The Distinguished Gentleman (1992) – Encore Review

“Terry, tell me something. With all this money coming in from both sides, how does anything ever get done? ” – Thomas Jefferson Johnson

Number of Times Seen – Between 5 and 10 times (Theater in ’92, cable, video, 10 Jun 2015 and 1 Apr 2020)

Link to original reviewHere

Brief Synopsis – A con artist finds a way to get elected to Congress and is surprised how similar his old and new jobs really are.

My Take on it – This is a film that I have enjoyed so much ever since I first saw it in the theater over 28 years ago.

This is a really fun Eddie Murphy film that works so well largely due to the way that it is able to mix together comedy and political drama.

The way that they chose to present this film is quite fascinating and it allows us to get a deeper understanding of how the political system works (and also doesn’t) especially since we get to see how the politicians and their big money backers choose to wheel and deal over and over in order to get what they want even if it isn’t always what the voters actually want.

This is a modern version of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939) and even over 50 years after that film was made, it shows that not much has changed in the political system but every now and then a fresh perspective on the system might do some good.

The choice to focus more on the dramatic aspects of things works really well and the way that they inject comedy into those scenes and themes allows for things to stay quite enjoyable along the way and even make the story much more poignant that one would expect from a comedy starring Murphy.

I liked the fact that despite this dramatic look at things they still leave room for Murphy to do some great impressions and jokes along the way.

The film has a great supporting cast that helps keep things quite entertaining throughout as things move along.

Bottom Line – Really fun Murphy film that works largely due to the way that they are able to mix together comedy and politics. The story is presented in a really fascinating way and shows us how the political system works (and doesn’t work) due largely to the way that the politicians and their backers wheel and deal to keep things going as they want and not always as the voters would like. This is a more modern version of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939) and shows how sometimes a fresh look at the political system might actually be of help.  The choice to keep this a tame comedy and focus more on the dramatic effects with some minor comedic moments helps make things feel even more poignant even if Murphy is usually known for his more extravagant comedic tone in his films. The fact that Murphy is still given the opportunity to do some impressions and jokes is really enjoyable to watch. The supporting cast is also great and they help keep things quite entertaining to watch as the story unfolds.  Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – The movie was first released in 1992 which was the year of an American Presidential Election. The film premiered stateside on 4th December 1992 which was about a month after the ’92 Election between incumbent Republican ‘George H.Bush’, Independent Ross Perot, and Democrat Bill Clinton, with the latter winning. Publicity for this picture stated: “On Nov. 3, Americans will go to the polls to elect new leaders. On Dec. 4, Americans will go to the movies to see what we’ve gotten ourselves into.” (From IMDB)

Rating – Globe Worthy (8/10) (no change from original review)


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One thought on “The Distinguished Gentleman (1992) – Encore Review

  1. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 1992 | MovieRob

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