Directed by Michael Ritchie
Robert Redford, in one of his unjustly overlooked films from 1972, stars as a lawyer and the son of the former governor of the state of California in an election year where the senatorial incumbent has no competition. Peter Boyle convinces Redford to run, fully expecting and anticipating to lose, therefore being able to run on a platform of pure integrity to show how out of touch the current senator has become. But suddenly the public realizes that some fresh, younger blood with an idealistic eye might be what they truly want rather than another in a long succession of terms by the same old huckster.
Melvyn Douglas also stars as Redfords father. Even though this film is 23 years old, the Oscar-winning screenplay by Jeremy Larner shows just how timeless the same old issues the candidate has to decide where he stands upon (abortion, the environment, health care) actually are. The script really is eye-opening, because it underlines very well the point that even if, say, Jesus Christ were to run for office today, what He would say is not as important as how and when Hed say it. Directed by Michael Ritchie (Smile, The Bad News Bears, Semi-Tough), one of the few American directors who has been able to successfully show the black humor of the strange, fetid underbelly of competition in this society. Blink and youll miss Natalie Wood at a fund-raiser. Completely climatized to the Seventies, she looks like Donovans aide-de-camp.