Part of Weekend Classics: Politics in B&W.
Handpicked by the President as the newly-nominated Secretary of State, the otherwise admirible and affable Robert Leffingwell (Henry Fonda) faces a bitter debate on the Senate floor between adherents and opponents of the current administration—spurned by the testimony of a government worker (Burgess Meredith), a portly veteran Dixiecrat (Charles Laughton) who launches a Communist witch-hunt, and a particular subplot (quite brave for 1962) that is arguably a little too late in the film to spoil here.
Shot in vivid black-and-white cinemascope by Sam Leavitt and directed by Otto Preminger, who favored the format, ADVISE AND CONSENT stands as a testament to a particular time in politics which, once again, serves as a signpost to an ever-advancing political reality. Preserved by the Academy Film Archive with funding from the Andrew J. Kuehn Jr. Foundation.
"Preminger’s visual savvy turns that most staid and insufferable of social terrariums, the floor of the U.S. Senate chambers, into a vibrant, perpetually shifting Voronoi diagram, charting the variables of influence and repulsion based on something as cinematographically and topographically malleable as the positions of the senators’ desks."—Eric Henderson, Slant Magazine