Dave Information

Dave is a 1993 comedy-drama film directed by Ivan Reitman, written by Gary Ross, and starring Kevin Kline and Sigourney Weaver. Frank Langella, Kevin Dunn, Ving Rhames, and Ben Kingsley appear in supporting roles.


Dave Kovic (Kline) runs a temporary employment agency in Georgetown, Washington, D.C., and has a side job impersonating President Bill Mitchell (Kline). He is requested by Secret Service agent Duane Stevensen (Rhames) to make an appearance as the President at a hotel. Dave assumes it is a matter of security, but it is really to cover up Mitchell's extramarital affair with a White House staffer (Linney).

Mitchell suffers a severe stroke during the rendezvous, leaving him in a coma. White House Chief of Staff Bob Alexander (Langella) and Communications Director Alan Reed (Dunn) convince Dave to continue impersonating the President. They tell him that Vice President Gary Nance (Kingsley) is mentally unbalanced. Only Bob, Alan, the Secret Service, and the medical staff know of the switch. First Lady Ellen Mitchell (Weaver) lives a separate life, rarely seeing the President.

The public is notified that Mitchell has had a "minor circulatory problem of the head." With Dave established as president, Bob and Alan send Nance on a goodwill tour of Africa and implicate him in a savings and loan fraud that Bob and Mitchell perpetrated. Once Nance is forced to resign, Bob plans for Dave to nominate him as vice president, whereupon Mitchell will have a more serious stroke and Bob will ascend to the presidency.

Dave's enthusiasm revives Mitchell's popularity. He visits a homeless shelter with the First Lady, who does not understand why he has taken a sudden interest. Bob falsifies Mitchell's veto of a funding bill that includes the shelter, ostensibly for budget reasons. After the First Lady confronts Dave about the veto, Dave confronts Bob, who tells him that if he can cut $650 million from the budget he can keep the shelter. Dave has his accountant friend Murray Blum (Grodin) help him rewrite the federal budget so that the project may be reinstated.

Suspecting that he is not really her husband, Ellen tricks Dave into revealing the truth. When Dave and Duane shows her the real Bill on life support in the White House basement, she and Dave decide to leave the White House. However, after a night out, they realize all the good they could do, and decide to return.

Dave forces Bob to resign, then announces a plan to find a job for every American who wants work. Nance returns from Africa and confronts Dave about the savings and loan scandal. Nance tells Dave he thinks the jobs initiative is a wonderful idea, but that the scandal will make it difficult to pass. Dave talks with Ellen about how Nance is a good man; Ellen, realizing what Dave is planning, realizes she doesn't want to lose Dave.

Bob reveals Mitchell's involvement in the savings and loan scandal. In a joint session of Congress, Dave admits to Mitchell's role in the scandal, but introduces evidence proving that Bob was the mastermind and Nance was not involved. Bob, watching the session on TV with friends, realizes Alan has betrayed him. During the speech, Dave fakes a stroke and makes a switch with the real Mitchell in an ambulance enroute to the hospital. Nance becomes acting president and is sworn in as President five months later when Mitchell dies. Bob and other members of the administration are indicted on various charges on the day the jobs initiative passes.

Dave decides to run for city council. Ellen comes to the office to volunteer. Duane stands guard outside the office door.



  • Senator Christopher Dodd
  • Senator Tom Harkin
  • Senator Howard Metzenbaum
  • Judge Abner J. Mikva
  • Speaker of the House Tip O'Neill
  • Senator Paul Simon
  • Senator Alan K. Simpson
Media personalities


Producer Lauren Shuler Donner and screenwriter Gary Ross had known each other since taking a Stella Adler class in the 1970s, and in 1988 Ross told Shuler Donner his idea for Dave. She approved it, and after the idea was rejected by the studio she was contracted to, Warner Bros. bought the project. Ross wrote the script while working on the Michael Dukakis presidential campaign. Production waited three years for Shuler Donner to be released from her contract and for director Ivan Reitman to become available.

Kevin Kline was hired to play the protagonist, as Reitman considered him to have "a presidential look" and be an actor "who was both dramatically strong and was light on his feet", as Kline would not only be playing a triple role but the film was a comedy that dealt with very serious subject matter. Reitman then called Sigourney Weaver, with whom he had worked in Ghostbusters, for the First Lady role. Ross was present for production, as he was interested in starting a directing career as well.

The film's Oval Office set was reused more than 25 times, for television shows and films like The Pelican Brief, Hot Shots! Part Deux and Absolute Power.



Dave was met with critical acclaim and has a 97% rating based on 39 reviews collected at Rotten Tomatoes.

Box office

Dave debuted No. 2 at the Box office, behind Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story.


Ross was nominated for an Academy Award for his screenplay. Kline's performance was nominated for a Golden Globe Award. Charles Grodin received the American Comedy Award for Funniest Supporting Actor.

Then-president Bill Clinton approved of the film, giving Ross a framed script which Clinton autographed "funny, often accurate lampooning of politics," and a picture of Clinton holding a Dave mug.

American Film Institute recognition:

  • AFI's 100 Years... 100 Laughs - Nominated

This webpage uses material from the Wikipedia article "Dave_%28film%29" and is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. Reality TV World is not responsible for any errors or omissions the Wikipedia article may contain.



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