Henry Fonda plays the role of a lifetime in this election era film where politics is a dirty word. Men trying to be nominated President of the United States at a nominating convention court the outgoing President of their party, but he decides to not favor either one publicly.
Sheer tension, as this one is for all the marbles in a political showdown that starts slowly but builds to a ruthless climax.
For political junkies, fans of Henry Fonda and political drama lovers in general, this one is carried primarily by Henry Fonda at the peak of his movie career while his advisary, Cliff Robertson has just started.
All those backroom deals you hear about are shown here at the convention. All the backstabbing and infighting revealed. The smear campaign of Roberson (as Cantwell) as a right wing, self rightous candidate is brought to bear on Fonda. Fonda has a past of being treated for mental illness and Cantwell, his opponent, is going to release the embarressing truth to a voting convention.
Black and white drama that is brisk and builds with tension as the vote for the party's nomination and sure succession to the Presidency hangs like low fruit on a tree, just waiting to be picked.
Henry Fonda fans will thrill as this "thinking man's" candidate looks as though he could be a real President.
Original Release Date: May 23, 1964
Henry Fonda and Cliff Robertson square off as political adversaries during a presidential primary in this sardonic, insightful drama that brings out the best, and worst, in American politics.
Based on a novel by Gore Vidal, famous writer of the 1960's and real arch enemy of noted right wing columnist William F. Buckley, politico incarnate.
Henry Fonda (as Bill Russell, candidate)
Cliff Robertson (as the evil candidate)
Shelley Berman (1960's comedian)
Edie Adams (real life wife of Ernie Kovacks, comedian)
John Henry Faulk
Costume Designer: Dorothy Jeakins
Composer: Mort Lindsey
Set Decorator : Richard Mansfield
Producer: Stuart Millar
Editor: Robert Swink
Director: Franklin Schaffner
Producer: Lawrence Turman
Screenplay: Gore Vidal (author of the book made to film)
Cinematographer: Haskell Wexler
Art Director: Lyle R. Wheeler