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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.


Rob Reiner


Aaron Sorkin
4,403 ( 551)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 9 nominations. See more awards »





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


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


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


Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »





English | French | Spanish

Release Date:

17 November 1995 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Mi querido presidente See more »


Box Office


$62,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

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


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Camp David is strictly off-limits to the public and the media. Production Designer Lilly Kilvert used someone's personal snapshots from the Richard Nixon era, and a lot of imagination, when designing the set. See more »


Near the end of the movie, when President Shepherd is speaking with A.J. and putting on his coat, at one point in the scene (while the camera is focused on A.J.) he is holding his scarf in his hand. The very next camera shot, the scarf is neatly arranged around his neck and tucked into the front of his coat. See more »


[Watching Rumson on television with Andrew]
Bob Rumson: I don't even know what we call her. Is she the First Mistress?
Sydney Ellen Wade: Oh, man... my father heard that.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Company logos change between versions. For example, on the laserdisc, the movie starts with a 20-second silent Columbia logo (before the Castle Rock logo), and the end credits crawl includes (after the title of the movie has gone onscreen) a line-art logo "Released by Columbia Pictures/A Sony Pictures Entertainment company" that crawls up and stops, over the end of the music. On the international prints, the 1990-1997 Universal logo was played and it was also silent. The 1999 WB DVD skips the opening logo, starting with the Castle Rock logo instead, and where the Columbia logo at the end should appear as the music ends, a still clouds-and-shield WB logo appears instead (Distributed by WB/A Warner Communications Company). The Columbia versions are probably truer to the original theatrical release. See also The Shawshank Redemption. See more »


Referenced in The Muse (1999) See more »


Viens, Mallika
from "Lakmé"
Composed by Léo Delibes
Performed by Mady Mesplé and Danielle Millet
with Alain Lombard conducting The Paris Opéra-Comique Chorus & Orchestra
Courtesy of EMI Classics
under license from CEMA Special Markets
See more »

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User Reviews

Excellent comedy/romance/political film!
7 December 2002 | by LebowskiT1000See all my reviews

I'm not usually the kind of person that enjoys a political film, but I found this film to very interesting, very fun and very entertaining. Of course, this film is much more of a comedy/romance film than a political film, but nonetheless there are a great deal of political elements. Some of the political aspects were strange and confusing, but that's just the nature of politics, is it not?

The story is actually rather original (at least I think it is). It's basically about a widower president that decides it's time to move on with his life and pursue other opportunities (if you catch my drift). The story is very well done from start to finish and really has a lot of good things to say about politics, the media, relationships and what not.

All the cast members involved did a fantastic job. I'm not a huge fan of Michael Douglas (not really sure why) but he did a superb job and played a VERY likeable, fun president. Someone that you would really like to know. Martin Sheen also played an extraordinary Chief of Staff for the president and also played a very likeable guy. Michael J. Fox did an excellent job with a role that I didn't expect great things from. Michael deserves a great deal of credit for his role in this film. Annette Bening...WOW! She did a great job with her role and looks better than ever throughout the entire film. I really liked her character, she also played a very warm and likeable character. Samantha Mathis had a somewhat small role in the film, but nonetheless a very important one. She really did a great job with her role and also looks fantastic throughout the film. Finally, Richard Dreyfuss. He also played a very small role, but an extremely important role and did a great job. While he wasn't a very likeable character (he wasn't supposed to be liked), he played it perfectly. Some other great supporting cast members include David Paymer, Anne Haney, Nina Siemaszko, Wendie Malick, and John Mahoney.

I should also mention director Rob Reiner. This guy is just great, he really does a fantastic job directing his films. This is another great film to add to his already impressive list of credits.

I would definitely recommend this film to anyone that likes light-hearted comedies and/or just romantic comedies. This really is an excellent film and ought to be seen. I hope that you will enjoy the film as much as I did. Thanks for reading,


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