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||IMDB Rating: 7.8/10 from 4,495 votes
||Release: 6 June 1962 (USA) /
||Genre: Drama, Thriller
||Director: Otto Preminger,
||Stars: Burgess Meredith, Charles Laughton, Don Murray, Eddie Hodges, Franchot Tone, Gene Tierney, George Grizzard, Henry Fonda, Inga Swenson, Lew Ayres, Paul Ford, Paul McGrath, Peter Lawford, Walter Pidgeon, Will Geer
||Synopsis: Robert Leffingwell is the president's candidate for Secretary of State. Prior to his approval, he must first go through a Senate investigation to determine if he's qualified. Leading the Senate committee is idealistic Senator Brig Anderson, who soon finds himself unprepared for the political dirt that's revealed, including Leffingwell's past affiliations with a Communist organization. When Leffingwell testifies about his political leanings, he proves his innocence. Later, however, Anderson learns that he lied under oath and even asks the president to withdraw Leffingwell for consideration, especially after the young senator begins receiving blackmail threats about a skeleton in his own closet. Written by Daniel Bubbeo <[email protected]>
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Although I had seen it when it first came out (I was 18) and again
about about 6 months ago (Winter, 2004), this screening (May, 2005) was
even more insightful.
It really has aged very well, and is, obviously, at least as relevant
today as it was in 1962 --"realistic" in its depiction of the
congressional situation in its own day, positively prescient in its
relation to our own.
Fonda is good, but curiously second fiddle to the other, more subtle
It's Walter Pigeon's best flick (by far), well cast as the Senate
Majority Leader and he carries the role off with an almost
Almost Charles Laughton's best (only because that's a very hard call),
with his hopelessly crumpled white suit and hat, shufflin' gait,
positively Irvinesque homespun witticisms and wonderful, drawling,
contemptuous "Mis-ter Rob-ert A. Leff-in-well".
Might be Franchot Tone's best, as well, as the ailing, frail,
chain-smoking president, a little bit too close to Life (filmed 6 years
before he died of lung cancer).
Gene Tierney is very good as the D.C. socialite hostess "Dolly
Harrison" --a character clearly based on Averill Harriman's wife Pamela
or, as a type, a later Katherine Graham.
Definitely Peter Lawford's best film --which, admittedly, is not saying
much, but he's very well cast as a rather dissolute, philandering
Kennedyesque senator who is, nonetheless, not without his Qualities.
Lew Ayres' Casper Milquetoast "Vice President Harley M. Hudson" is an
excellently wrought character, from his "bucket of warm spit" role as
the impotent President of the Senate to the wonderful twist he gives it
at the end, which expounds quite beautifully the subtleties and
definitiveness of the Reality of Power.
The scenes of D.C. are positively nostalgic --imagine anyone being able
to catch a cab to the capital and then walk right up the steps and go
inside ; or an aged night-watchman making his rounds as *the* Security
for the inside of the Senate building.
As are the various aspects of the underground "Gay Scene" in NYC with
the wonderfully cast Larry Tucker, Jerry Fielding's fine music and "the
voice of Frank Sinatra" (as credited). (Some might object to the
"clichés" in these scenes, but, to me, those clichés are part and
parcel of the ambiance of the period of the film and the culture it
portrays and should be seen as such --rather like appreciating the
overt racism in "Birth of a Nation" for what it is. I am glad that
Preminger didn't "sanitize" his presentation of this matter, especially
given the crucial nature of it to the plot of the film.)
But the contrast between the civility --albeit occasionally a rather
raw one-- of the senate of circa 1960 and that of the present day is
not nostalgic quite so much as it is just heart-rending ("The World We
Have Lost"), and the roots of our present grotesque, take-no-prisoners
congressional savagery are fully exposed in the intertwined plot lines
of McCarthyesque ideological rigidity and homosexual blackmail.
All in all, a "Roman à Clef" to the political world of 1960's
Washington, vividly relevant to our own time.
Tags for Advise & Consent Full Movie
, Charles Laughton
, Don Murray
, Eddie Hodges
, Franchot Tone
, Gene Tierney
, George Grizzard
, Henry Fonda
, Inga Swenson
, Lew Ayres
, Paul Ford
, Paul McGrath
, Peter Lawford
, Walter Pidgeon
, Will Geer
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