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1 review, 10 user ratings

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President's Analyst, The
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by dionwr

"James Coburn's best performance!"
4 stars

While I love Coburn's work as Derek Flint (and where else could you find an actor who could be so unselfconsciously convincing speaking dolphin?), his best work ever was in this film, which gave him a better scope for his comedic talents.

"It explains your utter lack of hostility--you can vent your aggressive feelings by actually killing people! It's a sensational solution to the hostility problem!"

A nearly forgotten satire of 1967, the film lampoons the FBI, the CIA, the vogue for psychiatric analysis of the time, and even the Phone Company. (It may need to be pointed out to a younger audience that AT&T, back then, was similar to Microsoft today: big, powerful, and arrogant.) In a time when American movies were pretty conformist, "President's Analyst" had a wide-open attitude in its mockery only topped by "Dr. Strangelove."

Like "Dr. Strangelove," you laugh the first time you see it at the funny lines and situations, but you keep re-watching it, because you notice funny touches in the characters, and the actor's preformances, and so it stays funny.

Coburn plays the title character, Dr. Sidney Schaefer, a psychiatrist who gets employed by the President of the US. When the stress of his job causes him to run away, it sets off a free-for-all among the spies of the world, who want to either kidnap him for what he knows--or kill him, before he can tell what he knows.

The film is definitely a product of its time, with hippies and happenings and drugs, but it also featured a uniquely paranoid view of politics that no one had ever seen in a movie before. Think "X-Files," done as comedy.

Two spies talking:
"How's Pierre?"
"You--hadn't heard?"
"Oh, no!"
--pregnant silence, then a shrug--
"Easy come, easy go."

"The President's Analyst" is also a film in which every cast member is pitch-perfect (particularly memorable are Godfrey Cambridge as a CIA agent and Severn Darden as a Russian spy), which makes Coburn's work, rising above them all, all the greater.

The film is available on VHS, but not DVD so far, and it's worth going to the trouble of finding.

If you're looking for something with James Coburn that you haven't seen, this one's a gem.

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originally posted: 12/02/02 09:18:50
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User Comments

2/11/04 Mike D What a timeless and terrfic movie/ The world lost a great one with the passing of James Cob 5 stars
1/07/04 Jeff Brownell I watch it every time it come on TCM. I do classify it errily accurate in its prediction 5 stars
7/19/03 Milos Talisant There are 4 important minutes of the film missing in the present version. 5 stars
6/01/03 dando great satire!....and hilarious. 5 stars
12/22/02 Pigwidgeon THE definitive movie on spies, technology, and the tragic irony of identity. 5 stars
12/10/02 Steve One of theee most repeatably watchable comedies of the sixties 5 stars
12/03/02 Matt Coburn's smile makes the movie 5 stars
11/29/02 mr. Pink Has some great visuals, but pretty dull otherwise 2 stars
11/28/02 R.W. Welch Coburn's best comedy. Imaginative and satirical man-on-the-run pic. 5 stars
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  DVD: 08-Jun-2004


  02-Feb-1967 (PG)

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