The Candidate (1972)
Michael Ritchie's The Candidate is a remarkable film for all the unremarkable reasons; it is a sober, thorough and delicately satirical investigation of the course of a California senator election where the reigning Republican veteran (Porter) is challenged by a young, idealistic and Kennedyesque Democrat (Redford). The film offers a knowledgeable insight into the mechanisms and routines of an early 1970s election campaign in the USA, and is perhaps more valuable today than at the time of release, because of the parallels and contrasts which can be observed in politics almost forty years later. Ritchie's investigative style of direction and Larner's intelligent script provide the ideal basis for a nuanced and intricate, but still entertaining film. Along with Sundance, this is arguably the best performance of Robert Redford's career.