by guest writer
Advise and Consent brings us to our last stop this month that has been dedicated to Otto Preminger’s filmography. After fighting censorship with films like The Moon Is Blue and The Man With The Golden Arm, the director’s attention focused on blockbusters. Although his movies starting with Exodus (1960) can’t be considered purely what today is known as commercial cinema, the new element brought by Preminger consisted mainly of epics with an impressive cast.
Advise and Consent is at its core a political drama, which comes after the end of the Korean war. The film’s complexity relies on plots within plots. A beautiful description of the American Senate’s activities are very well presented together with the legal issues and flaws within the US system. Whether focusing on the communism threat, a surprising scandal of a candidate for Senate or purely the selfishness and vanity of a President, the movie is a thrilling experience. The story is centered on the President’s nominee for Secretary of State, Robert A. Leffingwell (Henry Fonda). When a scandal is about to destroy Leffingwell’s political career and marriage, everything leads to lots of rhetorical questions and an unexpected conclusion. With an extraordinary cast including Walter Pidgeon, Franchot Tone, Burgess Meredith, Peter Lawford, Gene Tierney and Charles Laughton, Advise and Consent is quite intriguing and bold for 1962.