Dave


1h 50m 1993

Brief Synopsis

A presidential look-alike steps in when the real chief executive is felled by a stroke.

Film Details

Also Known As
presidente por un día
MPAA Rating
Genre
Comedy
Romance
Political
Romantic Comedy
Release Date
1993
Distribution Company
WARNER BROS. PICTURES DISTRIBUTION (WBPD)
Location
Richmond, Virginia, USA; Washington, DC, USA; Los Angeles, California, USA

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 50m

Synopsis

Dave Kovic is a good-natured man who just happens to look like the President of the United States. In fact, he is such a double for the Chief Executive that the Secret Service hires Dave to be a stand-in for him when he wants to get out of a luncheon. Then when the president has a stroke while having sex with one of his aides, Dave becomes the permanent stand-in for him. The Chief of Staff at the White House plans to use Dave and take over the presidency, but it turns out that Dave wants the job, and as he's doing his best for the country, he's also falling in love with the First Lady.

Crew

George H Anderson

Dialogue Editor

Steve Arnold

Set Designer

John Arrufat

Dialogue Editor

William D Barber

Camera Operator

Fred Barnes

Other

Anna Behlmer

Sound Re-Recording Mixer

Paula Benson-himes

Other

Alan P Berger

Casting Associate

Ron Berkeley

Makeup Artist

Stu Bernstein

Editor

Richard Berry

Song

Matthew J. Birch

Assistant

Hans Bjerno

Camera Operator

David Blitstein

Special Effects Foreman

Gary Bourgeois

Sound Re-Recording Mixer

Ralph Brandofino

Assistant Camera Operator

Mark Bridges

Assistant

Frank Brown

Assistant Property Master

Ronald Brownstein

Other

Michael Burmeister

Location Manager

Paul Calabria

Animal Trainer

Clay Cambern

Assistant Editor

Janice Campion

Assistant Editor

Gene S Cantamessa

Sound Mixer

Steve Cantamessa

Boom Operator

Martin Charnin

Song

Michael Chavez

Camera Assistant

Michael Chinich

Casting

Alan B Cohen

Camera Assistant

Kate Davey

Assistant Director

Brad Dechter

Music Arranger

Linda Devetta

Makeup Artist

James R Dew

Animal Trainer

John E. Dexter

Set Designer

Christopher Dodd

Other

Lauren Shuler Donner

Producer

Joe Dorn

Adr Editor

Michael Dressel

Foley Editor

Francois Duhamel

Photography

Harrison Ellenshaw

Visual Effects Supervisor

John Ellingwood

Camera Assistant

Bradley Thomas Emmons

Rigging Gaffer

Sherry Fadely

Associate Producer

Alison Fisher

Dialogue Editor

Cary Fisher

Camera Operator

Carmen Flores De Tanis

Adr Editor

Dick Friedman

Adr Editor

Jessica Gallavan

Adr Editor

James W Gavin

Photography

David Giammarco

Editor

Peter Giuliano

Assistant Director

Avram D Gold

Adr Editor

Meredith Gold

Assistant Sound Editor

H P Goldfield

Special Thanks To

Roselle Gordon

Assistant

Dale Grahn

Color Timer

Robert Gray

Key Grip

Adam Greenberg

Director Of Photography

Adam Greenberg

Other

Robert Grieve

Sound Editor

Michael C Gross

Executive Producer

Oscar Hammerstein Ii

Song

Steven B Hantler

Special Thanks To

Tom W Harkin

Other

Allen Hartz

Dialogue Editor

Brian O Haynes

Location Manager

Brad Hill

Assistant

Richard Hornung

Costume Designer

James Newton Howard

Music

Bill K. Hoyt

Other

Richard D Johnson

Transportation Captain

Gary Jones

Assistant

Sheldon Kahn

Editor

Bernard Kalb

Other

Elliot M Kaplan

Special Thanks To

Allison Kennedy

Special Thanks To

Larry King

Other

Michael Kinsley

Other

David Klassen

Art Director

Jonathan Klein

Foley Editor

Morton Kondracke

Other

Michelle Kurpaska

Costumes

Dennis J Laine

Camera Assistant

Kevin J. Lang

Lighting

Luis Lara

Caterer

Jerry Leiber

Song

Lynda Lemon

Visual Effects

Jay Leno

Other

Kathy Liska

Assistant

C J Maguire

Property Master

Frank Mankiewicz

Other

Steve Mann

Editor

Christopher Matthews

Other

Karin Mcelhatton

Animal Trainer

Jonathan Mcgarry

Assistant

Steven C. Mcgee

Lighting Technician

John Mclaughlin

Other

Joe Medjuck

Executive Producer

Howard Metzenbaum

Other

Abner J Mikva

Other

Marcus Miller

Assistant

Kathryn Mindala

Accounting Assistant

John M Morse

Dga Trainee

Paul Murphey

Video Playback

Shawn Murphy

Music

John Murray

Foley

Janice Naehu

Assistant

Robert Norin

Makeup Artist

Peter Norman

Other

Peter Norman

Director Of Photography

Robert Novak

Other

