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
4,562 ( 1,121)
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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Did You Know?

Trivia

While Shepherd is doing his off-the-cuff lecture on his girlfriend to the White House press corps, his eye movement clearly indicates he's reading off of the teleprompter. See more »

Goofs

When Sydney is nervously tapping her pencil on the table before her big first date with the President, the position of her fingers on the pencil changes between shots. See more »

Quotes

President Andrew Shepherd: You have concerns?
Sydney Ellen Wade: Yes. Not many. A few. One. I have one concern.
President Andrew Shepherd: This wouldn't have to do with the fact that one of us is president?
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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 »


Soundtracks

Ballet Music from Faust
By Charles Gounod
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User Reviews

 
The president America wants
28 January 2018 | by michaela-5See all my reviews

Aaron Sorkin's script and pitch-perfect performances by Annette Bening and Michael Douglas create a funny and ultimately poignant movie that makes a viewer happy to be an American.

Douglas portrays a flawed but deeply honest president who knows how to learn from his mistakes. He conducts himself with dignity. Bening is a political lobbyist with a strong commitment to the environment. (Interesting that a film made 23years ago outlines environmental issues more clearly than they would be articulated today!) How can a relationship develop between two people given their very different positions in the political life of the country? How they work through these issues goes from humorous to dramatic and, of course, a happy ending.

All the minor characters are well fleshed out. In particular, Martin Sheen as Chief of Staff wants happiness for his old friend, but is very aware of the poltiical realities involved. Michael J. Fox wants the president to be the best man he can be, wants him to live up to the highest values of the office.

Watching this film, I am struck by the ability of the Office of the President to create positive change in this world. I hope we can see this reflected at the White House once again some day.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French | Spanish

Release Date:

17 November 1995 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The American President 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

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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