381 user 144 critic

The Contender (2000)

2:24 | Trailer
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.


Rod Lurie


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





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


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


Welcome To The Greatest Show On Earth See more »


Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Every time President Evans calls a meeting (formal or informal) he is either eating or orders food to be eaten. See more »


When Runyon and his cronies are plotting on how to reject Senator Hanson's nomination, Runyon's cigar goes from smaller to larger as the scene progresses. See more »


[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 »


Featured in American Masters: Jeff Bridges: The Dude Abides (2011) See more »


Something Peculiar
Written and performed by Julianna Raye
Courtesy of Ziffy Music
See more »

User Reviews

Plot is "Republicans bad and Democrats good"
23 August 2009 | by 32FordSee all my reviews

First off,the acting is first rate. So good that the rest of the cast almost performs at the Gary Oldman level. That's high praise,indeed.

With that out of the way,it seems like the real purpose of this movie was to take a cheap shot at Republicans in general,and conservatives in particular. The Dims are saints,and the Republicans are evil.

This message couldn't be clearer than when Joan Allen gave her little speech about "I'm for a woman's choice,I'm for the government taking the guns out every house in the country",etc,etc,etc.,and the speech she made about leaving the Republican Party because it had shifted away from the values that formed this country. That had nothing to do with movie making,and everything to do with political propaganda. Stalin couldn't have came up with a more left-wing rant.

After all,how can you take a movie seriously when it shows a vice- presidential candidate giving a speech to a committee that states she wants to see every gun in the country confiscated by the government? We are supposed to believe the voters would take a direct assault on the Bill of Rights so casually they would elect someone who said that?

It's a damn shame the director and writers of this movie decided it was more important to make a propaganda film than a movie for entertainment.

Not that the Republicans aren't guilty of sleaze. They most certainly are. They are mere amateurs compared to the Dims,though. As the writing,editing,and directing in this movie proves.

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USA | Germany | UK



Release Date:

13 October 2000 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Contender See more »

Filming Locations:

Santa Clarita, California, USA See more »


Box Office


$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,363,900, 15 October 2000

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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