16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on February 1, 2000
The movie should be on the required list for viewing by voters. It is spot-on about the 'ways and means' available in D.C. We weren't sure how it managed to get released until we realized that likely no one realized it was so close to the truth that it would only be seen as fiction. Excellent, funny, Murphy was great as the con artist, and was able to show his many talents as a mimic.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on February 26, 2002
Eddie Murphy is not well known for his bite at the US Government, so upon seeing "Distinguished Gentleman", you may either be shocked or impressed. Regardless, Eddie Murphy is dressed to impress in the politcal satire that takes bite out of politcs and crime. Kevin Kline put America at edge in his film "Dave," Tim Robbins made a couple great jabs with his movie, "Bob Roberts." "Distinguished Gentleman" has some extraordinary funny moments. Compared to other Eddie Murphy movies, you may get lost in the wickedness. "Distinguished Gentleman" wasn't made for the "Nutty Professor" or "Dr Dolittle" crowd. Murphy is at his sharp, witty best in "Distinguished Gentleman." Murphy proves not only is he gifted comic gem in movies today, but with good writing, we don't need to dwell into his blue mouth, in order to score laughs. Check out "Distinguished Gentleman," and fill out your politcal humor card for a superb satire.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on October 9, 2001
I believe The Distinguished Gentleman to be underrated beyond belief. Eddie Murphy delivers his lines brilliantly in what is really a witty script. While the story is a reach, it's also a hilarious mockery of America's political system and the type of things that really go on in Washington.
The movie is a bit outdated, it has an 80's type of style (although I believe this movie was released in the early 90's), but honestly that's not a bad thing either. It takes an edge off things, and for the most part Eddie Murphy's crudeness is kept to a minimum.
If you like any of Murphy's work, at least give this one a shot...it's personally my favorite of the movies he's made.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on December 31, 2008
The Distinguished Gentleman is one of those movies that was a little too smart for its audience. Because of this, it came and went in theaters. I think its one of Eddie Murphy's better movies.
The story: Eddie Murphy plays Thomas Jefferson Johnson, a small-time crook that runs for Congress and wins. He ran with intentions of getting rich and left with intentions of helping the little people that get ran over by those corporate fat cats in the oval office. This being after he meets up a cancer-stricken girl that is a victim of the power lines over her school.
Eddie Murphy is great as the slick con man and he looks like he wants to be in this movie not like these later flicks where he phones in his performance. Lane Smith is perfect as the corrupted chairman Dick Dodge and so is Joe Don Baker as Olaf Anderson. Victoria Rowell(who plays Celia Kirby) and Charles S. Dutton(who plays Elijah Hawkins) turn in some good performances too. I like how this movie targets the dont-give-a-damn mentality of all of these politicians in the White House. It was good in its satire even when the humor misses(rarely). The Distinguished Gentleman is underrated but is definitely recommended to the crowd that can see past their nose.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on May 24, 2010
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
I love the early Eddy Murphy movies. This is a great product and well worth the money. A great seller.
This is exactly the way our polititians in Washington work Today.
A must see. I just wonder why we never see it on TV ?
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on January 6, 2010
A conman is elected to Congress where he takes advantage of his power to the fullest, until he falls in love with a lobbyist who tries to make him do something worthwhile. This movie is funny. The premise is unique. Eddie Murphy has a great presence.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
In director Jonathan Lynn's political comedy THE DISTINGUISHED GENTLEMAN, con-man Thomas Jefferson Johnson (Murphy) gets elected to Congress on a scam: he successfully runs on having the same name as a recently deceased congressman (Garner). In D.C. he fits right in, accepts fistsful of PAC and special interest money.
When the new representative from Florida falls for an altruistic lobbyist, he sees first-hand, thanks to her influence, the harm that unregulated industry causes to innocent families. The result is, Rep. T.J. Johnson grows a conscience. He reverses a "what's in it for me?" course and sets out to expose insider corruption and the intimidation tactics used by his Power & Industry committee chairman.
