Movie Advise and Consent 1962

Movie Review: Advise and Consent (1962)

Advise and Consent, directed by Otto Preminger, is a political drama film released in 1962. Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Allen Drury, the movie explores the political intrigue and power struggles surrounding the nomination of a controversial Secretary of State. With its stellar cast, compelling plot, and thought-provoking themes, Advise and Consent remains a classic in the genre of political dramas.

Set in Washington D.C., the film follows the confirmation process of Robert Leffingwell (played by Henry Fonda), a liberal nominee for Secretary of State. As the Senate deliberates on his appointment, various senators and political figures clash over their ideologies, personal ambitions, and hidden secrets. The story delves into the complex relationships between political allies and adversaries, revealing the dark underbelly of American politics.

One of the film’s major strengths lies in its exceptional ensemble cast, which includes renowned actors such as Charles Laughton, Walter Pidgeon, and Peter Lawford. Henry Fonda delivers a remarkable performance as the morally conflicted nominee, while Charles Laughton steals the show as the influential southern senator Seab Cooley. Each actor brings depth and nuance to their characters, making them memorable and believable.

Advise and Consent also stands out for its powerful and thought-provoking themes. It tackles issues of political corruption, personal integrity, and the lengths individuals will go to secure power. The film raises questions about the true nature of democracy and the compromises politicians must make to achieve their goals. It serves as a cautionary tale, shedding light on the often hidden machinations of those in power.


1. Is Advise and Consent based on a true story?
No, the film is not based on a true story. However, it draws inspiration from real-life political scandals and power struggles.

2. What is the significance of the film’s title?
The title, Advise and Consent, refers to the constitutional role of the Senate in advising and providing their consent to presidential appointments.

3. Is the film historically accurate?
While the film does take creative liberties, it offers a realistic portrayal of the political landscape during the early 1960s.

4. What is the main message of the film?
Advise and Consent critiques the dark side of American politics and highlights the ethical dilemmas faced by politicians in pursuit of power.

5. Are there any standout performances in the film?
Yes, Charles Laughton’s performance as Senator Seab Cooley is particularly exceptional and garnered critical acclaim.

6. How does the film address political corruption?
The film showcases various instances of political corruption, including bribery, blackmail, and the manipulation of public opinion.

7. Is the film slow-paced?
Advise and Consent focuses on character development and political intrigue, which may make it seem slower-paced compared to modern films. However, it maintains a steady narrative flow.

8. Does the film explore any social issues?
Yes, the film touches on social issues of the time, such as racism and McCarthyism.

9. Are there any intense scenes in the film?
The film contains moments of high tension and emotional intensity, particularly during the climactic Senate hearings.

10. Is the film suitable for all audiences?
While Advise and Consent is generally suitable for mature audiences, its political themes and complex plot may require a certain level of understanding.

11. Has the film received any awards or nominations?
Yes, Advise and Consent received a total of seven Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture.

12. Are there any memorable quotes from the film?
One memorable quote is Senator Seab Cooley’s line: “There are too many people in this country who lick their fingers and hold them up to the wind to see which way it’s blowing.”

13. How does the film hold up in today’s political climate?
Despite being released almost six decades ago, Advise and Consent remains relevant today, reflecting the enduring nature of political power struggles and moral dilemmas.

In conclusion, Advise and Consent is a timeless political drama that captivates audiences with its gripping narrative and stellar performances. With its exploration of political corruption and ethical dilemmas, the film continues to resonate, serving as a reminder of the complexities and challenges inherent in the pursuit of power.

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