The Best Man (1964)

Approved   |    |  Drama


The Best Man (1964) Poster

The 2 front runners for their party's presidential nomination, one principled and the other ruthless, vie for the former President's endorsement.


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18 July 2016 | SnoopyStyle
8
| political movie of the era
In a Presidential convention, William Russell (Henry Fonda) and Joe Cantwell (Cliff Robertson) are the leading candidates. Russell is a principled intellectual with personal issues that could haunt him. His estranged wife Alice is supportive publicly. Cantwell is a populist on the outside, and a ruthless opportunist on the inside. His wife is superficial. They struggle for the endorsement of the departing President Art Hockstader. Cantwell threatens to Hockstader that he would release Russell's secret psychiatric hospital records. In his all important speech, Hockstader doesn't give a direct endorsement throwing the convention open. He has concerns about Russell but vows to stop Cantwell.

This is a political movie of the era. The main characters are referencing politicians of the time. It loses a little with the passage of time. Fonda and Robertson are exceptional. Writer Gore Vidal injects the movie with plenty of behind the scenes realism. It is more real than most political thrillers of that era.

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