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Bob Roberts
     

Bob Roberts

Director: Tim Robbins, Giancarlo Esposito, Alan Rickman, Ray Wise

Cast: Tim Robbins, Giancarlo Esposito, Alan Rickman, Ray Wise

 

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In the tradition of This Is Spinal Tap, producer/ director/ star Tim Robbins' Bob Roberts is a satire disguised as a documentary. Robbins plays the titular Roberts, a wealthy, well-connected young man running for a senatorial seat in Pennsylvania. On the surface, Roberts is an ingratiating glad-hander, a sincere believer in the restoration of such

Overview

In the tradition of This Is Spinal Tap, producer/ director/ star Tim Robbins' Bob Roberts is a satire disguised as a documentary. Robbins plays the titular Roberts, a wealthy, well-connected young man running for a senatorial seat in Pennsylvania. On the surface, Roberts is an ingratiating glad-hander, a sincere believer in the restoration of such intangibles as national pride, family values, etc. But the longer Roberts is followed about by documentary filmmaker Brian Murray, the more we become aware that the candidate is a textbook case of cynicism and contempt. Only Giancarlo Esposito, a reporter for an underground newspaper, is willing to dig beneath Roberts' veneer--a habit that leads to the film's ironic conclusion. Several well-known actors make cameo appearances as TV commentators, notably Tim Robbins' longtime partner Susan Sarandon. Bob Roberts started out as a Tim Robbins-directed short subject for the TV series Saturday Night Live, then was expanded into a $4 million feature.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
An ambitious, audacious directorial debut for Tim Robbins, this deft and occasionally savage satire displays a healthy contempt for our political process and the media that covers it. Robbins casts himself as Bob Roberts, a wealthy, rabidly right-wing folk singer determined to unseat liberal, longtime Senator Brickley Paiste (acidly played by novelist Gore Vidal). The resulting campaign reaches ludicrous heights of hypocrisy, with both candidates vying for the attention of an anesthetized public that seems to value show-biz panache over ideological integrity. Half mockumentary and half polemic, Bob Roberts is simultaneously exhilarating and depressing: Robbins portrays our political system as irreversibly corrupt, a cruel charade that encourages unqualified boobs to seek political office based on the size of their wallets and their egos. But this 1992 film is intelligent, energetic, and vibrantly acted; and the passage of time seems to have confirmed many of Robbins's trenchant observations. The Artisan Entertainment special-edition DVD includes an audio commentary track and behind-the-scenes footage.
All Movie Guide
Released just before the start of the Clinton presidency, Bob Roberts was a prescient pseudo-documentary take on the corruption of American politics by the media-savvy celebrity culture. As the second-term Clinton scandals broke, Wag the Dog, Primary Colors, and Bulworth took art-imitating-current-events irony even further, but Bob Roberts paved the way. The first writing/directing effort of actor Tim Robbins, the film stars Robbins as a self-promoting folk-singer who lauches a cynical, dirty senatorial campaign against an aging liberal incumbent played by Gore Vidal. Robbins wrote the script, directed the film, and even wrote the songs that his character performs. Something of a homage to Robert Altman's Nashville and Tanner '88, Bob Roberts is pure acid in its take on postmodern image-making, media manipulation, and political scheming.

Product Details

Release Date:
05/25/1994
UPC:
0012236989837
Original Release:
1992
Rating:
R
Source:
Live / Artisan

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Tim Robbins Bob Roberts
Giancarlo Esposito Bugs Raplin
Alan Rickman Lukas Hart III
Ray Wise Chet MacGregor
Brian Doyle-Murray Terry Manchester
Gore Vidal Senator Brickley Paiste
Rebecca Jenkins Delores Perrigrew
Harry J. Lennix Franklin Dockett
John Ottavino Clark Anderson
Robert Stanton Bart Macklerooney
John Cusack Cutting Edge Host (special appearance)
Peter Gallagher News Anchor Dan Riley
Pamela Reed News Anchor Carol Cruise
Susan Sarandon News Anchor Tawna Titan
James Spader News Anchor Chuck Marin
David Strathairn Bug's Attorney Mack Laflin
Fred Ward News Anchor Chip Daley
Bob Balaban Producer Michael Janes, "Cutting Edge Live"
Helen Hunt Reporter Rose Pondell
Fisher Stevens Reporter Rock Bork
Rhonda Aldrich Actor
Larry John Meyers Police Spokesman
Susan Shaw Dancer
Merrilee Dale Polly Roberts
Tom Atkins Dr. Caleb Menck
Lynne Thigpen Kelly Noble
Bingo O'Malley Robert Roberts Sr.
Kathleen Chalfant Constance Roberts
Ruth Lesko School Teacher
Jack Black Roger
Anita Gillette Mrs. Davis
Matthew Faber Calvin
Matt McGrath Burt
Charles R. Altman Debate Moderator
Shannon Holt Rita the Obsessive Fan
Steve Pink Penn State Protester
Don Hewitt Stunts #1
Jerry Hewitt Stunts #2
Angela Hall Choir Soloist
Allan Nicholls Director, "Cutting Edge Live"
June Stein Carol, "Cutting Edge Live"
Adam Simon Head Writer, "Cutting Edge Live"
Ned Bellamy Uzi Kornhauser, "Cutting Edge Live"
Natalie Strong Kala Kornhauser, "Cutting Edge Live"
Pat Logan Policeman
Robert Hegyes Reporter Ernesto Galleano
Anthony di Leo Reporter
Ann Talman Reporter
Lamont Arnold Reporter
Adele Robbins Vigilante
Paul Quinn Vigilante
Dean Robinson Vigilante
Jeremy Piven Candle Seller
Lee Arenberg Religious Zealot
Brent Hinkley Bif the Patriot
Don Brockett Chairman
Tom Tully Reporter
Linda King DC Reporter

Technical Credits
Tim Robbins Director,Songwriter,Screenwriter
Tim Bevan Executive Producer
James Bigwood Associate Producer
Lisa Churgin Editor
Richard Hoover Production Designer
Jeannee Josefczyk Makeup
Brian Kasch Set Decoration/Design
Bridget Kelly Costumes/Costume Designer
Gary Kosko Art Director
Jean Lepine Cinematographer
Forrest Murray Producer
Allan Nicholls Associate Producer
David Robbins Score Composer
Ronna Wallace Executive Producer
Paul Webster Executive Producer

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