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Candidate, the

The Candidate, a movie released in 1972, offers a behind-the-scenes look at the political campaign process in the age of television. The film examines the candidacy of an idealistic young lawyer, Bill McKay, who is running for the United States Senate from the state of California. In contrast to the heroic depiction of political leaders contained in such Hollywood classic era films as Mister Smith Goes to Washington (1939), The Candidate adopts a more cynical view of politics. In the film, McKay, albeit reluctantly, eventually compromises his beliefs in exchange for victory. This depiction of political expediency is reflective of post-1960s American pessimism toward government.

Director Michael Ritchie and leading actor Robert Redford envisioned The Candidate to be part of a trilogy they would produce ...

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