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Advise and Consent (1962)

Franchot Tone , Lew Ayres , Otto Preminger  |  NR |  DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (87 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Franchot Tone, Lew Ayres, Henry Fonda, Walter Pidgeon, Charles Laughton
  • Directors: Otto Preminger
  • Writers: Allen Drury, Wendell Mayes
  • Producers: Otto Preminger
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Black & White, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: May 10, 2005
  • Run Time: 139 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (87 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0007TKNGK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #42,897 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Advise and Consent" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Theatrical trailer

Editorial Reviews

The President's choice of an unpopular Secretary of State leads to divisions in the Senate and the blackmail and death of a senator.
Genre: Feature Film-Drama
Rating: NR
Release Date: 10-MAY-2005
Media Type: DVD

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
50 of 56 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "C'mon in! Don't just stand there!" July 30, 2002
Format:VHS Tape
Talk about an all-star cast: when Otto Preminger brought Allan Drury's epic study of a Senate confirmation of a morally ambiguous nominee for Secretary of State, he got just about everyone in Hollywood to participate. Though the best roles go to Charles Laughton as a manipulative (but intensely likeable) South Carolina senator and Franchot Tone as the tortured President, not everyone got so lucky; the novel had so many characters that some big actors (like Gene Tierney, wasted as a Washington hostess) are pretty much trapped in throwaway roles.
Preminger was pretty progressive by Hollywood standards, and so the Senate he depicts is remarkably diverse, with senators of many ethnic backgrounds. There's a great cameo (the film's standout moment) from Betty White, who, as a shrewd Kansas senator, trounces George Grizzard, the despicable Senator Van Ackerman (from Wyoming, of course, so as to offend the least number of audience members possible) in open debate on the Senate floor. Preminger was really daring (for the time) in his willingness to tackle the subject of the blackmail of homosexuals in the film. It should be said, however, that the film's notorious depiction of a gay bar (the first Hollywood film to do so openly since the institution of the Hays code) as a nightmarish cesspool of vice, where the fat effeminate bartender hysterically beckons in the horrified Don Murray (see my title), probably did more to keep gay men in the closet in the Sixties than anything Hollywood ever did.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Advise and Consent is really quite a remarkable film. You'd have to search high and low to find a higher-caliber cast, the script's behind-the-scenes look at the reality of politics remains just a relevant today as it was in 1962, and the whole presentation is just flawless. Heck, even Peter Lawford's good in this movie. That Otto Preminger really knew what he was doing; the man still doesn't get all the credit he deserves. I think he must have had his own super-secret superior cameras because the clarity and overall video quality of this film is beyond amazing. This thing looks sharper and better than most movies being churned out today.

The basic premise of the film is rather simple. The President has nominated a controversial man to become Secretary of State, dropping the nomination like a little bomb on his own party and thus setting the stage for a good bit of ugliness in the Senate - with most of the trouble coming from the President's own majority party. On one end, there's a brash, still-wet-behind-the-ears primadonna who wants to use the media attention to make a name for himself; on the other end is an old curmudgeon of the Senate who opposes the nominee largely for personal reasons. The minority party (led by none other than Will "Grandpa Walton" Geer) pretty much sits back and enjoys the show- but this isn't fun and games, at all. The nominee faces charges that he was at one time a Communist, and the back alley manipulations of unscrupulous Senators push the chairman of the relevant subcommittee to the breaking point. The politics of this era played out in exaggeratedly civil terms, but deep down it was just as ugly as anything you'll see today on the floor of the Senate, where civility has quite disappeared.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Granddaddy Of Political Movies! December 11, 2001
Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
This ultra-realistic 1962 drama of the goings-on in Washington, D.C. must rank as one of the best films of its type ever made. It's a lengthy one (2 hrs., 19 min.), but it never gets dry. The many veteran actors assembled to comprise this cast see to that. The roster includes Henry Fonda, Franchot Tone, Charles Laughton, Lew Ayres, Walter Pidgeon, and Burgess Meredith! There's also Don Murray, who probably gets more screen time here than anyone else. And I think Murray shines bright in his role as the senator with a deep, dark secret! Pidgeon is also particularly convincing in this film. This was Mr. Laughton's final motion picture.
If you've never seen Advise & Consent ..... then get it today! It's a thoroughly engrossing and powerful movie experience!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
As a Congressional correspondent for the New York Times during the 1950s, author Allen Drury had ample opportunity to witness Washington politicians in their natural habit---and drew upon numerous factual sources, including the controversial Alger Hiss case and the scandalous suicide of Senator Lester Hunt, to create the story of a controversial nominee for Secretary of State. The novel was not only a best seller, it was awarded the Pulitzer Prize.

It was also a book that Hollywood could not film under the film industry's notorious Production Code. As it happened, the book fell into the hands of director Otto Preminger, long-time foe of Hollywood's rules for self-censorship. He not only made the film, he flagrantly broke the code; as such, ADVISE AND CONSENT presents our nation's leaders embroiled in a blackmail plot, finds actress Gene Tierney using the word `bitch,' and became the first Hollywood film to show a gay bar. It was shocking stuff for 1962.

The story is extremely convoluted. An aging and extremely ill President makes a highly controversial nomination for Secretary of State---which is opposed by a member of his own party, who bears the nominee a personal grudge and who attempts to derail the nomination by accusing the nominee of former membership in the Communist Party. This in turn touches off a vicious battle between those in the party who support the nominee and those who don't, a battle that will ultimately result in the suicide of the only character who has the integrity we would like to see in our political leaders.

The cast is indeed remarkable and, from Lew Ayres to Betty White, plays with considerable conviction and tremendous restraint.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Washington expose during cold war hits home
Intense political drama in this 1962 classic directed by Otto Preminger. A second term President who is trying to push his nominee for Secretary of State to ensure his foreign... Read more
Published 8 days ago by gary hirel
5.0 out of 5 stars A serious movie
Another movie where Henry Fonda
practically doesn't appear, but in
this case his influence on the plot is
greater. Excellent political movie by
Preminger. Read more
Published 9 days ago by mariano rodriguez
4.0 out of 5 stars A political yarn told well. Drury stayed with these ...
A political yarn told well. Drury stayed with these characters in other books, but this is the biggest in the series. Charles Laughton steals the show (like always).
Published 16 days ago by J. A.
5.0 out of 5 stars Still phenominal
I saw this film in 1962. I had not seen it in 52yrs, and it is still as wonderful and relevant today as it was back then. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Paul Donados
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must See Pictutr
Several Heavyweight actors give powerful performances that deal with a sensitive subject matter. Especially during the early 1960's. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Ron Paladini
1.0 out of 5 stars very disappointed
Very, very poor quality. Can't make out faces, or scenery. Would not order wasn't that old to make copied.
Published 4 months ago by Marlene Grabenstatter
5.0 out of 5 stars Advise and Consent shows Congress how it still exists.
I never saw this film in theatres. A great cast and a good storyline. A closeted Senator gets caught and he finally changes his mind on accusing others. Read more
Published 6 months ago by William Dakota
5.0 out of 5 stars Great old movie
One of my all time favorites. A fantastic old political thriller, the story seems like it could still happen today. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Mats
5.0 out of 5 stars Manuel walking through curtains
When Brig Anderson goes to new York to find Ray Schaff, his former lover, he first encounters Manuel, a gay go-between, who offers him tea. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Doreen Appleton
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating Political Drama
In Advise & Consent, the President of the United States nominates Robert A. Leffingwell (Henry Fonda) to be the next Secretary of State. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Andrew Collins
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