65,000,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | SDDS | DTS-Stereo | Dolby SR | Dolby

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In frustration, Lewis Rothschild (Michael J. Fox) smacks a can of Diet Coke across the room. At one time, Michael J. Fox was a spokesman for PepsiCo. See more »

Goofs

When Sydney first comes to the White House as a representative of the GDC, she tells the guard at the gate this is her first time to the WH. Later, she tells Shepherd that she'd been on a tour of the WH before. See more »

Quotes

[dancing at a state dinner]
Sydney Ellen Wade: I don't know how you do it.
President Andrew Shepherd: It's Arthur Murray. Six lessons.
Sydney Ellen Wade: That's not what I mean. Two hundred pairs of eyes are focused on you with two questions on their minds - who's this girl, and why is the President dancing with her?
President Andrew Shepherd: Well, first of all, the two hundred pairs of eyes aren't focused on me. They're focused on you. And the answers are Sydney Ellen Wade, and because she said yes.
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Connections

Referenced in Jersey Girl (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Deck the Halls
(uncredited)
Traditional tune, lyrics by Thomas Oliphant (uncredited)
Performed by Nat 'King' Cole
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User Reviews

 
My name is Andrew Shepherd and I AM the president of the United States!
30 June 1999 | by Dan GrantSee all my reviews

Is there a genre that Rob Reiner can't work in and make successful? He captured comedy beautifully with The Sure Thing. Music was brilliant with This is Spinal Tap. Horror? How about Misery? Courtroom drama was awesome with A Few Good Men. And now we have a political drama/comedy. There is nothing this man can't do.

This movie works inspite of people's claims that it is too political. Well you know what, it's about the president of the United States of America, there's going to be a bit of poiltics in it. And guess what, guns do kill people, so to have an issue at hand here that deals with gun control is applaudable.

Okay, that's out of the way, let's talk about the film itself. Because it is wonderful. It is funny, well acted, and it is written with a good ear.

The cast in this film is one to be envied by almost everyone except Oliver Stone and Robert Altman who seem to get everyone to do their films. But here we have Douglas as the president, Sheen as his aid, Michael J. Fox, Samantha Mathis, Annette Bening as Sydney Ellen Wade and in my favourite performance, Richard Dreyfuss as the sniveling weasle Senator Bob Rumsen.

As the story goes, the president's character gets questioned when he ( a widow ) finds a girlfriend in Sydney Wade. The issues are handled wonderfully here. Nothing is really tip-toed around as the script writer ( Aaron Sorkin ) writes a brave script about what is right and wrong with being the president and having a girlfriend.

I personally liked the politics in the film. I enjoyed how Shepherd decides to ignore the critisism leveled at him until the very end when he gives one of the best written speeches I've ever seen in film. And when he flexes his authoritative muscles, you feel his power, you feel that the president has spoken. And I was moved. This is a great film and one that should be checked out for sure.

**** I also found it to be interesting that the character in the film that tries to get the issue of gun control brought to the forefront is Michael J. Fox. He is Canadian and we don't have problems with guns here. Is it a coincidence ( probably ) that he was chosen to play this role? Or was it done deliberately? Interesting.


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