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The Candidate (1972)

Robert Redford , Peter Boyle , Michael Ritchie  |  PG |  DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)

Price: $55.70 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Product Details

  • Actors: Robert Redford, Peter Boyle, Melvyn Douglas, Don Porter, Allen Garfield
  • Directors: Michael Ritchie
  • Writers: Jeremy Larner
  • Producers: Robert Redford, Nelson Rising, Walter Coblenz
  • Format: AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, HiFi Sound, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • 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 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: October 29, 1997
  • Run Time: 110 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6304696507
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #86,000 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Candidate" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

An outspoken, idealistic young California lawyer is persuaded to run for the Senate, and finds himself up against a political machine.
Genre: Feature Film-Drama
Rating: PG
Release Date: 15-SEP-1998
Media Type: DVD

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
42 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Political Realism Presented Entertainingly January 5, 2002
Format:VHS Tape
"The Candidate" was released in the appropriate year of 1972, when Richard Nixon was reelected, using the media to present himself as a solid, trusted leader who was being challenged by liberal elitists operating in concert with the Eastern media establishment. When the full force of Watergate buried Nixon in scandal shortly thereafter, resulting in his resignation in 1974, the messages presented in "The Candidate" became all the clearer as Nixon's hollow facade lay fully exposed.
Jeremy Larner, a former speechwriter for presidential candidate Senator Eugene McCarthy in 1968, used his political savvy to craft a script based on the realism of campaigning in the television age, in which, to use Marshall McLuhan's apt phrase, "the medium is the message." Larner copped a Best Original Screenplay Oscar for his effort. Robert Redford plays Bill McKay, who runs a poverty law center and has no ambitions to seek political office. He is urged to do so as the Democrats in California seek an opponent for a solidly entrenched incumbent U.S. Senator played by Don Porter. Redford, whose father, played by Melvyn Douglas, is a former California governor, agrees to run after being told that he can address topics on his own terms. The idea is that he is expected to make a decent run but is not expected to win. Redford articulates ideas near and dear to him that are not embraced by the broad spectrum of California voters. When he runs poorly in the primary, however, he is informed that he needs to make changes or risk being humiliated in the general election by Porter, a prospect he does not relish.
Redford's ensuing frequent turnabouts on major issues make him anything but the refreshingly candid candidate he sought to become.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the seminal modern political campaign drama November 29, 2009
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I saw this when it came out and was utterly riveted by it. It was the first political film I had ever seen and got me interested in politics, of which I became quite the junky. I believe this was one of the first films to attempt to create a realistic and subtle drama about the political process, at least in elections.

This time around, I got it for my kids. I admit that I watched it with some trepidation, hoping I would like it as much as I did the first time. Fortunately, it passed the test! We all became engrossed and discussed it afterwards, which was exactly what I hoped would happen.

One scary thing about the film, as my left-wing wife put it, is how little has changed - the US has scarcely moved on from the issues as presented in the film. First, abortion is a big deal, as is gun control. Second, there is the issue of government involvement in the economy, decried as socialist etc etc. Third, there is the environment, also hotly debated in much the same terms as today - developers v. tree huggers. Finally, the best portrayed issue is the campaign process itself, which transmogrifies the candidate's message with the necessity of TV's dumbing down. As we can see with the incendiary tactics used today, not even the internet has changed things much.