Thomas P O'neill

Other

David Olson

Music

Tiffany Owens

Assistant

Yvonne Owens

Assistant

Joseph Pacelli

Set Designer

Daniel R Padgett

Assistant Editor

Marty Paich

Music Conductor

Craig Pinkard

Transportation Coordinator

Jennifer Portman

Assistant Sound Editor

Elvis Presley

Song Performer

Peggy Pridemore

Location Manager

Winston Quitasol

Visual Effects

Ivan Reitman

Producer

J. Michael Riva

Production Designer

Stephen Robinette

Hair Stylist

Richard Rodgers

Song

Bill Roe

Camera Operator

Doug Rosenberger

Foreman

Gary Ross

Screenplay

Ann Roth

Wardrobe

Saul Saladow

Assistant Editor

Wally Schaab

Camera

Jeanine Schaack

Assistant Sound Editor

Arnold Schwarzenegger

Other

Terry Scott

Construction Coordinator

Roy Seeger

Assistant Sound Editor

Christopher Shihar

Hair Stylist

Lauren Shuler Donner

Producer

Alan K Shultz

Dolly Grip

Alan Simpson

Other

Jody Spilkoman

Assistant

Ben Stein

Other

Mike Stoller

Song

Oliver Stone

Other

Rebecca Strickland

Assistant Director

Charles Strouse

Song

Kathleen Sullivan

Other

Jeff Tackett

Other

Michael Taylor

Set Decorator

Helen Thomas

Other

Bonnie Timmermann

Casting

Nina Totenberg

Other

Jeff Triandos

Dolly Grip

James W. Tyson

Costume Supervisor

Sander Vanocur

Other

Sib Ventress

Assistant Producer

Gordon Webb

Associate Producer

Gordon Webb

Unit Production Manager

Robert Webb

Assistant Director

Jim Weidman

Music Editor

Linda Whittlesey

Dialogue Editor

Darrell L Wight

Set Designer

Marlene Williams

Hair Stylist

James Wirosko

Lighting

Phil Wise

Technical Advisor

Karen Wookey

Script Supervisor

John Yang

Other

Liz Ziegler

Steadicam Operator

Ray Zimmerman

Production Accountant

Film Details

Also Known As
presidente por un día
MPAA Rating
Genre
Comedy
Romance
Political
Romantic Comedy
Release Date
1993
Distribution Company
WARNER BROS. PICTURES DISTRIBUTION (WBPD)
Location
Richmond, Virginia, USA; Washington, DC, USA; Los Angeles, California, USA

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 50m

Award Nominations

Best Original Screenplay

1993

Articles

Dave


Ivan Reitman has always been a commercially successful director, with box office hits like National Lampoon's Animal House (1978), Meatballs (1979), and Ghost Busters (1984) among his credits. Yet, looking back at his career, Reitman once commented on the difficulty of being taken seriously in the world of comedy, saying, "Comedians are not given enough respect for the work they do, particularly when it is award time. There is the sense what they do is just natural to them, to be funny, so the performance doesn't merit the kind of attention a dramatic performance gets." So, to Reitman's surprise, his 1993 comedy, Dave, was not only a box office hit, it garnered critical acclaim as well.

It's true that comedies rarely win awards on Oscar night since the Academy voters tend to favor drama over laughter. The first comedy to get recognition at the annual event was Frank Capra's It Happened One Night (1934), which swept all five major categories. Given Reitman's choice of script- a tale reminiscent of Capra's classic Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)- it's fitting that the screenplay for the film would go on to win an Oscar. The story of a dead ringer for the president who is hired to replace him during an emergency situation, Dave definitely harkens back to the populist social comedies of the late thirties with its mixture of down home politics, romance and mistaken identity.

Gary Ross, who won an Academy Award for the Best Original Screenplay for Dave, was born into the business of screenwriting. His father was blacklisted screenwriter Arthur Ross, who penned scripts for films like Creature From the Black Lagoon (1954) and The Great Race (1965). Ross dabbled in acting before deciding to focus on a career behind the camera (he plays "2nd Policeman" in Dave). With Anne Spielberg (Steven Spielberg's sister), he scored a big hit with his work on the script for Big (1988), earning his first Oscar nomination for the Tom Hanks vehicle. Five years later, he would pen the script for Dave, a film that would reflect his personal passion for the world of politics. Ross once interned for a congressman and even wrote speeches and one-liners for Michael Dukakis and Bill Clinton.

