Synopsis by Hal Erickson
The first of Allen Drury's "all names changed to protect the guilty" political novels, Advise and Consent was brought to the screen by producer/director Otto Preminger. The film hinges upon the appointment of Robert Leffingwell (Henry Fonda) to Secretary of State. Leffingwell has been hand-picked by the President (Franchot Tone), meaning that there'll be a battle on the Senate floor between adherents of and opponents to the current administration. Among the participants are veteran Dixiecrat Charles Laughton, freshman Senator Don Murray and powerseeker George Grizzard. Burgess Meredith also shows up as a man who is brought into the Senate to "prove" that Leffingwell is a communist. To neutralize Murray, Grizzard threatens to dredge up a homosexual incident in Murray's past, which results in the latter's suicide. Advise and Consent is a slow and old-fashioned film, coming to life only when Laughton and Grizzard are on screen--and in the climax, in which the fate of Leffingwell's appointment is left in the hands of acting President Lew Ayres.
political-corruption, Senate, President, Senator, nomination, blackmail, politician, town-drunk, suicide, homosexual