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The Candidate Reviews

Handlers, spin-doctors, and the good man they lead astray. Jeremy Larner's Academy Award-winning screenplay provides a voyage into the sea of politics; the result is a fascinating film that sometimes feels like a documentary. Despite minor glitches, this is a prophetic glimpse of politics in the age of TV. Redford plays an altruistic attorney whose father (Douglas) was California's governor. Having seen all the dirt as a young man, Redford has no interest in politics. Porter is the typical big-state senator--bluff, hearty, and full of bull--there doesn't seem to be anyone who can come close to defeating him in the next election. Boyle asks Redford to run for office. After some soul-searching, Redford agrees--with the proviso that his father be kept out of the campaign and that he, Redford, be allowed to say what he feels with no political tracts being pushed upon him by the party. His candor appeals to the public, and he begins to climb in the opinion polls. With popularity behind him, will he sell out? This, ironically enough, is the film that inspired Dan Quayle to enter politics.