Warmly recommended. This film demonstrates the potential that film can have in sparking thought and debate. That it is so relevant is depressing.
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT POLITICAL FLICK June 6, 2004
Format:DVD
Robert Redford was behind the entertaining political movie "The Candidate" (1972), which goes a long way towards explaining how the game works. This film is really not a liberal one, which is what makes it worthwhile even after 30 years. It is supposed to be based on Edmund "Jerry" Brown, former California Governor Pat Brown's son. Jerry Brown at the time was a youthful Secretary of State who would go one to two terms as Governor. He was a new kind of pol, attractive, a bit of swinger who dated rock star Linda Rohnstadt, and representative of the Golden State image of the 1970s. They called him "Governor Moonbeam".
Redford plays the son of the former Governor of California, played by Melvyn Douglas. The old man is old school all the way, having schmoozed his way up the slippery slope through implied corrupt deals with labor unions and other Democrat special interests. Redford is a young man who played football at Stanford and is now a social issues lawyer of the pro bono variety, helping Mexicans in Central California. Peter Boyle knew him at Stanford and is now a Democrat political consultant who recruits Redford to run for Senator against Crocker Jarman, an entrenched conservative Orange County Republican. Jarman could be Reagan, but he is as much a composite of the traditional Republican: Strong on defense, down on affirmative action and welfare, a real "up by the bootstraps" guy who emerged from the Depression and World War II to make up our "greatest generation."
The film does an about-face on perceptions that, in many cases, turn out to be true. Redford is the rich kid with connections. Jarman beat the Depression like the rest of the U.S., without a social worker.
"How did we do it?" he mocks.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful, political dynamite... November 27, 2006
Format:DVD
As the American public grows more dissatisfied with the corruption and ineptitude of their political candidates, movies like Michael Ritchie's "The Candidate" become all the more timely and relevant. A product of a cynical age and although a bit dated (the film was released in 1972, and Redford would follow with the cynical and conspiratorial anti-CIA film, "Three Days of the Condor" in 1973), "The Candidate" is a illustrative vehicle demonstrating how pollsters, admen, press agents, and what we would call now "spin doctors" packaged political candidates to an unsuspecting electorate before anyone had ever heard of blogs and the internet.

As the liberal attorney-now Democratic senatorial-candidate, Bill McKay, Redford plays a man whose integrity and ideals fall prey to the American political and media machine that compel him to win. Peter Boyle, as McKay's campaign manager, and Melvyn Douglas, as the candidate's father, contribute vital supporting roles that are are as absorbing as the film itself.

Ritchie's film, along with Elia Kazan's superb "A Face in the Crowd" (1958), no less than an indictment against the role the television media plays in political campaigns, should be required viewing in every undergraduate political science class.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Awesome movie!
Published 19 days ago by Jacob rains
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great Product & Great Price & Very Fast Shipping!!
Published 1 month ago by Douglas L.
4.0 out of 5 stars Political analysis
This movie was good for studying how campaigning works and the politics behind that, but not so much on how the job after election works, it's one of the main points of the movie. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Joshua Miller
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic and iconic political movie of the 1970s
The movie makes a wonderful statement that takes us where we today about how candidates and campaigns are "manufactured" as they both are today. Redford was wonderful! Read more
Published 2 months ago by CWC
4.0 out of 5 stars good Delivery time, good film
thjis is one political drama...procedural if you will, that actually shows in its running time that politics have not really changed all that much... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Berigan Taylor
5.0 out of 5 stars I watched this when Mr. Redford still looked like this photo on the...
I am not sure why I am being asked to review movies I watched years and years ago. But I do remember this to be an excellent movie.
It is as relevant today as it was in 1972. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Maria P. Mason
5.0 out of 5 stars I was a bit player !
Filmed in part at Tam High in Mill Valley Ca , 1971. I have an uncredited bit part!

Explains in period detail a campaign which could be as concise today. Read more
Published 3 months ago by John-David Hughes
2.0 out of 5 stars Typical liberal...
Read above. It says it all. It's hard to say it better than the flick. Wrongly sincere. Naive then gullible. Then willingly used. Read more
Published 3 months ago by J Book
3.0 out of 5 stars A timeless story about modern elections
We see a man with great aspirations to do good and to right wrongs, caught up in the modern campaign and forced into the sound bite system. Read more
Published 3 months ago by A. Robert Thorup
4.0 out of 5 stars I DID NOT ORDER THIS FILM!!!
I DID NOT ORDER THIS FILM!!!

I did not order this film but I am apparently being billed for it.
Published 3 months ago by Noway TOBACK OUTOFORDER
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