369 user 140 critic

The Contender (2000)

3:15 | Trailer

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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 »



USA | Germany | UK



Release Date:

13 October 2000 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La conspiración 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, Wide Release

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Director Rod Lurie said he first offered the role of President Jackson Evans to Paul Newman, and then to Gregory Peck. Newman, then in semi-retirement, declined, as did Peck, claiming he was "too damn old" for the role. In response, Lurie re-wrote President Evans' character to be younger, and then cast Jeff Bridges. See more »


At one point Runyon says that an article will appear in the next day's "afternoon edition" of the Washington Post. The Post is a morning newspaper. 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 »


References The American President (1995) See more »


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

Remembering the 90's.
16 August 2008 | by fredrickstaffordSee all my reviews

HBO decided to trundle this one out again. Well, it was an election year and they had to find something to run in between Generation Kill episodes I suppose. I also read recently Mr. Obama commenting this was a personal favorite.

The plot is a thinly disguised veil to excuse Mr. Clinton's disgraceful behavior of that era. All the Republicans are mouth breathing knuckle dragging fascist zealots; all the Democrats are brilliant thoughtful selfless virtuous defenders of the Constitution.

The balance of the film is well layered with typical Hollywood left-wing bias, clichés, stereotypes, and ample plot holes. Overall, this movie already seems very dated. To be fair 9-11 did that to a lot of films of this genre and this was a prime example.

However, one scene is truly disturbing even today, and maybe especially today, considering the outcome of the last U.S. election and after a summer in which we watched the Olympic games being held in a brutal totalitarian Marxist state proudly showing off goose stepping soldiers and chilling mass conformism. That scene being the main Democrat character "bravely" standing up to the "evil" Republican inquisitor and reeling off a laundry list of extremist liberal-socialist positions which culminates in her declaring that she is an atheist, but she has a religion and that religion is GOVERNMENT. Scary.

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