Perhaps the most realistic portrayal of American political workings ever put on film, Otto Preminger's Advise and Consent may be a tad tedious for those uninterested in the capital's foibles. As with many of Preminger's films, however, there is no denying that the director skillfully captures a specific slice of American life. Unfortunately, the film was not a financial success; Preminger's hadn't had a box-office hit since Anatomy of a Murder (1959) and Exodus (1960). In keeping with his string of interesting failures, Advise and Consent has many noteworthy elements. The cantankerous Preminger was famous for pushing the envelope of the Hollywood Production Code and American morality in general -- as he did with the graphic sexual content of Anatomy of a Murder and The Moon is Blue or drug addiction in The Man With the Golden Arm -- and the open homosexual element of Advise was understandably shocking for 1962. The brilliant British actor Charles Laughton made his final appearance in this film as South Carolina senator Seabright Cooley.
by Brendon Hanley review