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The Man (1972)

G | | Drama | 19 July 1972 (USA)
An African-American senator becomes the designated survivor of a tragic accident that kills the President of the United States. Now the first black President, he attempts to end the bigotry and divide standing in his way.

Director:

Joseph Sargent

Writers:

Irving Wallace (novel), Rod Serling (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
James Earl Jones ... Douglass Dilman
Martin Balsam ... Jim Talley
Burgess Meredith ... Senator Watson
Lew Ayres ... Noah Calvin
William Windom ... Arthur Eaton
Barbara Rush ... Kay Eaton
Georg Stanford Brown ... Robert Wheeler
Janet MacLachlan ... Wanda
Martin E. Brooks ... Wheeler's Lawyer (as Martin Brooks)
Simon Scott Simon Scott ... Hugh Gaynor
Patric Knowles ... South African Consul
Robert DoQui ... Webson
Anne Seymour ... Ma Blore
Edward Faulkner ... Secret Service Man
Gilbert Green Gilbert Green ... Congressman Hand
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Storyline

When the President and Speaker of the House are killed in a building collapse, and the Vice-President declines the office due to age and ill-health, Senate President pro tempore Douglas Dilman (James Earl Jones) suddenly becomes the first black man to occupy the Oval Office. The events from that day to the next election when he must decide if he will actually run challenge his skills as a politician and leader. Written by Kevin Lantry

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Fate thrust him into the biggest job in the world...President of the United States. Now he wonders if he's big enough to do it. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

G
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 July 1972 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La loi de succession See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Originally made for television, but released theatrically instead. A "Publisher's Weekly" article from 1972 claimed that the decision was due to the quality of the film, but contemporary sources claimed that the controversial elements scared off potential sponsors. See more »

Quotes

Wanda: How are you, Dad?
Douglass Dilman: Numb! Numbness being a, er, defence mechanism.
Wanda: Against what?
Douglass Dilman: Against... against breaking into small pieces. They flew you here? From Ohio?
Wanda: On an Air Force jet, no less. Two Secret Servicemen came right into my dorm and got me.
Douglass Dilman: What's known as the long arm of Government!
Douglass Dilman: It's nice to have you in the nation's capital for something other than a protest march.
Wanda: Well, I guess I'll have to cool that sort of thing for a while.
Douglass Dilman: I think maybe so. You are now a member of the nation's ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Featured in 15th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards (2009) See more »

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User Reviews

Very Well Made TV-Movie
10 May 2004 | by Eric-62-2See all my reviews

First off, the last reviewer doesn't know what he's talking about when he says the Constitutional fluke that makes James Earl Jones president is "fictional." It is indeed true that when the President, Vice-President and Speaker Of The House are all dead and/or incapacitated the President Pro Tempore of the Senate becomes President. The only stretch is that the job usually goes to the most senior member of the majority Party of the Senate, and not to someone as young as Jones' senator is.

Also, there is no assassination plot against the President in the movie.

As for the movie itself, despite the fact that it is penned by Rod Serling (from Irving Wallace's novel), it is remarkably less free of the kind of pretentious liberalism that marred his script for "Seven Days In May." In fact, what is remarkable for the film is how it falls much closer to the center of the spectrum politically in comparison to what Hollywood churns out today like "West Wing".

Jerry Goldsmith's score is the best work he ever did for a TV-movie and hopefully some day it will find its way to CD as many other obscure TV scores of his have.


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