Best Movies by Farr
The Candidate Poster
Released Runtime Category
1972 110 Drama
Director Language
Michael Ritchie English
Robert Redford, Peter Boyle, Melvyn Douglas, Don Porter, Allen Garfield, Karen Carlson

The Candidate

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What's it About

With the help of campaign manager Melvin Lucas (Boyle), progressive California lawyer Bill McKay (Redford) agrees to run for a seat in the Senate against Republican incumbent Crocker Jarmon (Porter), though he has little chance of winning. Constituents respond to his candidacy, though, and as his popularity grows, McKay finds himself increasingly losing control over his message and surrendering his long-held ideals in the race to win.

Why we love it

Michael Ritchie's verité-style, bitingly cynical send-up of electoral politics resonated with viewers in the year of Nixon's reelection campaign; yet it still feels utterly contemporary, partly due to the participation of actual journalists and media personalities. Redford brilliantly plays the greenhorn who's forced to compromise and then modify his media image, Boyle and Allen Garfield are equally fun as his cagey chief strategists, and Melvyn Douglas's brief turn as McKay's aged father, a former governor, is a nice touch. What do we do now? See "The Candidate"!

BEST MOVIES BY FARR is your personal guide to great movies to rent, stream, or buy; to watch at home or on-the-go. Led by film advocate John Farr, the Best Movies by Farr team works as a "quality filter" for the discerning moviegoer. Every day, we bring you the best of the best, the fantastic familiar films and hidden gems, to answer that age-old question: "What should we watch tonight?"