7.0/10
21,759
368 user 140 critic

The Contender (2000)

Trailer
3:15 | Trailer

On Disc

at Amazon

Senator Laine Hanson is a contender for U.S. Vice President, but information and disinformation about her past surfaces that threatens to derail her confirmation.

Director:

Rod Lurie

Writer:

Rod Lurie
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 1 win & 20 nominations. See more awards »

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Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Gary Oldman ... Shelly Runyon
Joan Allen ... Laine Hanson
Jeff Bridges ... President Jackson Evans
Christian Slater ... Reginald Webster
Sam Elliott ... Kermit Newman
William Petersen ... Jack Hathaway
Saul Rubinek ... Jerry Tolliver
Philip Baker Hall ... Oscar Billings
Mike Binder ... Lewis Hollis
Robin Thomas ... William Hanson
Mariel Hemingway ... Cynthia Charlton Lee
Kathryn Morris ... Paige Willomina
Kristen Shaw ... Fiona Hathaway
Douglas Urbanski ... Makerowitz
Noah Fryrear Noah Fryrear ... Timmy
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Storyline

A political thriller about Laine Hanson, a Senator who is nominated to become Vice President following the death of the previous office holder. During the confirmation process, Laine is the victim of a vicious attack on her personal life in which stories of sexual deviancy are spread. She is torn as to whether she should fight back, or stick to her high principles and refuse to comment on the allegations. Written by Ted Johnson

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Sometimes you can assassinate a leader without firing a shot. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexual content and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | Germany | UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 October 2000 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La conspiración See more »

Filming Locations:

Santa Clarita, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,363,900, 15 October 2000, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$17,872,723

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$22,361,811
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Gary Oldman and co-Producer Douglas Urbanski complained after the film was released, that the film was changed from the more balanced script by DreamWorks Pictures to reflect the liberal politics of the studios head at DreamWorks (Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg, and David Geffen). The English Oldman, who according to long-time business partner Urbanski is "the least political person I know", was simply contending this since he didn't enjoy how negatively his character was portrayed. DreamWorks vehemently denied tampering with the film. See more »

Goofs

Towards the end of the movie when the President is addressing Congress, Joan Allen is seen outside of the building jogging. Joan Allen, being a senator and therefore a part of Congress, should have been inside the building. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Jack Hathaway: Well, I bet you've been getting a lot of Churchills. Probably Mandela. Some DeGaulles. But I'd have to go with Anwar Sadat.
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Crazy Credits

For our daughters See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Old School (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Ebben, Ne Andro Lontana From 'La Wally'
Written by Alfredo Catalani
Performed by Miriam Gauci and Brussels Philharmonic (as the BRT Philharmonic Brussels)
Courtesy Of Naxos of America
By arrangement with Source Q
Courtesy of Naxos of America
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User Reviews

 
Where Lewinsky meets Lebowski
30 April 2001 | by GeofbobSee all my reviews

This may not be the greatest White House movie thriller ever - as its makers claim - but it is probably the most politically explicit. Gone are the days of Advise and Consent, when the opposing parties were simply referred to as the "majority" and "minority", and the movie aimed at non-partisan neutrality . Here, the administration is Democrat, and the film proudly wears its liberal heart on its sleeve. And the movie is all the better for this clarity and honesty.

Jeff Bridges is well cast as Jackson Evans, a President every bit as charismatic and opportunistic as Bill Clinton. Indeed, the whole movie can be seen as a take on the Monica Lewinsky saga, highlighting the manipulation and hypocrisy displayed on all sides at that time. (One mistake in the script is a direct reference to the Clinton impeachment vote; it is dangerous for parodies or satires to refer to the true stories on which they are based - it leads to a dislocation in the audience's point of view, and in this case to the awkward question - if this is a post-Clinton Democrat President, and he's coming to the end of his second term, in just what year is the action supposed to be taking place?!)

Given the White House shenanigans in recent years, it is surprising that some IMDb commenters should question the plausibility of the plot, which I feel stretches our credulity no further than most Hollywood thrillers. Joan Allen as vice-Presidential nominee Laine Hanson, and Gary Oldman as Shelly Runyon, her would-be character assassin, have strong parts and make the most of them - though personally I think it is Bridges' movie - but there is perhaps a little too much of Christian Slater in a curious role as Reginald Webster, a young, liberal, but seemingly anti-feminist, Democrat Congressman. The director, Rod Lurie, seems unable to make up his mind whether Webster should be portrayed as an overly-naive idealist, or an ambitious cynic with his eye on the main chance.

Overall, this is a fast-moving, enjoyable film, making the points that petty personal indiscretions should have little influence when it comes to power politics, and that it's about time the USA had a woman as President or at least a heart beat away.


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