“Haven’t had this much fun since the cayenne pepper hit the fan!” – Senator Seabright Cooley
Number of Times Seen – 1 (20 Apr 2016)
Brief Synopsis – When The U.S. President wants to appoint a new Secretary of State, the Senate begins to have hearings to try and device whether they agree or not to this appointment. Both Democrats and Republicans clamor to try and help or hinder this new appointment
My Take on it – I have always been a huge fan of history and of American Politics, but was somewhat disappointed that I never saw a film about Congress that feels like it does justice to the way things work.
Last month, I saw the Ken Burn’s Documentary about Congress called The Congress (1988) and found out about this movie, but for some reason, never got around to watching it and instead kept pushing it off.
I finally saw it and was amazed at how much I loved it.
It really shows how the system works (for better and for worse) and they show some interesting ways of explaining how things work.
The dialogue is excellent and you can really feel the jabs between politicians based solely on their words.
The story is crafted expertly and there are lots of twists and turns along the way that make it so much fun to watch.
Of all of the political movies (in general and specifically depicting the Senate) I’ve ever seen, this is perhaps the best one ever. If someone things there are better ones, I’d be very interested in knowing.
The cast is unbelievable with Henry Fonda, Peter Lawford, Walter Pidgeon, Charles Laughton, Don Murray, Gene Tierney, Burgess Meredith, George Grizzard, Lew Ayres, Franchot Tone and (a very young) Betty White all amazing and breathe life into such great and diverse characters.
The characters are mostly based on real life politicians from the 50’s and 60’s and that adds even more realism to this fictional story.
This is one of Otto Preminger’s best films IMHO.
I’m extremely happy that I finally got to see this and really can’t wait to watch it again.
Bottom Line – This is such an amazing movie that shows the political mechanisms of The Senate in action. The dialogue and story is so well crafted. Perhaps the best movie ever made depicting the inner workings of the powerful body of men and women who must help govern the US. Amazing cast that help properly animate some great characters that are all somewhat based on real politicians of the 50’s and 60’s. Preminger at his best! So Happy I finally got to see this one! Highly Recommended!
MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Peter Lawford was cast because Otto Preminger valued his access to the Kennedy family. Lawford was JFK’s brother in law, and JFK was also a massive movie buff who loved having a film crew around the White House. (From IMDB)
Rating – Oscar Worthy
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