Mad Men (2007–2015)
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Nixon vs. Kennedy 

Election night arrives and the staff of Sterling Cooper has a party while watching the returns. The election is close and it's obviously going to be a long night. Now a senior partner in ... See full summary »

Director:

Alan Taylor

Writers:

Matthew Weiner (created by), Lisa Albert | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Jon Hamm ... Don Draper
Elisabeth Moss ... Peggy Olson
Vincent Kartheiser ... Pete Campbell
January Jones ... Betty Draper
Christina Hendricks ... Joan Holloway
Bryan Batt ... Salvatore Romano
Michael Gladis ... Paul Kinsey
Aaron Staton ... Ken Cosgrove
Rich Sommer ... Harry Crane
Maggie Siff ... Rachel Menken
Robert Morse ... Bertram Cooper
Alison Brie ... Trudy Campbell
Mark Moses ... Duck Phillips
Troy Ruptash ... Lieutenant Donald Draper
Alexa Alemanni ... Allison
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Storyline

Election night arrives and the staff of Sterling Cooper has a party while watching the returns. The election is close and it's obviously going to be a long night. Now a senior partner in the firm, Don Draper must hire a new head of account services, a post that Pete Campbell yearns for. Aware of Draper's secret past, he tries to strong-arm him into giving him the job. With his secret out, Don panics and he asks Rachel Menken to run away with him. Regaining his composure, Don calls Pete's bluff leading to a confrontation with Bert Cooper. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

TV-14 | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

11 October 2007 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color | Black and White (archive footage)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Action takes place on November 8th, 1960, the day of the Nixon/Kennedy presidential election. See more »

Goofs

We have seen a photo of Dick and Adam Whitman dated 1944. Adam appears to be about 8 or 9 years old. In this episode Dick/Don looks out at the train platform in 1950, at his stepmother Abigail, her husband, "Uncle Mack," and Adam, who still appears to be 8 or 9. See more »

Quotes

Pete Campbell: I have to bring this up to you. Only because I believe if I kept it from you in the end it would be damaging to Sterling Cooper. It has come to my attention, completely by accident, that Donald Draper here is not who he says he is. His real name is Dick Whitman, but Dick Whitman died in Korea ten years ago. It stands to reason that he is a deserter at the very least and who knows what else.
Bertram Cooper: Mr. Campbell, who cares?
Pete Campbell: What?
Bertram Cooper: Who cares?
Pete Campbell: Mr. Cooper, he's a fraud and a liar. A criminal, even.
Bertram Cooper: Even if ...
[...]
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Connections

References Can-Can (1960) See more »

Soundtracks

Gopher Mambo
(uncredited)
Written by Billy May and Conrad Gozzo
Performed by Yma Sumac
Played during office party
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User Reviews

 
The truth about Don Draper
28 August 2010 | by MaxBorg89See all my reviews

Over the course of one season, Mad Men has proved to be particularly good at mixing bits of American history with the characters' private tragedies. This aspect comes to head in the penultimate episode, Nixon vs. Kennedy, which trumps The Hobo Code as the essential chapter of the season for the importance of the major revelation it contains.

As the title suggests, the big event of the episode is Election Night, which the men at Sterling Cooper are watching in the office while throwing a party. Don, now a senior partner, also has to worry about finding a new head of the accounts department, and chooses his old acquaintance Herman "Duck" Phillips (former Desperate Housewives regular Mark Moses) for the job, which Pete Campbell is after as well. Using information he has gathered thanks to a letter he stole from the office, he confronts Don and threatens to blackmail him with a piece of information that is shown to the viewer through flashbacks: a battle in the Korean war which killed one Donald Draper, whose identity was then taken over by one of his soldiers, Dick Whitman.

The Korea flashback is one of the episode's strongest points, using the show's trademark visual flair to frame a couple of scenes that are brutally intense, deliberately clashing with the superficial cool of the '60s. On a narrative level, praise is due for the long awaited final reveal concerning the Dick/Don mystery, the answer proving to be as riveting and thoughtful as all the clues seemed to indicate.

Back in the present, the Nixon/Kennedy "war" is a great way to ground the plot in historic reality, providing ample ground for another conflict, that between Don and Pete, acted out with gusto by Hamm and Kartheiser. Also noteworthy is the addition of Moses to the cast, a cool and charismatic contrast to his creepy Desperate Housewives character. In short, a great foreshadowing of the season finale.


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