Advise and Consent

1962

Advise and Consent

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.

82%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 11

89%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 1,896
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Advise and Consent Photos

Movie Info

The first of Allen Drury's "all names changed to protect the guilty" political novels, Advise and Consent was brought to the screen by producer/director Otto Preminger. The film hinges upon the appointment of Robert Leffingwell (Henry Fonda) to Secretary of State. Leffingwell has been hand-picked by the President (Franchot Tone), meaning that there'll be a battle on the Senate floor between adherents of and opponents to the current administration. Among the participants are veteran Dixiecrat Charles Laughton, freshman Senator Don Murray and powerseeker George Grizzard. Burgess Meredith also shows up as a man who is brought into the Senate to "prove" that Leffingwell is a communist. To neutralize Murray, Grizzard threatens to dredge up a homosexual incident in Murray's past, which results in the latter's suicide. Advise and Consent is a slow and old-fashioned film, coming to life only when Laughton and Grizzard are on screen--and in the climax, in which the fate of Leffingwell's appointment is left in the hands of acting President Lew Ayres.

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Cast

Henry Fonda
as Robert Leffingwell
Charles Laughton
as Sen. Seabright Cooley
Don Murray
as Sen. Brigham Anderson
Walter Pidgeon
as Senate Majority Leader
Peter Lawford
as Sen. Lafe Smith
George Grizzard
as Sen. Fred Van Ackerman
Gene Tierney
as Dolly Harrison
Franchot Tone
as The President
Lew Ayres
as The Vice-President
Burgess Meredith
as Herbert Gelman
Eddie Hodges
as Johnny Leffingwell
Paul Ford
as Sen. Stanley Dante
Inga Swenson
as Ellen Anderson
Paul McGrath
as Hardiman Fletcher
Will Geer
as Senate Minority Leader
Betty White
as Sen. Bessie Adams
Malcolm Atterbury
as Sen. Tom August
Russ Brown
as Nightwatchman
Edward Andrews
as Sen. Knox
Sid Gould
as Bartender
J. Edward McKinley
as Sen. Hanson
Bill Quinn
as Sen. Hendershot
Tiki Santos
as Sen. Kanaho
Raoul de Leon
as Sen. Velez
Tom Helmore
as British Ambassador
Michele Montau
as Celestine Barre
Hilary Eaves
as Lady Maudulayne
Chet Stratton
as Rev. Birch
John Granger
as Ray Shaff
Rene Paul
as French Ambassador
Janet Jane Carty
as Pidge Anderson
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Critic Reviews for Advise and Consent

All Critics (11) | Top Critics (3)

  • The settings are powerfully like real. A Senate hearing room, the Senate itself, a party home in immediate Washington and varying apartments plus a place in DC suburbia all have the look of genuineness.

    Oct 23, 2007 | Full Review…

    Variety Staff

    Variety
    Top Critic
  • Grips like a vice thanks to the skill with which Preminger's stunning mise en scène absorbs documentary detail.

    Feb 9, 2006

    Tom Milne

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • There are many other dull and naughty characters in this brisk whirl on the Washington merry-go-round.

    Jun 11, 2005 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • You can't hire a judge without breaking a few nerves. This insightful political film is terrific.

    Aug 15, 2011 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
  • Viewing it today, its quaintness and timidness make it seem out of step with the even more insidious contemporary times.

    Feb 22, 2008 | Rating: C+ | Full Review…
  • A poignant, biting expose of the American political process, boasting a large ensemble of terrific actors (Fonda, Laughton), Preminger's saga set the trend of future, more sensationalitsic political melodramas like Fail Safe and All the President's Men.

    Dec 14, 2007 | Rating: A- | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Advise and Consent

  • Dec 31, 2014
    A brilliant examination of American politics, blind hypocrisy, idealism, and self-interest. For my money, it's one of Don Murray's finest performances. The sets and locations are excellent, and as best as I can tell, at least some are authentic. (The film's trailer indicates that certain scenes were actually filmed in a real senate committee room!) Altogether, an excellent and exciting film.
    Christian C Super Reviewer
  • Jan 05, 2012
    A great political drama full of marvelous performances from all involved. Ahead of itsâ(TM) time in the examination of political witch hunts and blackmail, as well as other taboo subjects very rarely examined in film at that time. A fantastic script and good direction make it both enthralling and tense.
    Jeffrey M Super Reviewer
  • Nov 17, 2011
    Its a bit scatterbrained for my taste, as it shifts back and forth between characters at odd moments. It also spends way too much time on the build-up to the reveal of a homosexual love affair (although the brief sequence in the gay bar proved less offensive than I anticipated) but there are enough strong performances and a well earned ambiguous ending that help earn it a passing grade from me.
    Alec B Super Reviewer
  • Oct 27, 2011
    "Advise and Consent" is a political drama and also the last of Charles Laughton's performances and features a solid performance along with the other stars including Henry Fonda. This is a deliberately slower film and one that requires your full attention but is ultimately watchable thanks to it's talented cast and solidly acted performances. It's a dialogue driven film and one that gives an interesting look behind the closed doors of our Nation's leaders and what influences them and their jobs. It's interesting enough to hold our attention but a little long and flounders at times but ultimately picks up at the end.
    Chris B Super Reviewer

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