HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Unearth
Circumstantial Pleasures
Tyger Tyger
Filmmaker's House, The
Man Standing Next, The
Rock, Paper and Scissors
Batman: The Long Halloween Part One
Salaam Bombay!
Boss Level
My Heart Can't Beat Unless You Tell It To
Edge of the World
PTU
Superdeep
Insignificance
Treasure City
Piccadilly
Parallel
Invasión
Shiva Baby
Flowers of Shanghai
War and Peace
Agony
Merrily We Go to Hell
Ellie & Abbie (& Ellie's Dead Aunt)
Amusement Park, The
Lemebel
Hands of Orlac, The
Cats
Death has Blue Eyes
Caveat
Kala Azar
Duplicate
Flashback
Gunda
After Love
Earwig and the Witch
Zebra Girl
Skull: The Mask
Vanquish
Bank Job
   
 
Newest Articles
Sherlock vs Ripper: Murder by Decree on Blu-ray
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
Hong Kong Dreamin': World of Wong Kar Wai on Blu-ray
Buckle Your Swash: The Devil-Ship Pirates on Blu-ray
Way of the Exploding Fist: One Armed Boxer on Blu-ray
A Lot of Growing Up to Do: Fast Times at Ridgemont High on Blu-ray
Oh My Godard: Masculin Feminin on Blu-ray
Let Us Play: Play for Today Volume 2 on Blu-ray
Before The Matrix, There was Johnny Mnemonic: on Digital
More Than Mad Science: Karloff at Columbia on Blu-ray
Indian Summer: The Darjeeling Limited on Blu-ray
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
Network Double Bills: All Night Long and Ballad in Blue
Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out: Romeo is Bleeding on Blu-ray
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
   
 
  Candidate, The Vote Often
Year: 1972
Director: Michael Ritchie
Stars: Robert Redford, Peter Boyle, Melvyn Douglas, Don Porter, Allen Garfield, Karen Carlson, Quinn K. Redeker, Morgan Upton, Michael Lerner, Kenneth Tobey, Chris Prey, Joe Miksak, Jenny Sullivan, Tom Dahlgren, Gerald Hiken, Natalie Wood, Groucho Marx
Genre: DramaBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 2 votes)
Review: Marvin Lucas (Peter Boyle) is a political player who has just seen his candidate for the Democratic nomination to Senator of California fail miserably, and is now on the lookout for a new man to orchestrate a campaign around. The fellow he chooses is a son of a former governor and crusading lawyer for the poor, Bill McKay (Robert Redford), but he is going to take no small amount of persuasion to stand, especially as the Republican senator, Crocker Jarman (Don Porter), is generally regarded as safe in his position. So Lucas offers McKay a proposal: if he stands, yes, he will lose, but he will get to bring up his favourite issues to the public eye...

The Candidate was scripted by Jeremy Larner, who was no stranger to the world of which he wrote having been a speech writer for the famously left wing Democrat Eugene J. McCarthy. However, Larner was not out to toe any party lines, he was set on highlighting the fact that no matter which side you were on, it was solely a matter of image and spin that ensured whether you would win political office. Additionally, it marked the start of a run of strong, acerbic films throughout the seventies from director Michael Ritchie, and was one of his finest.

Ritchie did not exactly aim for documentary style here, but he did try and make McKay's experiences as convincing as possible. Indeed, if you were at all optimistic about American politics before, you certainly won't be by the time this film has finished, and the campaign depicted here can easily be translated to those of politicians in other countries. The thirtysomething McKay is photogenic - after all, he's played by Robert Redford - and the film emphasises that his youth and good looks are his best asset, so that the voters are not so much listening to what he has to say about his pet projects, and more interested in him because he and his wife Nancy (Karen Carlson) are very dishy.

While McKay has the looks of a winner, Ritchie and Larner do their level best to undercut him at every turn. You could say they go overboard in doing so, with the would-be senator talking to an almost-empty hall at one stage, fighting against technical hitches while trying to make his speeches, and even being punched to the ground by a violent Republican voter. If the filmmakers are emphasising how demoralising the campaign trial is, then they couldn't have done a better job, and McKay is steadily beaten down, not only by his rival, but by circumstances conspiring against him.

Can he get his message across? Not really, because the most provocative statements he wishes to make about race, poverty, pollution and other liberal causes close to his way of thinking are toned down by his team in the journey from opinion to ensure that they are far from incendiary. The only time he goes off-script to really get his anger off his chest in a live television debate ends up with Jarman hotheadedly claiming McKay is calling for violent uprising, which he is not. Jarman may be smug, patronsing and deeply conservative, but McKay can't help but look inexperienced (at best) in comparison, which would be fine for the Democrat if, knowing he was going to lose, he could get his true beliefs aired but that is not what happens. The Candidate is superbly made, and may feature Redford's best performance, but its tone is so negative that even when it ends you are left with no faith in the system, and that can be dispiriting, not to mention wearying. Music by John Rubinstein.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 5226 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Michael Ritchie  (1938 - 2001)

American director, from television, whose films of the 1970s showed an interesting, sardonic take on America. After sour skiing drama Downhill Racer, he had an unhappy experience on the bizarre Prime Cut before a run of acclaimed movies: political satire The Candidate, the excellent Smile, coarse comedy The Bad News Bears, and another sporting comedy Semi-Tough.

Moving into the 1980s, Ritchie lost his edge with such lukewarm efforts as The Island, underwhelming comedy The Survivors, the not bad Fletch and its very bad sequel, Eddie Murphy vehicle The Golden Child and The Couch Trip, but he made a brief return to form in the early 1990s with boxing comedy Diggstown.

 
Review Comments (2)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
Andrew Pragasam
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
   

 

Last Updated: