Contender

The Contender

2.6 3
Director: Rod Lurie, Joan Allen, Gary Oldman, Jeff Bridges

Cast: Rod Lurie, Joan Allen, Gary Oldman, Jeff Bridges

     
 

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The hard-ball gamesmanship and casual character assassination of American politics sets the stage for this thriller from writer and director Rod Lurie. When the Vice President of the United States unexpectedly dies, all eyes in Washington D.C. are on President Jackson Evans (Jeff Bridges) as he chooses a new VP. Sen. Jack Hathaway (William Petersen), a respected

Overview

The hard-ball gamesmanship and casual character assassination of American politics sets the stage for this thriller from writer and director Rod Lurie. When the Vice President of the United States unexpectedly dies, all eyes in Washington D.C. are on President Jackson Evans (Jeff Bridges) as he chooses a new VP. Sen. Jack Hathaway (William Petersen), a respected career politician enjoying a new swell of popularity after a well-publicized attempt to save a drowning woman, is expected to be Evans' choice, but instead he picks Sen. Laine Hanson (Joan Allen), a decision that raises eyebrows on both sides of the political fence. Veteran power broker Shelly Runyon (Gary Oldman) is vehemently opposed to Hanson's appointment, in part because the Democratic senator was once a Republican, and vows to do everything in his power to prevent her from being confirmed. Runyon and his staff start digging for dirt on Hanson, and soon make a surprising discovery -- her personal morality is called into question when it's alleged that she took part in a group sexual liaison while she was a college student. The Contender also stars Mike Binder as one of Hanson's advisors, Mariel Hemingway as an old friend with a surprising secret, Christian Slater as an ambitious congressmen assisting Runyon, and Philip Baker Hall as Hanson's father; it was the second feature from former film critic Rod Lurie.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
An impeccably crafted drama of political intrigue that could have been torn from today’s headlines, The Contender boasts remarkable performances from superb actors interpreting a marvelous script. Joan Allen earned a well-deserved Academy Award nomination in her impassioned portrayal of a U.S. senator whose vice presidential ambitions are threatened by sordid allegations about her college life. Jeff Bridges (also Oscar nominated), portrays the embattled president, wounded politically by the scandal involving his nominee. And Gary Oldman is first-rate as Allen’s accuser, a canny senator from the opposition party who is an experienced Washington infighter. Not so long ago, the depiction of such an incendiary situation might have been dismissed as florid melodrama, but recent history demonstrates that these things can and do happen. Director Rod Lurie reinforces the yarn’s authenticity with scrupulous attention to detail, not only in the physical replication of governmental settings but in the depiction of behind-the-scenes political wrangling as well. Almost hypnotically fascinating, The Contender employs barn burner speeches, bravura performances, and a surprise denouement with extraordinarily compelling results.

Product Details

Release Date:
05/21/2013
UPC:
0883929312511
Original Release:
2000
Source:
Paramount Catalog
Region Code:
1

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Joan Allen Sen. Laine Hanson
Gary Oldman Congressman Sheldon B. Runyon
Jeff Bridges President Jackson Evans
Sam Elliott Kermit Newman
Christian Slater Congressman Reginald Webster
William Petersen Sen. Jack Hathaway
Philip Baker Hall Oscar Billings
Saul Rubinek Jerry Tolliver
Mike Binder Lewis Hollis
Mariel Hemingway Cynthia Lee
Kathryn Morris Fed

Technical Credits
Rod Lurie Director,Screenwriter
Willi Baer Producer
Rainer Bienger Executive Producer
Marc Frydman Producer
Alec Hammond Production Designer
Michael Jablow Editor
Matt Jacobsen Costumes/Costume Designer
Larry Groupe Score Composer
Suzanne Lauer Associate Producer
Maurice Leblond Executive Producer
Steve Loglisci Co-producer
Denis Maloney Cinematographer
Gary Oldman Executive Producer
Scott Shiffman Co-producer
James Spies Producer
Douglas Urbanski Producer

Scene Index

Side #1 --
0. Scene Index
1. What Would You Die For? [6:01]
2. Another Chappaquiddick [5:22]
3. The Plan [6:54]
4. Process of Confirmation [6:30]
5. Objectivity vs. Subjectivity [8:13]
6. Beneath My Dignity [7:00]
7. A Promise of Greatness [7:21]
8. A Little Nervous [5:52]
9. Politics Is an Extension of War [6:29]
10. The Nichols Report [6:30]
11. American Live [3:38]
12. Not Guilty, But Responsible [4:38]
13. A Matter of Choice [2:57]
14. Reluctant Witness [4:39]
15. Confess [4:43]
16. Closing Statement [3:43]
17. Save Face [4:40]
18. Off the Record [9:39]
19. Swan Song [6:58]
20. Curtain Call (End Credits) [7:45]

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The Contender 2.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie was extremely well-directed and acted. Unfortunately, it reeks of liberal propaganda. I mean seriously, who wrote the screenplay, Bill Maher?(although he is just a conservative in liberal clothing). The whole story is an allegory of the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal of the 1990's. Its message is simple, we should not have even been asking what someone is doing with a consenting adult in privacy. I agree. But, this story would never, never, never unfold like this in real life. First of all, it may still be years before a woman has the opportunity to become vice-president. Second, no one, male or female, would allow a smear campaign, like the one in this film, to go on if they could prove that they were innocent. It would be far too damaging to the advancement of women. It is simply too much to ask a person to believe that maintaining a self-righteous stance is more important than becoming a champion for her people. As a liberal, I am highly disappointed with this shameless display of propaganda in such a well-developed work of cinematic art. This film only gives conservatives fuel to burn when speaking of ''holier than thou, bleeding heart, tree huggers.'' Please, for the sake of your own cause, do not let another setback like this slip out.
Guest More than 1 year ago
How could this movie be even thought of? It is just plainly terrible, never could really happen in real real life, and is patronizing. This is why liberals Middle America every time.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago