The President's Analyst
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Here's the short version of my review of the DVD . Here's what you need to know about this new DVD version .
The original music has been restored . The meadow scene ( perhaps the very heart of the film ) has been restored . The picture quality is SUPERB . The audio quality is excellent .
This is the version of this wonderful and influential film , that you want to buy .
Although Flicker, over the objections of the studio, removed the hilarious "meet cute" scene, in which Sidney (James Coburn) meets Nan (Joan Delaney), before release, the film is a masterpiece. (I do not know if the studio has replaced this scene for this release).
Godfrey Cambridge, who was a magnificent comedic actor and stand-up comedian, teams up with Severn Darden, who began his career with the original Second City theatre in Chicago. Their interplay is magic, and this film should serve as a special tribute to their memory.
This is the one film I recommend more than any other to friends and colleagues. Definitely one of the 20 films on my Top 10 list, it's a must see.
Written and directed by Theodore J. Flicker, who also worked on a number of television shows including The Dick Van Dyke Show, I Dream of Jeanie, and The Man from U.N.C.L.E, The President's Analyst stars James Colburn as Dr. Sidney Schaefer, a New York psychiatrist who finds himself in the position of being chosen to listen to the problems of the most powerful man in the world, the President of the United States. At first, it seems like a dream position, but soon Sidney realizes it's a lot more than he can handle, as the President does not make appointments with Sidney, but expects him to be 'on call' 24/7, and signals Sidney whenever he needs him through the use of flashing red signal lights in Sidney's office, his home, and even his soup. As the pressures, odd hours and the extreme weight of the problems shared by the president wear on Sidney, his paranoia grows as he sees spies around every corner. Let's face it, how valuable would the President's analyst be to a foreign, or even friendly, power? Sidney's growing paranoia along with his inability to discuss his own problems with his peers due to possible threats to national security, causes Sidney to have a sort of nervous breakdown, to which he decides to run away, hoping to find a little peace and maybe a way out of the situation.Read more ›
The basic premise is Sidney(James Coburn)has been recuited as the President's analyst. At first he finds the sessions enthralling but as more and more security restrictions are imposed on him, the pressure builds until finally he takes it on the lam. This creates a tempest within the intelligence community and puts a bull's-eye square on Sidney's back. Everyone wants Sidney for what he can tell them or what he might tell the other guy. I don't know what anyone could possibly find dated in this story. Basically, it would play exactly the same today as it did in 1968. The intelligence community hasn't gone anywhere, it's only gotten dumb and dumber. Actually, today it might play exactly like this for real.
Let me digress and talk about how good everyone is in this great movie. Coburn, Godfrey Cambridge, Severn Dardern, William Daniels, Pat Harrington and everyone down to the smallest role are fabulous. Flicker's screenplay and direction seem effortless and freewheeling. The music is ultra cool, especially Barry McGuire's Changes. The only possible knock I could give is there's not a lot of style to the cinematography and editing after the first twenty minutes or so but it's really not a problem and my only gripe.
So far I've been describing a teriffic movie but this is much more. This is a movie forty or fifty or more years ahead of its time. On the order of Metropolis or 2001:A Space Odyssey this movie's vision is more true today than it was when it was first released.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A Favorite classic movie for my collection !
Recommend it for anyone with a sense of humor about comedies of the 60's !
There is something I love about groovy 1960s comedies - What's New Pussycat, Casino Royale, and this movie, The President's Analyst - I think are the best of the bunch. Read morePublished 1 month ago by James T. Barringer
Total nostalgia bomb, but it still, surprisingly, has some interesting things to say about looking at power.Published 3 months ago by P. Galloway
An unexpected comedy/ drama by James Coburn. I didn't expect it to be so zany from the cover art. It was part comedy/drama/social commentary type of movies that are no fan of the... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Picardfan007
This flick was made in a time when Hollywood was turning out movies with complicated twists at the end. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Ted
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