The Seduction of Joe Tynan

1979

Drama

0
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 80%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 38%
IMDb Rating 6.1 10 1692

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Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
March 22, 2022 at 02:43 AM

Cast

Meryl Streep as Karen Traynor
Charles Levin as John Cairn
Rip Torn as Senator Kittner
Alan Alda as Joe Tynan
720p.BLU
982.98 MB
1280*694
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 46 min
P/S counting...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by rmax304823 5 / 10

Man Neglects Family For Career.

Alan Alda has a benign presence here, as in most of his work, but his range is a little greater than it's been given credit for. He was a perfect arrogant slimeball as Robert Gallo in "The Band Played On." But he's believable here as a good-natured family man, a Democratic U. S. Senator from New York, who is torn between his friendship for an aging mentor, Melvyn Douglas, and his principles. Douglas wants him to endorse the president's nominee for the Supreme Court, a former racist. That opposition will bring him to national attention but it will mean betraying some of those who have helped him in the past and could help him in the future. It also means skewering on national television the nominee, who may in fact have been nothing more than a well-meaning and effective pragmatist in compromising desegregation ten or fifteen years ago.

There's also a problem with Alda's home life. There usually is when a man is dedicated to a demanding career. Look at the number of times John Wayne's love life was shredded because of his commitment to the military.

On top of that, Tynan is seduced not only by the opportunity to climb the political ladder, but literally by Meryl Streep, the wife of a prominent Southern personage.

It's all just terrible. Alda's wife, Barbara Harris, in a nice scene, is introduced to Streep and can tell in an instant that there has been not just an exchange of information and advice between Streep and Alda but also an exchange of bodily fluids.

The movie ends the way John Wayne's movies ended, with the wife coming around to her husband's point of view. Streep wipes away her tears and boards an airplane to return home. Harris really does give a nicely shaded performance. While Alda stands on the platform at the Democratic National Convention, accepting the riotous applause, ready to give the speech that will launch him into stardom, he stares at Harris, whose face melts from dispassionate disapproval to subdued acceptance. Nice job.

But the story, though it has its moments, is a little weak. It's hard to follow the various intrigues and one or two loose ends remain. (Eg., what happens to Melvyn Douglas as he lapses into senility before the cameras?) And some scenes are too drawn out -- Streep and Alda giggling and wrestling around in bed, pouring cold beer on each other. Ditto for a scene with Alda and Harris. We get the point; we get it, honest.

It reminded me of another movie that appeared about the same time, Robert Redford's "The Candidate." Neither is an epic expose of political and personal life in Washington. Their ambitions may be hefty but the budgets for both were a little smaller. "The Candidate" is marginally the better movie.

Best scene: a rivalry between two pols, Alda and Rip Torn, to see who can east the most of Torn's hellishly hot Cajun stew without throwing up. It's pretty funny.

Worth catching once in a while, mainly for the performances.

Reviewed by moonspinner55 4 / 10

The political issues are still relevant...but the film cannot keep itself on point

Well-acted, occasionally well-observed drama which fails to deliver on its early promise. Joe Tynan is a forthright U.S. Senator, the latest young liberal hotshot, who jeopardizes his long-term marriage and home-life by initiating an affair with a civil rights activist. He's been carrying on with this also-married woman in various hotel rooms on the road, though Tynan's unhappy wife has more on her mind than his infidelity: she wants a life away from the political arena. As Tynan, Alan Alda, who also scripted, opens the film pressing Congress to pass a bill that would create a million new jobs in a distressed economy. One may watch this sequence and feel he's come upon a recent Congressional hearing via C-SPAN. Unfortunately, Bill Conti's animated music reminds us this is just a political lark--a vehicle for Alda, then a hot property from television's "M*A*S*H"--while the film's poor color and visual composition give hint this theatrical release was made on a limited budget. Alda becomes a Presidential hopeful practically off-screen, while his constituents bray in the background and play trade-off with each other's wives at Washington parties. This is all quite trenchant, and Tynan's face-off with a bigoted fellow senator is topical, but Alda's screenplay isn't really interested in the inner-workings of Capitol Hill. He's too anxious to get his character into bed with honey-voiced Meryl Streep (third-billed), who is shown to be a smart and savvy lady--though one who is just as unable to control her desires as Tynan. We don't learn much about the Streep character's situation, however the actress's sneaky, intricate force wheedles its way through and she just about walks off with the picture. Melvyn Douglas is surprisingly frittered away as an elder Senator, while Barbara Harris as Joe's wife isn't allowed to showcase her fringe assets (that dazed-and-dreamy voice coupled with the wobbly retorts). Alda is, of course, ideally cast for the lead, and his pained, sensitive expressions are contrasted quite well with his pent-up exasperation. The movie ultimately doesn't offer much because Alda can't stick with one scenario long enough for the picture to take-off as a whole. The film's overall design is dreadful, and director Jerry Schatzberg shows no style whatsoever, yet those little pinpoints scattered about show that not much has changed in Congress (nor in our country) in the last 31 years. ** from ****

