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Bach Movies: Bach's Life & Documentaries: Index by Title | Index by Year
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Bach Movies



The American President








Film: Nov 1995 (USA)
DVD: Aug 1999; May 2003 (3-DVD); Nov 2003 (2-DVD); Apr 2006; Jan 2007 (2-DVD)
VHS: Sep 1997; Jan 1999; Apr 1999
Soundtrack: Nov 1995 (CD, MC)


Rob Reiner


Aaron Sorkin


Michael Douglas (President Andrew Shepherd); Annette Bening (Sydney Ellen Wade); Martin Sheen ( A.J. MacInerney); Michael J. Fox (Lewis Rothschild); Anna Deavere Smith ( Robin McCall); Samantha Mathis (Janie Basdin); Shawna Waldron (Lucy Shepherd); David Paymer (Leon Kodak); Anne Haney (Mrs. Chapil); Richard Dreyfuss (Senator Bob Rumson); Nina Siemaszko (Beth Wade); Wendie Malick (Susan Sloan); Beau Billingslea (Agent Cooper); Gail Strickland (Esther MacInerney); Joshua Malina (David)


As President, Andrew Shepherd is immensely popular (he has a 63% approval rating). As a man, he's a lonely father struggling to raise a daughter. His struggles multiply when his romance with lobbyist Sydney Ellen Wade becomes fodder for both the press and a rival Senator -- precipitating a rapid drop in the polls. (spidarman &

What sounds like the high-concept romantic comedy pitch from hell--widower president falls for smart lobbyist while the world watches--is actually intelligent, charming, touching, and quite funny. Granted, it's wish fulfillment all the way (when was the last time you saw a president who was truly presidential?), but in the capable hands of writer Aaron Sorkin (TV's Sports Night) and director Rob Reiner, The American President is incredibly enjoyable entertainment with quite a few ideas about both romance and the government. Michael Douglas stars as the president, who after three years in office starts thinking about the possibility of dating. When he auspiciously encounters cutthroat environmental lobbyist Sydney Ellen Wade (Annette Bening), sparks begin to crackle and the two begin a tentative but heartfelt romance. Of course, his job gets in the way--their first kiss is interrupted by a Libyan bombing--but darn it if these two kids aren't going to try and make it work! However, they hadn't counted on the president's Republican antagonist (Richard Dreyfuss), who starts carping about family values. The predictable plot--Douglas finally goes to bat for his lady and his country--is leavened by Sorkin's wonderful, snappy dialogue and a light touch from the usually subtle-as-a-sledgehammer Reiner. Both manage to create a believable White House-office atmosphere (with a crack staff including Martin Sheen, Michael J. Fox, Anna Deavere Smith, and Samantha Mathis) as well as a plausible and funny dating scenario. The true success of the movie, though, rides squarely on Douglas and Bening; this is unequivocally Douglas's best comedic performance (ergo his best performance, period) and Bening, usually such a good bad girl, takes a standard career-woman role and fleshes it out magnificently. You can see in an instant why Douglas would fall for her. One of the best unsung romantic comedies of the '90s. (Mark Englehart,

In Rob Reiner's romantic comedy, the Chief Executive (Michael Douglas) is a widower-a lonely guy in the White House. The script, by Aaron Sorkin, wastes no time setting him up with a nice girl (Annette Bening), who is lobbying him for tougher environmental laws. This dopey premise creates enough crises to keep the lovers from achieving their destined bliss until an hour and fifty minutes has passed; but if contrivance this monumental is what it takes to put over an "old-fashioned" romantic comedy these days, the genre is in big trouble. There's a political agenda, too: this President gradually sheds his Clark Kentish New Democrat disguise and transforms himself into a liberal Man of Steel. Douglas isn't ideally cast, but Bening is spirited and glamorous, and the picture benefits from hilarious bits by some of the supporting players-notably David Paymer, Richard Dreyfuss, and Michael J. Fox. It's a shame that the movie whose coattails these wonderful actors are attached to is such an empty suit. Also with Martin Sheen, Anna Deavere Smith, and Shawna Waldron. (Terrence Rafferty, Copyright © 2006 The New Yorker)


English, French


114 min / 115 min (DVD, VHS) / 225 min (2-DVD) / 226 min (3-DVD)

J.S. Bach's Music:

Allegro (Mvt. 1) from Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 in D major, BWV 1050


Film: Color (Technicolor), DTS / SDDS
DVD: (AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Letterboxed, Widescreen, NTSC, Region 1) | (AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC, Region 1) | (PAL, Region 2) | (NTSC, Region 2) | (Anamorphic, Full Screen, NTSC, Region 2]
2-DVD: (Closed-captioned, Color, Widescreen, NTSC, Region 1) | (Color, NTSC, Region 1)
3-DVD: (Box set, Color, Widescreen, NTSC, Region 1)
VHS: (Closed-captioned, Color, HiFi Sound, Original recording reissued, NTSC) | (Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Letterboxed, Original recording reissued, Widescreen, NTSC) | (Color, Widescreen, NTSC) | (PAL)
Soundtrack: CD; MC


Film: Castle Rock Entertainment; Columbia Pictures Corporation; Universal Pictures; Wildwood Enterprises
DVD: Castle Rock; Warner Home Video
VHS: Turner Home Ent; Columbia/Tristar Studios
Soundtrack: MCA [CD, MC]


2-DVD Set includes: The American President / Dave
3-DVD Set includes: The American President/Falling Down/A Perfect Murder

Watch selections:

Buy movie at:

DVD: | | [Region 2] | [Region 2] | [Region 2]
2-DVD: |
VHS: | | | | [PAL]
Soundtrack: [CD] | [MC]

Source/Links: IMDB
Contributor: Aryeh Oron (November 2007)

Bach Movies: Bach's Life & Documentaries: Index by Title | Index by Year
Filmed Performances: Index by Work | Index by Main Performer
Bach's Music in Soundtracks: Index by Title | Index by Year
General: Index by Number | Discussions of Movies on Bach


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Last update: Wednesday, May 31, 2017 09:59