A president just in case

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German title A president just in case
Original title My Fellow Americans
Country of production United States
original language English
Publishing year 1996
length 97 minutes
Age rating FSK 12
Director Peter Segal
script E. Jack Kaplan ,
Richard Chapman ,
Peter Tolan
production Jon Peters
music William Ross
camera Julio Macat
cut William Kerr

A president for all cases (Original title: My Fellow Americans ) is an American comedy film from 1996 . The director was Peter Segal , the screenplay written E. Jack Kaplan , Richard Chapman and Peter Tolan . The leading roles were played by Jack Lemmon and James Garner .


Macho Matt Douglas and stingy Russell P. Kramer are former Presidents of the United States . Although they hate each other, incumbent President William Haney often asks them to join forces to represent the United States on official occasions.

Haney wants to cover up a bribe scandal and blame Kramer. Douglas learns of the scandal and sees a chance to run again. Kramer and Douglas learn that the accusation came from Reynolds and confront him. A short time later, Reynolds is shot. NSA Colonel Paul Tanner finds both ex-presidents and says Haney wants to speak to both of them at Camp David. On the way Douglas realizes that something is wrong and they force the pilots to land. You get off the helicopter in the middle of a forest. Shortly afterwards, the helicopter explodes in midair. Douglas and Kramer are being hunted down by secret service agents. On the turbulent escape, for example, they hide among the participants in a gay parade and finally arrive in Washington . In the meantime, they have found incriminating material against incumbent President Haney.

In the capital, they escape Paul Tanner again and get to the White House grounds . There they learn that Haney is holding a press conference on the opposite side of the White House. Douglas and Kramer take two horses on which they circle the White House. On the way, Tanner, armed with a pistol, stands in their way. Tanner is shot dead by a Secret Service sniper . He later turns out to be an acquaintance of Douglas and Kramer, whom they met during the gay parade.

It turns out that behind the plot was Vice President Ted Matthews, who wanted to become president. Douglas records his statements on tape, Matthews is exposed. Haney resigns.

Some time later, Douglas and Kramer applied together for the offices of President and Vice President. Kramer reminds shortly before the press conference that he should be the candidate for the more important of the offices. Douglas throws a banknote on the floor. When Kramer bends down to pick it up, Douglas makes a victory gesture to understand that he is the presidential candidate.


Susan Stark praised the "first class" actors in the Detroit News , but criticized the script.

Roger Ebert also praised the portrayals of Jack Lemmon and James Garner in the Chicago Sun-Times of December 20, 1996, both of whom had "enormous charm", but also said that the film was full of "missed opportunities". Ebert nonetheless attested to having "funny" moments, even though the film was not a "great" comedy and was quickly forgotten.

Cinema said the film was “politically flat”, but offered “lively dialogue”.

The lexicon of international films wrote: "A top-class comedy with convincing age roles for two great actors."


According to the original plans, Walter Matthau was supposed to play the role of Matt Douglas , but he fell ill.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Review by Susan Stark
  2. ^ Review by Roger Ebert
  3. Cinema.de
  4. A president for all cases. In: Lexicon of International Films . Film service , accessed March 2, 2017 .Template: LdiF / Maintenance / Access used