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The Contender (2000)

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Senator Laine Hanson is a contender for U.S. Vice President, but information and disinformation about her past surfaces that threatens to derail her confirmation.

Director:

Rod Lurie

Writer:

Rod Lurie
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 1 win & 20 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Gary Oldman ... Shelly Runyon
Joan Allen ... Laine Hanson
Jeff Bridges ... President Jackson Evans
Christian Slater ... Reginald Webster
Sam Elliott ... Kermit Newman
William Petersen ... Jack Hathaway
Saul Rubinek ... Jerry Tolliver
Philip Baker Hall ... Oscar Billings
Mike Binder ... Lewis Hollis
Robin Thomas ... William Hanson
Mariel Hemingway ... Cynthia Charlton Lee
Kathryn Morris ... Paige Willomina
Kristen Shaw ... Fiona Hathaway
Douglas Urbanski ... Makerowitz
Noah Fryrear Noah Fryrear ... Timmy
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Storyline

A political thriller about Laine Hanson, a Senator who is nominated to become Vice President following the death of the previous office holder. During the confirmation process, Laine is the victim of a vicious attack on her personal life in which stories of sexual deviancy are spread. She is torn as to whether she should fight back, or stick to her high principles and refuse to comment on the allegations. Written by Ted Johnson

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Sometimes you can assassinate a leader without firing a shot. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexual content and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | Germany | UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 October 2000 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Contender See more »

Filming Locations:

Santa Clarita, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,363,900, 15 October 2000

Gross USA:

$17,872,723

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$22,428,990
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Not only did Joan Allen, Jeff Bridges, and Christian Slater appear in Tucker: The Man and His Dream (1988), Allen and Bridges played Slater's parents. It can be argued that in this movie, veteran politicians President Jackson Evans (Bridges) and Senator Laine Hanson (Allen) act in a "parental" capacity when they attempt to get the young freshman Representative Reginald Webster (Slater) to ultimately do what is right. See more »

Goofs

Senator Hanson is seen jogging in what is undoubtedly meant to be Arlington National Cemetery. Jogging is not permitted in Arlington National Cemetery, and presumably a U.S. Senator would know better than to be seen disrespecting American veterans in such a way. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Jack Hathaway: Well, I bet you've been getting a lot of Churchills. Probably Mandela. Some DeGaulles. But I'd have to go with Anwar Sadat.
See more »

Crazy Credits

For our daughters See more »

Connections

Referenced in 'Minority Report': The Players (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Ebben, Ne Andro Lontana From 'La Wally'
Written by Alfredo Catalani
Performed by Miriam Gauci and Brussels Philharmonic (as the BRT Philharmonic Brussels)
Courtesy Of Naxos of America
By arrangement with Source Q
Courtesy of Naxos of America
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User Reviews

 
So many acting Pros, so few twists
21 October 2000 | by ferguson-6See all my reviews

Greetings again from the darkness. Director Rod Lurie is living my fantasy. After a career as a movie critic, he is now directing some of Hollywood's best (and under-utilized) actors and actresses. This little thriller is fun to watch thanks mostly to the skills of those on the screen. All of these actors should work more ... SHARE your talent. Jeff Bridges is a very pompous, yet charming, smooth talking president. I assume the list to play the president was short, thanks to a couple of script lines about Clinton. Joan Allen is excellent as the cool senator with the lurid past (?) who is nominated for the VP slot. Gary Oldman, who continues to reinvent the role of CREEP, steals every scene he is in. Of course, this happens in all of his movies! It is always nice to see Sam Elliott and William Petersen on screen. And I guess Christian Slater is trying to salvage a career after the disastrous "Very Bad Things". He has lost some smugness and tempered his Jack Nicholson dialect. My only disappointment with the movie was in the script. Although I love the subject matter and the issues raised, I kept waiting for the shoe to drop on Gary Oldman's charater's deep, dark secret. Jeff Bridges stifling his political career seem quite the letdown. Would have really enjoyed a few more plot twists to really test the audience and cast. My tidbit for this one comes from the career of Sam Elliott. Next time you are watching "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid", check out a young Sam Elliott in the early card playing scene. Also, William Petersen's power-hungry wife in "The Contender" is played by Kristen Shaw, a carry-over from Rod Lurie's film, "Deterrence".


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