Despite some preachiness, this is an underappreciated film that's aged well, with Murphy in top-form. Definitely recommended.
Parenthetical number preceding title ia a 1 to 10 IMDb viewer poll rating.
(5.7) The Distinguished Gentleman (1992) - Eddie Murphy/Lane Smith/Sheryl Lee Ralph/Joe Don Baker/Victoria Rowell/Kevin McCarthy/Charles S. Dutton/Noble Willingham/James Garner (uncredited: Della Reese)
12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
It is tempting to compare this movie to other political satires of previous years. However, it is at heart an Eddie Murphy movie, and you know that Eddie Murphy is always over the top.
The plot is relatively simple. Eddie Murphy is a small-time con artist. Having recently overheard a conversation between several lobbyists and a congressman, Eddie realizes that (in his opinion) being a congressman is the biggest con of all. One day he happens to be in the right place at the right time when a congressman with virtually the same name as his dies. Eddie runs for election to replace the dead congressman with his only platform being that "you know the name". You must know that Eddie wins in a landslide.
Eddie's initial goal is to figure out how he can get as much money as possible. However, as is the case with all con artists, their undoing is when they begin to care. In Eddie's case, his undoing is a beautiful woman and a little girl diagnosed with cancer. The combination of the two makes Eddie care about someone other than himself, and you see Eddie change from that point.
Lane Smith plays Dick Dodge, a senior congressman on the powerful Power and Industry committee. Dick Dodge is a wheeler and dealer who knows all the ins and outs of Washington, and the best way to wield power and profit from his position. Initially Eddie looks to Dick as a mentor. While Eddie initially identified with Dick Dodge, as Eddie discovers that there is a harmful side-effect on ordinary people by the actions of people such as Dodge, Eddie eventually uses his abilities to remove Dodge from power.
This movie is a bit more cerebral than Eddie's typical movies. "Trading Places" was generally slapstick and situational comedy. "Beverly Hills Cop" was one-liners and irony. The humor in this movie is often more subtle, and in some cases may be lost on some viewers. There are places in the movie where the humor is slapstick and one-liners, however, much of the humor is satirical and often harder to discern.
While this movie is certainly not Eddie's best, neither is it among his worst. There are places in the movie that are inspired. However, for every inspired part of the movie there are tired jokes and typical Washington political satire. Worth watching once, and collecting for the avid Eddie Murphy fan, this movie rates a low 4 stars.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on September 11, 2011
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
If you have ever wanted to know how our government works (well it really doesn't work) operates, this movie will give you a clear picture of the working of our congress. If you ever wondered how some of the stupid decisions are made in Washington, this movie will outline the reasons for the stupidity. Washington doesn't care about what is best for the people but instead what benefits the individuals with the most clout. If you are not disgusted by what you see in this movie, you deserve what we are getting from the people we elect to serve us.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on October 29, 2009
Want to be a legal scammer or con-man, go join politics!
This comedy sheds light on the going-ons in political circles. If you've ever wondered why nothing changes in the world, it's because the bozos in politics won't allow concrete change to happen. They wallow their time in games, photo-shoots, and siphoning taxpayers money to their tricks and buddies.
In this movie, comedian Eddie Murphy plays a small-time con-man who saw that the fastest way to make money is to be in the place where money is printed and played - Washington. All you need are big smiles, a great-looking personality, heaps of charisma, and a bag of tricks up your sleeves and a few sleeping partners in crime. When he finally gets to Washington, his first change of heart comes when he meets with a cancer-stricken girl and her mom, and a potential love of his life. A rolling adventure begins as the con-man, Jr. exposes the cons in his superiors in major scandals.
The con games sound like reality to me! If only politicians have a heart and soul these day! They don't want to know that real people are suffering when all they do is to bask in the wealth of taxpayers' money. Now, you know the reality of politicians is to find ways to steal our hard-earned money with all their games!