Richard


1h 23m 1972

Brief Synopsis

This satirical film dramatizes Richard Nixon's rise to political power. When he is still a young man, Richard M. Dixon suffers some political failures that prompt him to undergo plastic surgery to get a new face. Then his three top advisers brainwash Dixon and before long he is primed for great powe

Film Details

Release Date
Sep 1972
Premiere Information
New York opening: 31 Jul 1972
Production Company
Bertrand Castelli
Distribution Company
Aurora City Group, Inc.; Futurama International, Inc.
Country
United States
Location
New York, United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 23m

Synopsis

Richard M. Nixon reflects on his rise to power: Upon returning from service in the Navy, he replies to a newspaper advertisement for a political candidate. The three campaign managers who placed the ad hire Richard but, upon noting his awkwardness, advise him to undergo plastic surgery. After Richard engages the services of a hack doctor, he is left with swollen cheeks. Accompanied by his wife Pat, he nonetheless catapults to success, first gaining election as a Congressman, then Senator, then Vice President to President Dwight D. Eisenhower. However, John F. Kennedy defeats him in a presidential campaign, and soon after, Pat Brown beats him in a race to be governor of California. Humiliated and despondent, Richard is cheered by a visit from his guardian angel, who assures him he has a destiny to fulfill on earth, but orders him to be subjected to brainwashing in order to improve his personality. Three Washington doctors force Richard to watch multiple film reels of his speeches, resulting in his successful reformation, to the point that he finds his own image nausea-inducing. The new Richard regains national prominence. While attending a celebration party, he samples marijuana, then imagines his younger self admonishing him for his various wicked ways. Richard renounces his former behavior and, after being named President, also enjoys his new skills as a song-and-dance man.

Film Details

Release Date
Sep 1972
Premiere Information
New York opening: 31 Jul 1972
Production Company
Bertrand Castelli
Distribution Company
Aurora City Group, Inc.; Futurama International, Inc.
Country
United States
Location
New York, United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 23m

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

Although undated key art included in the file on the film at the AMPAS Library listed it as "A Genesis Films Presentation," that company was not listed in any other source. While the Hollywood Reporter, Box Office and New York Times reviews in July and August 1972 listed the film's rating as G, the October 20, 1972 Los Angeles Times review listed a PG rating, which is the same as that listed on the MPAA website. Richard marked the only feature film for Bertrand Castelli, executive producer of the Broadway production of Hair. Co-writer and co-director Lorees Yerby was Castelli's wife. Some sources list Castelli as co-songwriter along with Galt MacDermot, while others list MacDermot and Nelson Lyon.
       Richard mixes film clips and black-and-white newsreel footage of President Richard M. Nixon (1913-1994) into its otherwise fictional, satiric story. According to contemporary reviews, on occasion during the film, the actors ask a question of the fictional Nixon and are "answered" via edited footage of the real man. The film also utilizes parodies of various film genres. The president is played in the film by Nixon impersonator Richard M. Dixon.
       The film was shot on location in New York. Although an August 1972 Variety article stated that Castelli was distributing the film personally, several distribution companies are listed in contemporary sources. Most critics referred to the 1971 film A Clockwork Orange as the inspiration for the sequence in which "Richard" is brainwashed. That sequence includes Nixon's famed "Checkers" speech, which most reviews cited as being more humorous than anything created for the film. In addition, many sources mentioned the 1971 Nixon documentary Millhouse as a less successful, equally critical portrait of the then current president.

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States Winter January 1, 1972

Released in United States Winter January 1, 1972