The Seduction of Joe Tynan (1979)
December 3, 2015 6:47 PM - Subscribe

Respected liberal Senator Joe Tynan is asked to lead the opposition to a Supreme Court appointment. It means losing an old friend and fudging principles to make the necessary deals, as well...

Janet Maslin, The New York Times:
The principal thing that keeps "The Seduction of Joe Tynan" engrossing is the level of acting it sustains throughout. Rip Torn brings a new dimension to political sleaziness in the role of a skirt-chasing (and catching) Southern Senator, and Melvyn Douglas is suitably alarming as an elder statesman on the verge of senility. Miss [Barbara] Harris is particularly graceful in avoiding the stereotype of the politician's wife. Just as Miss [Meryl] Streep does, she shows the audience something new.
  • "First cinema movie with a produced screenplay by Alan Alda. Alda spent three years writing the script and incorporated a number of the problems an actor faces into it. Alda was also the film's lead actor as well as being the writer and was still appearing in the TV comedy show series M*A*S*H (1972) when this movie was made and released." (IMDb)
  • "One of three 1979 movies starring actress Meryl Streep first released in that year. The pictures are Manhattan (1979), Kramer vs. Kramer (1979) and The Seduction of Joe Tynan (1979)." (IMDb)
  • "Actress Meryl Streep won a number of Best Supporting Actress awards for her role in this movie. These included the New York Film Critics Circle Award, the National Society of Film Critics Award, the National Board of Review of Motion Pictures Award and the Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award. Most of these were awarded to Streep for her performance not only this film but also for Manhattan (1979) and/or also for Kramer vs. Kramer (1979)." (IMDb)
  • "Meryl Streep said that she was on 'automatic pilot' during filming because she went to work not long after the death of John Cazale, adding that she got through the process largely due to how supportive Alda was." (Wikipedia)

Sneak Previews: Classics from the Vault: Changing Sex Roles (1980) - discussion of The Seduction of Joe Tynan begins at about 8 minutes in.
Rewind: ‘The Seduction of Joe Tynan’ Has Lessons for Anthony Weiner and the Rest of Us - Alyssa Rosenberg, Think Progress
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome (2 comments total)
This is part of the 1979 film club; homepage and list of movies under the tag 1979_club.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 6:50 PM on December 3, 2015

I believe this movie was riffing largely on the success and cultural zeitgeist left in the wake of All The President's Men (1976). The most moving aspect I recall is of Melvyn Douglas' performance as the addled Senator who holds a filibuster, I believe.

It's been some time since I saw it but I do recall it was a big movie of 1979, when Alda was riding high on the success of the TV series M*A*S*H. The other thing I noticed on preparing this post is how Meryl Streep just hit the screen in '79: to have Manhattan, Kramer vs Kramer, and this movie released the same year is just phenomenal. She must've seemed like she came out of nowhere (although of course she didn't - she did The Deer Hunter - FanFare post - in '78).

If you're a Rip Torn fan you should probably see this!
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 6:57 PM on December 3, 2015

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