11 user 7 critic

The Congressman (2016)

R | | Drama | 9 April 2016 (USA)
2:33 | Trailer

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Maine Congressman Charlie Winship has had a bad day. After being caught on video failing to stand and recite the pledge of allegiance, he knocks out another House member, confronts his ... See full summary »


Robert Mrazek





Cast overview, first billed only:
Treat Williams ... Charlie Winship
Elizabeth Marvel ... Rae Blanchard
Ryan Merriman ... Jared Barnes
Chris Conroy ... Ben
George Hamilton ... Laird Devereaux
Marshall Bell ... Sherm Hawkins
Fritz Weaver ... Harlan Lantier
Jayne Atkinson ... Casey Winship
Kim Blacklock ... Matty Pierce
Josh Mostel ... Bernie Gimpel
Cindy Lentol ... Holly Dean
Miriam A. Hyman ... Abigail Ross
Alison Wachtler ... Deidre Macavoy
Alexander Cook Alexander Cook ... Washington Lobbyist
Bradley J. Van Dussen Bradley J. Van Dussen ... Gym Congressman


Maine Congressman Charlie Winship has had a bad day. After being caught on video failing to stand and recite the pledge of allegiance, he knocks out another House member, confronts his angry ex-wife, and faces denunciation by the media for attacking one of the most cherished patriotic symbols in America. As his life spirals out of control, Charlie embarks on a journey to a remote island in the Atlantic whose eccentric inhabitants are in the middle of a shooting war over their fishing grounds. Treat Williams stars as The Congressman in this humorous and moving film that raises the important question of what it means to be an American. Written by Lisa Marantz

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some language and brief sexual material


Official Sites:

Official site





Release Date:

9 April 2016 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Catatonk Blues See more »

Filming Locations:

Maine, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs



Color (digital)| Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The productions economy of means turned into a style. There would be no dollies or cranes, no bank lights; a portion of filming took place at the end of trails on the edge of cliffs far away from electrical power - generators were hard to lug over uneven trails so the production relied on runners with batteries. Whatever the weather was that day would be filmed. There was no time cushion. One day five different locations involving company moves were shot. Shooting was close to the bone. Never more than five takes. No ECU's in favor of two-shots that ran long and made use of actors doing what they do best; invent and relate. As for sound, the seagulls had a lot to say about who was heard, so did the waves, and the boat engines, and the wind. See more »


Catatonk Island is supposed to be 20 miles off-shore. This can not be true. There is a scene from the island that shows the mainland in the distance across the ocean. Mohegan Island, where the film was actually shot, is 12 nautical miles (22 km) off-shore, just within the critical distance for being able to see "over" the horizon when viewed from the elevated cliffs. If the island was truly 20 miles off-shore one would not see the mainland just ocean. See more »


Charlie Winship: You know when we're young we think we're going all the way to the top. And then somewhere along the journey most men look up at the summit and they realize that they are never going to get there. So... they stop to enjoy the view.
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This Is The Time
End Credits Song
Written by Thomas Hien & Wolf Wolff
Performed by Thomas Hien
Courtesy of Defend Music
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User Reviews

Not Enough Plot Substance
12 January 2017 | by rutzelbSee all my reviews

Congressman Charlie Winship (Treat Williams) is tired of being a Congressman, drinks a lot, is undergoing a divorce and and won't stand during the Pledge of Allegiance in the House of Representatives to start the business day. There is a movement to recall him.

Charlie gets invited to a small fishing town on an island that is having problems with poachers taking their lobsters. This is where he has a realization of what is important in life and comes to understand what being a Congressman is all about and he is determined to help the town.

This is too simple a plot and we needed something more to sustain us. The acting is good all around; and the solutions to the poaching problems were telegraphed from the very beginning. So we just sat back and enjoyed the cinematography, which was very good. There could have been more drama regarding the Recall effort. There could have been more conflicts with the poachers, but all we got was a fishing boat being blown up.

Notables: Elizabeth Marvel as Rae, Charlie's romantic interest on the fishing island; George Hamilton as Laird Devereaux who is the prime force to recall Charlie.

We were concerned how Charlie would get himself out of being recalled for not standing during the Pledge of Allegiance in the House. This came to be the twist we hoped for. (5/10)

Violence: Yes. A bloody nose on a basketball court and a fishing boat exploding. Sex: No. Sex: No. Language: Yes and much of it seemed forced.

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