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The American President (1995)

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A widowed U.S. President running for reelection and an environmental lobbyist fall in love. It's all above-board, but "politics is perception," and sparks fly anyway.

Director:

Rob Reiner

Writer:

Aaron Sorkin
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Popularity
1,856 ( 1,092)
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)

Opening Weekend USA:

$10,014,558, 19 November 1995

Gross USA:

$60,079,496

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$107,879,496
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

Martin Sheen, Anna Deavere Smith, Nina Siemaszko, Beau Billingslea, Joshua Malina, Ralph Meyering, Jr., Richard McGonagle, Thom Barry, Gabriel Jarret, Ron Canada, Nick Toth, and Aaron Sorkin all had roles in this movie and The West Wing (1999). Both were written by Sorkin. Some unused script ideas for the movie were later used on the show. The movie President studied under a Nobel Prize winner economist, the show President is a Nobel Prize winner economist. 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

[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.
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

Featured in The Oprah Winfrey Show: Summer Movie Reviews (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

Ballet Music from Faust
By Charles Gounod
See more »

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User Reviews

 
My name is Andrew Shepherd and I AM the president of the United States!
30 June 1999 | by baumerSee 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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