5 November 2012 | ma-cortes
Overlong but splendid political drama that populates the vision of the American Senate
A brilliant adaptation of a known bestseller dealing with politic intrigues and plenty of familiar faces formed by an all-star-cast who gives extraordinary acting . Senate investigation into the President's newly nominated Secretary of State , gives light to a secret from the past , which may not only ruin the candidate , but the President's character as well. Then the USA senate presided by the Vice President (Lew Ayres) at is called upon to confirm the controversial nominee by President (Franchot Tone) for Secretary of State (Henry Fonda) . But the nominee is accused as communist by Herbert Gelman (Burguess Meredith ,in real life, he was himself named an "unfriendly witness" by the House Un-American Activities Committee, which nearly ruined his career and Will Geer, who plays the Senate minority leader, was also blacklisted for refusing to name names before the same Committee) , he testifies against Leffingwell at the latter's confirmation hearing, claiming that the two of them were members of a Communist cell . A Southern Senator (flamboyant acting by Charles Laughton) strongly opposes himself the appointment . Meantime , a senator (Don Murray) is blackmailed (the blackmail attempt is based on the case of Wyoming Senator Lester C. Hunt, who was blackmailed by members of the Republican Party).
Gripping and long movie that contains over-the-top performances, engrossing drama , intrigue , corruption , political events and a special vision of US Senate and its behind-the-scenes Washington . Thought-provoking and stimulating film in which abounds top-drawer acting among the popular stars ; interesting screenplay from Allen Drury bestselling novel wheeling with a suspenseful intrigue about a controversial senator promoted to Secretary of State . When Allen Drury was writing the novel , John F. Kennedy, upon whom the character Senator Lafe Smith was based, was a young Senator with ambitions to be President. When the movie came out Kennedy was President, and Lafe Smith was played by Peter Lawford who was, at that time, married to Kennedy's sister Patricia . Main and support cast are very fine , there abounds magnificent performances as Don Murray , Paul Ford , Walter Pidgeon , Peter Lawford , Gene Tierney , Edward Andrews , Malcolm Atterbury and Franchot Tone , among others . Fascinating interpretation by Charles Laughton at his final movie , easily the most stimulating acting . Furthermore , stands out Henry Fonda who gives an adequate underplaying and the scene-stealing best , George Grizzard . Good production design by Lyle Wheeler , for the scenes taking place inside the US Senate, Columbia dusted off its senate set built for Mr Smith Goes to Washington. Appropriate cinematography in Panavision by Sam Leavitt , though also there is a horrible version being shown in computer-colored . Atmospheric and appropriate musical score by Jerry Fielding .
This engrossing , riveting picture was effective and compellingly directed by Otto Preminger . At the beginning he became a stage director and subsequently a notorious secondary actor . Otto directed several films , nowadays many of them are considered as classic movies . He made ¨Laura¨ that was released in 1944 and Preminger ranked as one of the top directors in the world . He realized all kind of genres as Court drama such as the great success ¨Anatomy of a murder¨, ¨Court martial of Billy Mitchell¨ , Noir film as ¨Laura¨ which made him an A-list director in Hollwyood , ¨Angel Face¨ , ¨Man with a golden arm¨, Religious drama as ¨The Cardinal¨ , Musical as ¨Porgy and Bess¨, ¨Carmen Jones¨ , Western as ¨River with no return¨ and historical as ¨Saint Joan¨, ¨Exodus¨ though also had some flop as ¨Rosebud¨ getting scathing reviews , though with ¨The human factor¨ won him respectful notices . However , his powers began to wane after and by the end of the decade of the 60s he was considered washed-up . ¨Advise and Consent¨ resulted to be one of the his best films . Rating : Better than average , Worthwhile watching .