6.8/10
47,916
223 user 56 critic

The American President (1995)

Trailer
1:40 | Trailer

On TV

Airs Wed. Mar. 20, 8:15 AM on HBO

ON DISC
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
2,613 ( 283)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 9 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

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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
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In early showings of this movie, John Mahoney (Leo Solomon) read aloud the note that arrived with the ham. Subsequent showings, online scripts, and the DVD have excluded that portion of the scene. Many of us would like to know how the note read. See more »

Goofs

At the Christmas party, Syndey's purse cord is across her chest when she walks in but when she walks over to the president it is over her arm. See more »

Quotes

Leo's secretary: [in Leo's office] Mr. Solomon? This was just delivered by a White House messenger. It's marked perishable.
Leo Solomon: The White House has sent me something perishable?
Leo's secretary: It's for Ms. Wade.
Leo Solomon: Oh, here we go.
Sydney Ellen Wade: Relax, Leo, I'm sure it's just a formality.
Leo's secretary: It's from him.
Leo Solomon: Of course it's from him.
Sydney Ellen Wade: So he had some staff flunky send me a fruit basket.
Leo's secretary: Well, he wrote the note himself.
Sydney Ellen Wade: I'm sure he didn't take the time to...
[...]
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 »

Connections

Referenced in The Muse (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Hail to the Chief
(uncredited)
Music by James Sanderson
[Heard several times including played on trombone by Shawna Waldron]
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User Reviews

Warm, fun film with a big heart
15 February 2002 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

US President Andrew Shepherd is a widower who was sweep into power on the back of great public sympathy. Three years into his presidency he meets and falls for Sydney Ellen Wade, an environmental lobbyist. Eventually they begin to date against the counsel of his advisors, giving his rivals (most notably Senator Rumson) and the media the ammunition they need to begin to attack his presidency.

This is not exactely a political thriller. In fact it is as far removed from reality as you could imagine. However that's the point, this film doesn't pretend to be anything other than a romantic comedy - it has some political wranglings but it is very far from the (still very tidy and clean) rule of Martin Sheen's President in TV's The West Wing. However the story is nicely handled and Rob Reiner is natually very good at this type of thing. Here it occasionally is far too sickly sweet and sentimental, but most of it works well.

Douglas is good in the lead and looks quite acceptable as the President of the US - lets be honest, if it was him or "oil baron" Bush who would you pick? Bening is also good as Sydney but neither have anything outside of the usual romantic leads to do. The real strength here is the supporting cast - both in terms of class and sheer enterainment value.To name a few - Sheen, MJ Fox, Mathis, Dreyfuss - all big names, all funny performances.

Overall this is a big sloppy romantic comedy, but it's done with so much class that it's hard not to like it. Not brillant, but very enjoyable all the same.


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