Reviewed by theowinthrop 10 / 10

The Rise of a future Presidential Candidate

THE SEDUCTION OF JOE TYNAN is really the follow up to the Robert Redford - Peter Boyle film, THE CANDIDATE. There a well-meaning, wishy-washy liberal college teacher (whose father was a famous Senator - ironically played by Melvin Douglas in that movie), is glitz-ed up and prepped in a political campaign against an old pro (Don Porter) and manages to win the election to the U.S. Senate. But at the end Redford looks at Boyle at this moment of "victory" and asks him, "What do we do now?" Precisely - what happens to whatever enthusiastic beliefs and crusades that the candidate developed in his pre-campaign life.

THE SEDUCTION OF JOE TYNAN follows exactly what happens. Joe Tynan (Alan Alda) is a junior senator with that quality that campaign managers would kill for: charisma. He is well spoken, careful, and politically astute: he is liberal, but seems willing to moderate his views to accommodate some other Senators. He is a good family man with a wife (Ellie - Barbara Hershey) and children. And he is, behind his friendly, pixieish smile, as ambitious as all hell. Probably not the next time, but within the next eight or ten years, he will (if he does not blow it) be his party's Presidential candidate.

Tynan is accommodating (seemingly so) to older Senator Birney (Melvin Douglas) and to one of the more powerful southern Senators (Kittner - Rip Torn) as he slowly learns all the ropes of being a member of that most exclusive of American clubs, the upper house of Congress. Alda is a member of the Senate's Judiaciary Committee, and there is going to be a new member on the Supreme Court. Kittner has no problems with the nominee, and Birney would love to see him get the job.

But Birney's reason is not out of affection for the nominee - it is out of fear. Birney's facing re-election, and his opponents are thinking of putting up this man to face Birney for the party nomination. Tynan and the other Senators respect Birney, but they are aware of one thing the old man does not seem prepared to recognize: he is losing his mind. Birney will, at the drop of a hat, begin speaking perfect French as though he is addressing people in Paris and not the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. That's why Birney's party backers in his home state are thinking of replacing him on the ballot.

In the meantime, Tynan meets Karen Traynor (Meryl Streep) who has helped him in another Senate battle. Traynor joins his staff, but is soon having an affair with him - and Ellie is pretty sure about the affair. Ellie is also upset that as Joe is getting more and more political exposure she has the additional pressures on her of being the "loyal" wife of the unloyal husband, and the one who has to keep a lid on the problems of the kids at home. Soon this kettle explodes in Joe's face, though fortunately (for his career) in private. And it leads to the end of his relationship with Streep (well...to re-use an old saying slightly..."that's politics!").

As for the Judiciary problem, Joe finds that the nominee is not the man for the Supreme Court - not unless you mean the Supreme Court of Plessy v. Fergussen or Dred Scott. So he is on a collision course with Birney.

The performances in this film were a joy. Rip Torn's Senator demonstrated how to improperly use the leg section of a large office desk just as strikingly as another Southern politician reportedly demonstrated a new use for cigars sixteen years later. Melvin Douglas is both formidable and pitiful as a once great Senate leader who has stayed on too long (reminding one of the late Strom Thurmond among others). As Alda's chief of staff, Charles Kimbrough is unnerving. Always a little stiff, when he was on Murphy Brown one sympathized with his Jim Dial as a decent fellow who sometimes got caught short due to his stiffness. Here however, his constant smile, supposedly reassuring, is an ice mask that sears Hershey and Streep in their turns.

And Alda? If one recalls his performance as Hawkeye on television's M.A.S.H. his pixie quality made him lovable. Here it has hardened into a shield and weapon. Tynan is a Hawkeye who jettisons idealism for what will help him. It is a first rate performance and points the way to future negative characters he'd play in television's AND THE BAND PLAYED ON and AVIATOR.

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