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The Candidate (1972)
Excellent satire on the problems of modern politics
31 March 2003
While this film was made before the golden age of mud slinging politics, it accurately portrays the problems of the American electoral system in the age of television. As exciting as that sounds (sarcasm), this film actually keeps it interesting and never loses its sense of humor. Dynamic, fascinating characters, well acted by the likes of Redford, Peter Boyle and Melvyn Douglas (to name a few), deliver a slice of reality that is as ironic as it is fun to watch. No one is who they claim to be as we the audience are dragged into a world where everything is staged and carefully planned by a bunch of men in a smoke-filled room.

Since this film is a satire on politics circa 1972, many of the issues addressed in this film have actually gotten much worse. For instance the "attack ads" portrayed in this film are tame in comparison to todays standards. Also, a few of the political issues are a bit out of date. Aside from that, "The Candidate" 30 years later still holds up. Showing how even a man of deep convictions struggles with the insanity of political sound bytes, 30 sec. commercials, instant polls, theatrical televised debates and wishy-washy swing voters. After viewing this film, my optimism for the future of politics was damaged, as I realized how deep the problems that TV bring to the table actually are.

Excellent cinematography, acting and screenplay! I highly recommend this film for anyone who loves or hates politics. It goes right up there with Barry Levinson's "Wag the Dog", as a film that should be required viewing in high school government class.
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