In a tale not unfamiliar to moviegoers, Ross created a new twist on the story of an ordinary man suddenly propelled into an extraordinary and powerful position. Citing the election of Newt Gingrich as an inspiration, Ross explained that he approached the story by imagining what would happen if the staff that supports the President got power-hungry and "what would happen if one of these guys did not want to let it go, if the horse they rode suddenly collapsed but they didn't want to collapse with it."

The light political satire of Ross' script demanded an actor who could match the tone of the story. Kevin Kline, who had demonstrated his comic talents in A Fish Called Wanda (1988), and The Big Chill (1983), was tapped to play Dave Kovic, the mild-mannered job counselor who impersonates a rather acrimonious President Bill Mitchell. Kline's presidential portrayal of President Mitchell drew comparisons to the then recently unseated president George Bush, Sr. In an interview at the time of the movie's release, Kline observed that the script's premise was about "a president without a political agenda.....he actually starts taking himself, and the job, seriously. That gives the movie a kind of poignancy."

Ivan Reitman welcomed the chance to tackle the story, and, with Ross' connections, convinced Washington insiders like "Tip" O'Neill, Senator Tom Harkin, and NPR reporter Nina Totenberg to play cameos in the film. Other famous bit players include director Oliver Stone, performance artist Anna Deavere Smith, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and John McLaughlin of TV's The McLaughlin Group. The real White House was not as forthcoming with favors. The production was denied permission to take photographs or measurements of the White House for use in constructing a set. Undeterred, the director told his production designer to take a camera and go on a White House tour, disguised as a tourist. After utilizing the reproduction of the Oval Office at the Ronald Reagan Library, the final dimensions of the set were complete.

Audiences and critics responded warmly to the Capra-esque story and praised the comic ensemble of Kline, Frank Langella (who gained 25 pounds to play the corrupt and power-driven Chief of Staff), Charles Grodin as a hapless accountant, and Sigourney Weaver, who portrayed President Mitchell's embittered spouse. The Los Angeles Times wrote that "Dave is the best kind of comedy, one whose jokes can't be given away. Though replete with amusing situations and clever lines, its strongest suit is the delicately pitched comic performances of its actors, most especially star Kevin Kline." And Time said the film "goes more for charm and chuckles than for the political jugular. This is cleverly updated Capricorn with a common-man hero whose genuine concern for the people makes the legitimate incumbent look bad."

The film not only afforded Ross the honor of winning an Oscar, he was also recognized by the Writers Guild of America, which called his script a story that "best embodies the spirit of the Constitution's call for civil rights and liberties." Gary Ross' success enabled him the chance to realize his dream of directing; five years later he would write and direct Pleasantville (1998). Interestingly enough, producer Lauren Shuler-Donner would find herself working on another political satire in 1998 - Warren Beatty's Bulworth.

Producer: Ivan Reitman, Lauren Shuler-Donner
Director: Ivan Reitman
Screenplay: Gary Ross
Art Direction: David F. Klassen
Cinematography: Adam Greenberg
Editing: Sheldon Kahn
Music: James Newton Howard
Cast: Kevin Kline (Dave Kovic/Bill Mitchell), Sigourney Weaver (Ellen Mitchell), Frank Langella (Bob Alexander), Kevin Dunn (Alan Reed), Ving Rhames (Duane Stevenson), Ben Kingsley (Vice President Nance), Charles Grodin (Murray Blum), Laura Linney (Randi), Bonnie Hunt (White House Tour Guide).
C-110m. Letterboxed.

