Dave (film): Wikis

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Dave
Directed by Ivan Reitman
Produced by Ivan Reitman,
Lauren Shuler-Donner
Written by Gary Ross
Starring Kevin Kline,
Sigourney Weaver,
Frank Langella,
Kevin Dunn,
Ving Rhames,
Ben Kingsley
Music by James Newton Howard
Distributed by Warner Bros.
Release date(s) May 7, 1993
Running time 110 min.
Language English

Dave is a 1993 comedy-drama movie written by Gary Ross, directed by Ivan Reitman, and starring Kevin Kline, Sigourney Weaver, Frank Langella, Kevin Dunn, Ving Rhames, Ben Kingsley, and Laura Linney. Ross was nominated for an Academy Award for his screenplay which is based on Anthony Hope's novel The Prisoner of Zenda. There are also plot similarities to George M. Cohan's 1932 film The Phantom President as well as Paul Mazursky's 1988 Richard Dreyfuss/Raul Julia film Moon over Parador. Kline's performance was nominated for a Golden Globe Award.

Contents

Plot

Dave Kovic (Kline) runs a temporary employment agency in Georgetown, Washington, D.C., and, as a side job, makes appearances impersonating President William Harrison "Bill" Mitchell (also portrayed by Kline), whom he greatly resembles. He is drafted by Mitchell's Chief of Staff Bob Alexander (Frank Langella) to make an exit at an appearance of President Mitchell, to cover up Mitchell's extramarital affair with White House staffer Randi (Laura Linney).

When the real President Mitchell suffers a stroke during the affair that leaves him in a coma, Bob Alexander sees an opportunity. Along with Communications Director Alan Reed (Kevin Dunn), Alexander arranges for the President's comatose state to be kept secret. They then con Dave into impersonating the president on an ongoing basis by telling him that the country would suffer if the truth was revealed or if Vice President Gary Nance (Ben Kingsley), who they say is mentally ill, took office. Nance is not mentally ill, but rather an upright politician who had refused several of the real Mitchell's underhanded dealings. Due to this, Nance has been sent on a series of extended diplomatic exercises intended to keep him away from the White House.

Apart from Alexander and Reed, only his Secret Service bodyguard, Duane Stevenson (Ving Rhames) and the medical staff tending to the real President Mitchell in the White House basement (being paid by Reed), know the truth. Neither Mitchell's mistress Randi nor First Lady Ellen Mitchell (Sigourney Weaver) are informed of the switch.

Alexander's true agenda is to exercise the power of the presidency through Dave as a proxy in the short-term, while in the long term framing Vice President Nance for illegal activities, allowing Alexander to succeed Nance as Vice President, and ultimately become President himself. However, Dave gradually sets his own course of action, which revives Mitchell's popularity with the public and mystifies both the Washington media (several well-known personalities make cameo appearances as themselves) and the First Lady, whose public support of her husband has been a cover for bitter marital strife in their private life. She soon discovers the ruse, and he convinces Duane to take her to see the real President Mitchell, who is not expected to live. Ellen has a minor breakdown and decides to leave the White House. Dave offers to help her leave and the two "escape" the White House in a borrowed car. During a conversation about what Dave would do if given a further chance, Ellen realizes that he is sincere in his desire to help others, and is not out for only himself. She agrees to return to the White House and help keep up the ruse.

Dave realizes that he now has more allies than he expected, and manages to turn the tables on Alexander by recruiting Reed, Ellen Mitchell, and his old friend Murray Blum (Charles Grodin). Blum, an accountant, helps Dave reorganize the national budget in order to save a $650 million program for helping the homeless, a project the First Lady supported but Alexander wanted vetoed. When Alexander realizes that Dave is no longer his puppet, he threatens to expose him, but Reed stands up to him and points out that Alexander has more to lose from revealing the fraud. Dave then holds a news conference announcing that he is firing Alexander, and proposing a comprehensive full-employment program to Congress.

Eventually, Dave meets the returning Vice President Nance, who chastises "Mitchell" for framing him in a financial scandal. Dave realizes that the affable Nance isn't mentally ill, but has merely been used by Alexander. Shocked by this, Dave discovers that much of Mitchell's indiscretions have been maliciously attributed to Nance by Alexander in order to cover his tracks.

Eventually Bob Alexander tries to destroy Dave by implicating him in a Savings and Loan scandal - only this time, as Reed tells Dave seriously, the real President Mitchell is actually guilty. At the same time, Alexander pushes his own candidacy for the presidency.

During the uproar over the scandal,Dave and First Lady Ellen Mitchell agree that Nance is a genuinely public-minded man, and would make a fine president.

In a joint session of Congress, Dave, as Mitchell, admits to his role in the scandal, but introduces evidence (provided by Reed) proving that Alexander was the mastermind and that Nance was innocent. In the middle of making a formal apology to the nation, Dave fakes a stroke, and is taken to a hospital. In the ambulance, Dave is swapped for the real President Mitchell, who is rolled into the hospital.

News reports state that Mitchell had a second stroke, this time much more severe, and was declared incapacitated. Five months later, Mitchell dies and is buried at Arlington National Cemetery. Nance becomes President (apparently taking Reed as his Chief of Staff) and promises to carry out "Mitchell's" employment program. In his Inaugural Address he states that this is still "Bill Mitchell's" term, and dedicates himself to continuing the spirit of Dave's administration.

Dave is running his own campaign for city council and has recruited Murray and his own office staff to help with the campaign while continuing to help people find jobs. Ellen Mitchell, now a widow, comes into the office, now littered with campaign materials, asking for a job, and kisses him. When the door of his office closes, Duane steps in front, wearing a Vote Kovic button.

Cast

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Main cast

Cameos

Political figures

Media personalities

In addition, several fictional segments from shows frequented by political junkies were created specifically for it, including The McLaughlin Group (with McLaughlin, Barnes, Clift, Matthews and Kondracke), The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and Larry King Live where Oliver Stone is interviewed by King. Stone, in a self-parody, describes a conspiracy theory that turns out to accurately reflect the developments unfolding in the movie.

See also

External links


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