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My Fellow Americans (1997)

Jack Lemmon , James Garner , Peter Segal  |  PG-13 |  DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (204 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Jack Lemmon, James Garner, Dan Aykroyd, Wilford Brimley
  • Directors: Peter Segal
  • Writers: E. Jack Kaplan, Peter Tolan, Richard Chapman
  • Producers: Jon Peters, Craig Zadan, Neil Meron, Tracy Barone
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), Spanish (Dolby Digital 1.0)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: June 17, 1997
  • Run Time: 104 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (204 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0790731460
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,801 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "My Fellow Americans" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Jack Lemmon, James Garner, Dan Aykroyd, Lauren Bacall. Two former U.S. Presidents-a staunch Republican and a liberal Democrat-head across the country together when a current presidential scandal threatens to incriminate them both. 1996/color/101 min/PG-13/(CC).

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
43 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great, Entertaining Film! December 6, 2002
Format:VHS Tape
First of all, I don't know how the critic, Mr. Keogh, could possibly call this a "lousy" film! I'm a big fan of Garner and Lemmon, two of the all-time greats. This movie is one hilarious joke after another, with some serious moments thrown in for good measure. It certainly is a heck of a lot better than some of the garbage hailed by critics as masterpieces; it's a straightforward, non-stop entertaining affair, one that makes you feel as though you got your money's worth after watching it. The supporting cast is great, too, with Bacall, Heard, Ackroyd, and others putting in some solid performances.
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hail to the chiefs February 26, 2005
At first glance, this looks one of Hollywood's freakier genetic experiments: implanting the genes of a political thriller into a road-trip comedy. The surpise is that the offspring is not just viable, but a good healthy comedy. It surely helps to have two fathers like James Garner and Jack Lemmon bringing it to life.

They play the roles of two ex-presidents, living out their retirements in their respective ways: grubbing every dollar to be had on the lecture circuit (Lemmon), or grabbing every babe to be had (Garner). Dan Aykroyd, improbably cast as the current president, detects a scandal brewing and tries to nail it to the previous administration. Garner and Lemmon, one-time political opponents, are thrown together and the chase begins.

The comedy comes largely from the series of cheap shots and snide recollections the two hurl at each other. The feel-good part comes from their bonding over shared experiences as past presidents, under the pressure of pursuit. The political thriller builds as the hired guns keep trying to assassinate the ex-pres, and to bury the scandal with him. As long as you're not looking for any great subtlety, it works.

It's a bit goofy, but it's a good, safe comedy with just enough plot twists to keep it from becoming completely predictable. It couldn't have worked without Garner and Lemmon in the lead roles, though - their experience in such roles is what made the movie work.

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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
By Jordan
"MY FELLOW Americans" is everything you could ever want in a comedy. Sharp, caustic wits from Lemmon (as Russell Kramer) and Garner (as Matt Douglas) combined with a downright hilarious plot makes this my #1 movie of 1996, my #24 of the 90's, and my #3 comedy of the 90's (behind #1 Bulworth and #2 Dogma). This would be an excellent one to go rent and prepare for the election in November.
The excellent comedic writing is apparent ("There are only two watches like that in the world, Reagan has one and now Shamu the Killer Hick has the other!"), and Heard's underrated performance as Vice President Ted Matthews nearly steals the show. (For those that have seen it, tell me his last line shouldn't be ranked up there with other classic lines!) As usual, Lauren Bacall is magnificent ("Don't say friggin', if you're going to use the F word go for the gold"), and of course Jack Lemmon and James Garner turn in great performances.
The great cast, writing, and script idea all fold together to make one of the best movies ever made.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lemmon Less Matthau Plus Garner - and Bacall January 10, 2006
Republican Russell Kramer (Jack Lemmon) beat Democrat Matt Douglas (James Garner) for President in a very tight race. Four years later Douglas beats Kramer. Four years later Kraemer Vice President William Haney (Dan Aykroyd) defeats Douglas.

Three more years have passed. Kraemer is now making paid public appearances and writing books on any subject. Douglas has more noble goals, nailing every babe he can. Then a scandal is about to break out and Douglas and Kramer find out. Since he can no longer shift blame to Kramer, Haney decides to kill the former Presidents.

The plot fails but leaves the Presidents stranded. They must find the proof that Haney is guilty and get back to DC alive. This starts a cross country chase that is constantly funny including the Presidents becoming involved in a gay pride parade - that saves their life!

I have to guess that this was originally conceived as a Lemmon Matthau film but was too physical for the declining Matthau. It actually works better with Garner as he is more believable as the Clintonesque womanizer.

Lauren Bacall is great as Mrs. Kramer but only has a couple of scenes. Marg Helgenberger (pre CSI) makes an appearance as Douglas' book editor. And Bradley Whitford makes a White House appearance two years before he took up residence with the Bartlett administration in The West Wing.

It's too bad that Lemmon died before he could reteam with Garner. They made a great pairing.

DVD EXTAS: Blooper Reel.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still funny after the Gore-Bush fight! December 2, 2002
"My Fellow Americans" has wonderfully funny and snappy dialouge and comes with a wonderful bunch of supporting comic characters like the bumbling veep, the NSA chief ("Hello, sirs. No need for concern. It's only me. The twisted psycho.") and the ever-so-clever Republican's wife ("Russell Kramer: It's a kick in the balls! Sorry, sweetheart; Margaret Kramer: Please, I'm a politician's wife. I have a set of my own!) All these come together to bring out the best of American political comedy. "Dave" was great and I enjoyed "Running Mates", but so far this one is the best! The two leads whose characters hate each other's guts, come together harmoniously create the best comedy ever.
Hail to the comedy chiefs 'cause they're the chiefs and they need hailing....
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very funny movie.
Published 4 hours ago by Angie
5.0 out of 5 stars We enjoyed this movie so much
We enjoyed this movie so much. We will be watching it multiple times. Nothing like a good laugh to put you in a happy mood.
Published 1 day ago by Joyce Andrews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good film!
Published 4 days ago by PK
4.0 out of 5 stars okay
I enjoyed the movie. The condition of the case was poor. One corner is crushed.
Published 5 days ago by Joni Jones
5.0 out of 5 stars ... the top of his game reminding me of his great performance in...
This movie shows Jack Lemmon near the top of his game reminding me of his great performance in Mister Roberts. Read more
Published 6 days ago by Peppernut
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Fairly funny; strong acting; good story and message.
Published 9 days ago by John E. Schlenz
5.0 out of 5 stars I love it
GREAT movie!!!!!! always a James Garner fan!!!!!! Packaged VERY WELL...Arrived quickly and secured!!!
Published 10 days ago by PRTYONE
3.0 out of 5 stars It's okay
Language Unnecessary
Cute story, but as another review said, language as off-color. Not needed to carry the story.
Published 10 days ago by Lizzy
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
good movie!
Published 15 days ago by MelanieTJR
4.0 out of 5 stars An Overlooked little gem
This is a very underrated film with a very fine cast. The wit is razor sharp. I am surprised that Garner and Lemmon were not pair before this film or after it.
Published 16 days ago by z
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Topic From this Discussion
This movie was filmed in WS 1.85:1 - why can't we get a copy?
Agree with you,wholeheartedly. No excuse for p&s.
May 3, 2010 by Walter Hill |  See all 5 posts
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