Newest Reviews
Unholy, The
How to Deter a Robber
Offering, The
Enola Holmes
Big Calamity, The
Man Under Table
Freedom Fields
Boy Behind the Door, The
Swords of the Space Ark
I Still See You
Most Beautiful Boy in the World, The
Luz: The Flower of Evil
Human Voice, The
Guns Akimbo
Being a Human Person
Giants and Toys
Millionaires Express
Bringing Up Baby
World to Come, The
Air Conditioner
Fear and Loathing in Aspen
Riders of Justice
Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Maki, The
For Those Who Think Young
Justice League: War
Fuzzy Pink Nightgown, The
Scooby-Doo! Moon Monster Madness
Night of the Sharks
Werewolves Within
King and Four Queens, The
Stray Dolls
Diana's Wedding
Toll, The
Two of Us
Newest Articles
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
Freewheelin' - Bob Dylan: Odds and Ends on Digital
Never Sleep: The Night of the Hunter on Blu-ray
Sherlock vs Ripper: Murder by Decree on Blu-ray
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
Hong Kong Dreamin': World of Wong Kar Wai on Blu-ray
Buckle Your Swash: The Devil-Ship Pirates on Blu-ray
Way of the Exploding Fist: One Armed Boxer on Blu-ray
A Lot of Growing Up to Do: Fast Times at Ridgemont High on Blu-ray
Oh My Godard: Masculin Feminin on Blu-ray
Let Us Play: Play for Today Volume 2 on Blu-ray
Before The Matrix, There was Johnny Mnemonic: on Digital
More Than Mad Science: Karloff at Columbia on Blu-ray
Indian Summer: The Darjeeling Limited on Blu-ray
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
  President's Analyst, The Too Much Information
Year: 1967
Director: Theodore J. Flicker
Stars: James Coburn, Godfrey Cambridge, Severn Darden, Joan Delaney, Pat Harrington Jr, Barry McGuire, Jill Banner, Eduard Franz, Walter Burke, Will Geer, William Daniels, Joan Darling, Sheldon Collins, Arte Johnson, Martin Horsey, William Beckley
Genre: Comedy, Thriller, Science Fiction, WeirdoBuy from Amazon
Rating:  8 (from 2 votes)
Review: Dr Sidney Schaefer (James Coburn) is a successful New York psychiatrist for whom life couldn't be better. However, things are going to take a different path when he is analysing a patient, Don Masters (Godfrey Cambridge), who while remembering his first encounter with racism segues into the revelation that he has just come from stabbing a foreign agent to death. Schaefer is shocked until it is explained that Masters is a government agent, a spy for the C.E.A., and then begins to rationalise the spy's lack of guilt. Yet he soon forgets about that when he is offered a chance of a lifetime: to become the President's analyst...

A genuine, one hundred percent cult classic, writer and director Theodore J. Flicker's film was a perfect piece of paranoia all wrapped up with a sly, kidding weirdness that did not quite hide its serious intent. Famously, the real life F.B.I. and C.I.A. were deeply unhappy that the film was being made so Flicker had to include a disclaimer at the start and change the agencies' names to the similarly initialed F.B.R. and C.E.A., although you'd have to be particularly obtuse not to realise who Flicker was really sending up; funnily enough, the K.G.B. and Chinese secret service were not too bothered as far as we know.

In one of his greatest performances, Coburn plays Dr Schaefer as the epitome of the modern man at first, confident, appreciating the good things in life and ready to settle down with his girlfriend Nan (Joan Delaney). All that relaxed goodwill will be gradually worn away to reveal the true modern man underneath: ill at ease, lost in the bigger picture and believing everyone is out to get him. Which is of course a much more reasonable response to the world he lives in than the attitude he has been adopting up until he gets the call from the President to head for Washington.

Being the leader of the free world's analyst is not the professional blessing Schaefer wants it to be, as soon his life is dominated by the secret services. He has to move into a new home, taking Nan with him, which is fitted with alarm bells and red flashing lights to alert him to when the President needs attention. It's not long before Schaefer is getting twitchy and no wonder, as he has no one to confide in: the analyst needs an analyst. And not only that, but he soon realises he is being spied on himself when he is informed he talks in his sleep so needs more security around him. This is all presented with such a wicked sense of humour that it's gleefully nutty.

By the time Schaefer is being spied on by Nan, however, he decides he wants to get away for good, and so the chase is on. Spies from all countries are now after him and either want him dead or want the information inside his head all for themselves. Schaefer hides out with a typical American family led by father William Daniels, but despite his claims to be dyed in the wool liberal he turns out to be a gun nut, underlining Flicker's message that paranoia blurs the lines between the left wing and the right. Further to that is when Masters and his Soviet counterpart Kropotkin (Severn Darden) team up to save Schaefer and get on like old friends - which they are. Nothing is what it seems here, not a Beatles style pop group or the Telephone Company, and although the story grows wilder and wackier with every scene, Flicker keeps his steely gaze centred on the absurdities of international intrigue and politics. Both of its time and forward thinking, The President's Analyst was a true gem. Excellent music by Lalo Schifrin.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


This review has been viewed 3706 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

Review Comments (0)

Untitled 1

Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf


Last Updated: