A political thriller set in the hallowed chambers of the US Senate, Otto Preminger’s excellent Advise & Consent has been largely ignored by the users of Criticker, despite having quite a few things to recommend it.
One of the subplots involves (spoiler) the secret homosexual affair of a sitting senator — a fairly taboo topic in 1962. And in order to make this film, which deals with the President’s attempt to get a largely unknown man (with a possibly shady past) installed as the Secretary of State, Preminger went up against the MPAA’s censorship board. He dealt with communist themes and cast stridently liberal actors, such as Burgess Meredith, who had been put on the infamous Hollywood Blacklist.
Plus, Advise & Consent features the film debut of Betty White, who plays a mouthy grandma that makes shockingly off-color jokes. Turns out that’s all she could ever do. No actually, she plays the well-mannered, young Senator from Kansas. Refreshing to see a different side of her:
Well-told, engaging political dramas are hard to come by, and this one is definitely worth a look. I’m not sure how it’s sneaked under the radar for so long!