The Candidate

The Candidate

Michael Ritchie (1972)

PG Certificate


Our Score
Robert Redford's engaging performance here breathes fresh life into the all-power-corrupts theme, and the sharply observed situations won an Oscar for scriptwriter Jeremy Larner. Striving "to do an Abe Lincoln", Redford plays the idealistic lawyer who succumbs to mass-merchandising politics when he sets out to be a senator, alienating his wife (Karen Carlson) and compromising his principles with a campaign engineered by party managers Peter Boyle and Allen Garfield. Director Michael Ritchie and Redford made the skiing exposé Downhill Racer in 1969, and the word "downhill" could apply to the morality in this movie, which Ritchie - interspersing contemporary political events with fiction - gives a documentary-like credibility.


A principled lawyer agrees to run for election to the US senate, on the condition that his party runs an honest campaign. However, as his chances of victory improve, he begins making moral compromises to secure victory. Political drama, starring Robert Redford, Peter Boyle, Karen Carlson and Melvyn Douglas.

Cast & Crew

Bill McKay Robert Redford
Marvin Lucas Peter Boyle
Senator "Crocker" Jarmon Don Porter
Howard Klein Allen Garfield
Nancy McKay Karen Carlson
Rich Jenkin Quinn Redeker
Wally Henderson Morgan Upton
Paul Corliss Michael Lerner
Starkey Kenneth Tobey
John J McKay Melvyn Douglas
David Chris Prey
Neil Atkinson Joe Miksak
Lynn Jenny Sullivan
Pilot Tom Dahlgren
Stationmaster Gerald Hiken
Mabel Leslie Allen
Director Michael Ritchie
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: Columbia-Warner DistsGuidance: Contains swearing. Available on: video and DVD