Well, it was no Great Waldo Pepper, that’s for sure…
Total Hollywood insider and tastemeister Warren Bell says:
REDFORD AND NEWMAN THREATEN TO REUNITE [Warren Bell]
But it won’t be for sequels to their excellent movies from 30 years ago. In fact, Redford doesn’t want to say what it would be. He does say that he is planning a sequel to one of his lousy movies, “The Candidate,” and that he is “frightened for my country.” Meanwhile, he ruled out a Schwarzeneggery foray into politics himself. “I would have to be just consumed with ego and self-absorption,” he said, presumably with a straight face.
Jim is a couch potato dad and husband trying to achieve picket fence ideals while trying to keep a firm hold on his manhood. His beautiful wife Cheryl tolerates his childish antics because of his tireless loyalty to her and the kids.
I remember when it was called Home Improvement.
This is from Vincent Canby’s review of The Candidate:
There is something perverse and puritanical in the way many liberal Americans regard the political system. If a candidate wants to win, he must be suspect. Ambition in itself is bad. Like athlete’s foot, it’s not a sin, but it is unseemly. We put great store by the kind of modesty that insures defeat and that, only then, is revealed to be a form of arrogance. The best man should lose, or he isn’t the best man. This is the Catch-22 of American politics.
We all know that men who run for public office hoping only to improve the tone of the campaign, to raise the real issues, usually fail â€” and look terrible on television, which may be even worse. We suspect that only winning counts, yet we also fondly believeâ€”since we’ve seen it demonstrated often enoughâ€”that the system is so corrupt that no good man can win without either being hopelessly corrupted or turned into a bewildered cipher.
That pretty well describes what happens to Bill McKay (Robert Redford), the liberal young California Democrat who campaigns for the United States Senate in “The Candidate,” one of the few good, truly funny American political comedies ever made. The film, which opened yesterday at the Sutton, was directed by Michael Ritchie (“Downhill Racer”) and written by Jeremy Larner, the young novelist (“Drive, He Said”) who was a speech-writer for Senator Eugene J. McCarthy during McCarthy’s campaign for the 1968 Democratic Presidential nomination.
“The Candidate” is a loaded movie. It simplifies political processes. It turns McKay’s Republican opponent, the long-time incumbent who looks as trustworthy as Warren G. Harding and is named, meaningfully, Crocker Jarman (Don Porter), into an idiot. It is also, at heart, extremely glib and gloomy but no more glib and gloomy, I think, than it has an inalienable right to be under the current circumstances.
As McKay, in a self-mocking mood, says toward the end of his campaign, when the slogans, catchwords and clichÃ©s are becoming thoroughly muddled in his exhausted head: “It’s the basic indifference that made this country great.”
From 1969 to 1979 Michael Ritchie made a series of films about the high cost of winning in America: Downhill Racer, Smile, The Bad News Bears, Semi-Tough, and The Candidate. It was the greatest winning streak of his life. And The Candidate is one of the five or so best movies (Dr. Strangelove, The Manchurian Candidate, Wag the Dog, and Tanner ’88 to name a few) ever made about American politics.
Granted, Robert Redford is no Jim Belushi…but who is?