Three Imaginary Girls

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The fine people at SIFF Cinema have been showing several classic political films starting last weekend. The series wraps up on Tuesday night with two of my very favorite films: All The President's Men and The Candidate. Both, coincidentally, star Robert Redford.

The Candidate plays at 7:00 and All The President's Men plays at 9:05 on Tuesday, October 7. I cannot recommend either film highly enough. It isn't just me, either: both even have perfect 100% scores on

Roger Ebert said of All the President's Men:

When Robert Redford announced that he'd bought the rights to "All the President's Men," the joke in the newsroom was about reporters becoming movie stars. What in fact has happened is that the stars, Redford as Woodward and Dustin Hoffman as Bernstein, became reporters: They sink into their characters and become wholly credible. There's not a false or "Hollywood" note in the whole movie….

…and The New York Times' Vincent Camby writing of The Candidate (in 1972):

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 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.

Both films hold up remarkably well after more than thirty years and should be essential viewing in this political climate.