Is it more important that the best man wins; or that the wrong man is kept out of office? It's convention time in 1964 and intellectual front-runner William Russell (Henry Fonda) finds himself pitted against down-to-earth Senator Joe Cantwell (Cliff Robertson). This nomination is crucial for securing the Presidency, but while Cantwell is ready to do anything to achieve his ambition, Russell sees himself as a man of principle. Both men crucially need to win over the support of the ailing President to succeed, and as the stakes climb higher, each team has a call to make on just how dirty they are prepared to fight. This fast paced, witty political drama poses a wealth of important questions, still relevant to the political world of today.
By modern standards the storyline and plot of this film might be regarded as simplistic but it oozes class in terms of acting with everyone on screen superlative in their roles. I have always liked Henry Fonda but he is almost overshadowed by Cliff Robertson who plays the politician who will stop at nothing to get to the top.