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The Candidate (1972)


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Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 1
Fresh: 0 | Rotten: 1



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Average Rating: 3.5/5
User Ratings: 4,730

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Movie Info

"What do we do now?" Director Michael Ritchie and executive producer/star Robert Redford satirically explore the machinations and manipulations of media-age political campaigns in this cynical political drama. Rumpled left-wing California lawyer Bill McKay (Redford), the son of a former governor (Melvyn Douglas), is enlisted by campaign maestro Marvin Lucas (Peter Boyle) to challenge Republican incumbent Crocker Jarmon (Don Porter) for his Senate seat. McKay agrees, but only if he can say


Drama, Classics

Jeremy Larner

Oct 30, 1997

Warner Bros. Pictures

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All Critics (23) | Top Critics (4) | Fresh (18) | Rotten (1) | DVD (1)

Redford fancies himself so superior to the electoral process that he ends up with a completely fatuous characterization of a politician.

January 14, 2013 Full Review Source: Village Voice
Village Voice
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Good early intro to the political machinery behind the candidates, where the emphasis is clearly only focused on winning

February 12, 2007

The first and arguably the sharpest expose of the new media-determined American political process, The Candidate offers producer-star Redford one of his strongest dramatic roles; Michael Ritchei's 1972 cautionary tale became prophetic in its message

January 17, 2007 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com

Reveals the hollow center of a campaign manipulated by media mercenaries and political Machiavellis who value victory over integrity and substantive moral issues.

February 13, 2002 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice
Spirituality and Practice

This Hollywood film has passed the test of time and is still a good watch, especially, during an election year.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Audience Reviews for The Candidate

A satirical and modern political chronicle.
August 2, 2012
Lucas Martins

Super Reviewer

A lot of fun. Reminds me of Bulworth, but not quite as good.
March 3, 2011

Super Reviewer

I recently re-watched this movie, and I didn't like it so much, but if you are interested in politics, unlike me, you'll like it better than I do. Redford gives a good performance, and he's even kind of funny at times. The main problem is that in most scenes there are lots of people talking all at once. Overall, it's a good story and all, though.
December 29, 2010

Super Reviewer

Subtle and highly effective direction, combined with a darkly cynical and sometimes comical tone and script, make it a memorable, if not entirely perfect political drama. The performances are all strong, with Robert Redford having the ideal charisma and depth for the role (I couldn't help but think of Clooney in Ides of March). It explores political themes and pitfalls better than some other films, but it still has a political bias that holds it back, though not to an extent that the movie is ruined (such as the horrendous The Contender).
January 6, 2012
Jeffrey Meyers

Super Reviewer

    1. Bill McKay: What do I do now?
    – Submitted by Jim E (18 months ago)
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