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169 Ratings

The Candidate

Directed by Michael Ritchie
United States, 1972


Bill McKay is a candidate for the U.S. Senate from California. He has no hope of winning, so he is willing to tweak the establishment.

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The Candidate Directed by Michael Ritchie

Awards & Festivals

Academy Awards

1973 | Winner: Best Writing, Story and Screenplay Based on Factual Material or Material Not Previously Published or Produced

1973 | Nominee: Best Sound

National Board of Review

1972 | Winner: Top Ten Films

Writers Guild of America

1973 | Winner: Best Drama Written Directly for the Screen (Screen)

Critics reviews

No in-hindsight appraisal fails to identify The Candidate’s accumulated pertinence over the last four decades, but what really sticks is the film’s uncanny ability to take place entirely in what appears to be media res. Beyond the considerable pleasure of watching Redford at the peak of his movie-star powers—McKay is, for my money, the role he was born to play–is Ritchie’s unprecedented skirting of environments at once surreal and endemic to the American democratic project.
July 19, 2016
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It may be that the critics have sold themselves a bill of goods only to find that the public isn’t buying. But why would so many critics fall for a piece of cheese like “The Candidate?” …What I find most presumptuous about “The Candidate” is its notion that politicians are any more ridiculous than movie-makers or movie-reviewers for that matter. Redford fancies himself so superior to the electoral process that he ends up with a completely fatuous characterization of a politician.
June 29, 1972
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