A great film from 1972 that is scary in its relevance to politics today, THE CANDIDATE is funny and insightful.
Robert Redford stars as Bill McKay, a young idealistic lawyer with no political aspirations. When heavy hitting political operative Marvin Lucas (Peter Boyle) needs an outsider to "shake up the status quo" (sound familiar??) he gives McKay a challenge.
He has no chance of winning against the popular long time incumbent, Senator Crocker Jarmon, so McKay can say whatever he wants to and set his own priorities.
When McKay's charm and straight forward, no BS delivery begins wowing voters, Mckay finds the ground shifting under his feet.
Melvyn Douglas (Being There, Hud) plays Bill's father and long-time politician John J. Mckay. Watching the elder McKay's interaction with his son throughout the campaign is fascinating.
Don Porter, a veteran TV actor from every hit show of the 70's is perfectly cast as the lifetime political veteran, Jarmon.
Allen Garfield (Nashville, The Cotton Club) also excels as campaign ad man Klein, who can tweak any message to any cause.
Director Michael Ritchie (Fletch, Smile, Downhill Racer) is on point weaving plenty of humor and intrigue into the politics and screenwriter Jeremy Larner only wrote one other film, winning an Academy Award for this intelligent script.
Redford is excellent, never less than 100% believable as he battles against the invasion of politics into his core ideals.
Smart, funny and damn entertaining THE CANDIDATE is a winner and lands an A.