6.9/10
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371 user 142 critic

The Contender (2000)

Trailer
2:24 | Trailer
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

The film unites three cast members from the Hannibal Lecter (Lecktor) film franchise: Joan Allen and William Petersen appeared in Manhunter (1986), and Gary Oldman was in Hannibal (2001). See more »

Goofs

Near the end of the movie when the President is walking onto the podium to give his speech to Congress, the camera pans across the back of the Assistant Cameraman wearing a gray ball cap and holding the remote focus device for the camera. 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

References The Godfather (1972) See more »

Soundtracks

Something Peculiar
Written and performed by Julianna Raye
Courtesy of Ziffy Music
See more »

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User Reviews

A very accurate portrayal of women in politics
26 March 2001 | by edith_gagneSee all my reviews

The Contender is a film with the potential to take any conscientious person with even a mild interest in how governments are run , and who the leaders are through a non-stop roller-coaster ride of challenge, triumph, pain, failure, and morality. Although I intensely appreciated this movie, I do not believe this could have been an oscar-winning film because the truths it expresses with regards to the presence of women in high ranking political positions far outway its acting and directing talents, with the possible exception of Gary Oldman's role as Shelly Runyon, who was frighteningly convincing at being an absolutely awful man. I enjoyed this movie because of its intention to show what women in politics really face. The strength displayed by Laine Hanson (Joan Allen) while up for vice president is nothing short of inspirational. Gary Oldman's character provides us with a good idea of how manipulative and ruthless people can be when in a position of power and, ironically, when they have been put in a position to judge another's morality. This film seems so realistic that we tend to forget it's a movie. It makes us question, why does a person have to be surrounded by such controversy and be forced to take on such a defensive position, simply for being a woman? What I appreciated is the refusal of Hanson to succomb to the pressure of taking that defensive position, regardless of the truth. Of course, the other refreshing aspect in this movie is Jeff Bridges' role as an ideal president.

All in all, it is a long overdue account of reality, with great character development but not recommended for those with short attention spans, as it is dialogue, and lots of it.


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