by Genevieve McGillicuddy
Dave

Dave

Ivan Reitman has always been a commercially successful director, with box office hits like National Lampoon's Animal House (1978), Meatballs (1979), and Ghost Busters (1984) among his credits. Yet, looking back at his career, Reitman once commented on the difficulty of being taken seriously in the world of comedy, saying, "Comedians are not given enough respect for the work they do, particularly when it is award time. There is the sense what they do is just natural to them, to be funny, so the performance doesn't merit the kind of attention a dramatic performance gets." So, to Reitman's surprise, his 1993 comedy, Dave, was not only a box office hit, it garnered critical acclaim as well. It's true that comedies rarely win awards on Oscar night since the Academy voters tend to favor drama over laughter. The first comedy to get recognition at the annual event was Frank Capra's It Happened One Night (1934), which swept all five major categories. Given Reitman's choice of script- a tale reminiscent of Capra's classic Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)- it's fitting that the screenplay for the film would go on to win an Oscar. The story of a dead ringer for the president who is hired to replace him during an emergency situation, Dave definitely harkens back to the populist social comedies of the late thirties with its mixture of down home politics, romance and mistaken identity. Gary Ross, who won an Academy Award for the Best Original Screenplay for Dave, was born into the business of screenwriting. His father was blacklisted screenwriter Arthur Ross, who penned scripts for films like Creature From the Black Lagoon (1954) and The Great Race (1965). Ross dabbled in acting before deciding to focus on a career behind the camera (he plays "2nd Policeman" in Dave). With Anne Spielberg (Steven Spielberg's sister), he scored a big hit with his work on the script for Big (1988), earning his first Oscar nomination for the Tom Hanks vehicle. Five years later, he would pen the script for Dave, a film that would reflect his personal passion for the world of politics. Ross once interned for a congressman and even wrote speeches and one-liners for Michael Dukakis and Bill Clinton. In a tale not unfamiliar to moviegoers, Ross created a new twist on the story of an ordinary man suddenly propelled into an extraordinary and powerful position. Citing the election of Newt Gingrich as an inspiration, Ross explained that he approached the story by imagining what would happen if the staff that supports the President got power-hungry and "what would happen if one of these guys did not want to let it go, if the horse they rode suddenly collapsed but they didn't want to collapse with it." The light political satire of Ross' script demanded an actor who could match the tone of the story. Kevin Kline, who had demonstrated his comic talents in A Fish Called Wanda (1988), and The Big Chill (1983), was tapped to play Dave Kovic, the mild-mannered job counselor who impersonates a rather acrimonious President Bill Mitchell. Kline's presidential portrayal of President Mitchell drew comparisons to the then recently unseated president George Bush, Sr. In an interview at the time of the movie's release, Kline observed that the script's premise was about "a president without a political agenda.....he actually starts taking himself, and the job, seriously. That gives the movie a kind of poignancy." Ivan Reitman welcomed the chance to tackle the story, and, with Ross' connections, convinced Washington insiders like "Tip" O'Neill, Senator Tom Harkin, and NPR reporter Nina Totenberg to play cameos in the film. Other famous bit players include director Oliver Stone, performance artist Anna Deavere Smith, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and John McLaughlin of TV's The McLaughlin Group. The real White House was not as forthcoming with favors. The production was denied permission to take photographs or measurements of the White House for use in constructing a set. Undeterred, the director told his production designer to take a camera and go on a White House tour, disguised as a tourist. After utilizing the reproduction of the Oval Office at the Ronald Reagan Library, the final dimensions of the set were complete. Audiences and critics responded warmly to the Capra-esque story and praised the comic ensemble of Kline, Frank Langella (who gained 25 pounds to play the corrupt and power-driven Chief of Staff), Charles Grodin as a hapless accountant, and Sigourney Weaver, who portrayed President Mitchell's embittered spouse. The Los Angeles Times wrote that "Dave is the best kind of comedy, one whose jokes can't be given away. Though replete with amusing situations and clever lines, its strongest suit is the delicately pitched comic performances of its actors, most especially star Kevin Kline." And Time said the film "goes more for charm and chuckles than for the political jugular. This is cleverly updated Capricorn with a common-man hero whose genuine concern for the people makes the legitimate incumbent look bad." The film not only afforded Ross the honor of winning an Oscar, he was also recognized by the Writers Guild of America, which called his script a story that "best embodies the spirit of the Constitution's call for civil rights and liberties." Gary Ross' success enabled him the chance to realize his dream of directing; five years later he would write and direct Pleasantville (1998). Interestingly enough, producer Lauren Shuler-Donner would find herself working on another political satire in 1998 - Warren Beatty's Bulworth. Producer: Ivan Reitman, Lauren Shuler-Donner Director: Ivan Reitman Screenplay: Gary Ross Art Direction: David F. Klassen Cinematography: Adam Greenberg Editing: Sheldon Kahn Music: James Newton Howard Cast: Kevin Kline (Dave Kovic/Bill Mitchell), Sigourney Weaver (Ellen Mitchell), Frank Langella (Bob Alexander), Kevin Dunn (Alan Reed), Ving Rhames (Duane Stevenson), Ben Kingsley (Vice President Nance), Charles Grodin (Murray Blum), Laura Linney (Randi), Bonnie Hunt (White House Tour Guide). C-110m. Letterboxed. by Genevieve McGillicuddy

Quotes

Trivia

Miscellaneous Notes

Gary Ross was nominated for best original screenplay (1993) by the Writers Guild of America.

Released in United States Spring May 7, 1993

Released in United States on Video December 22, 1993

Released in United States 1993

Shown at Venice Film Festival (Venetian Nights) August 31 - September 11, 1993.

Completed shooting November 10, 1992.

Began shooting August 13, 1992.

Released in United States Spring May 7, 1993

Released in United States on Video December 22, 1993

Released in United States 1993 (Shown at Venice Film Festival (Venetian Nights) August 31 - September 11, 1993.)