The Phantom President

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The Phantom President
The phantom president.jpg
Directed by Norman Taurog
Written by Walter DeLeon
Harlan Thompson
George F. Worts (novel)
Starring George M. Cohan
Claudette Colbert
Jimmy Durante
Music by Richard Rodgers
Rudolph G. Kopp (uncredited)
John Leipold (uncredited)
Cinematography David Abel
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release date
  • September 23, 1932 (1932-09-23) (U.S.)
Running time
78 min.
Country United States
Language English

The Phantom President is a 1932 American Pre-Code musical comedy/political satire film directed by Norman Taurog, and starring George M. Cohan, Claudette Colbert and Jimmy Durante.

According to Richard Rodgers, George M. Cohan deeply resented having to work with Rodgers and lyricist Lorenz Hart on the film. Cohan was bitter that the type of musical theatre that he had created was now out of fashion, and that it was being supplanted by the more literate and musically sophisticated shows of Rodgers and Hart, among others. During the filming, Cohan would sarcastically refer to Rodgers and Hart as "Gilbert and Sullivan". On the other hand, 5 years later (1937), Cohan starred on Broadway in Rodgers and Hart's musical I'D RATHER BE RIGHT, as a thinly disguised singing and dancing F.D.R. so he must have gotten over that resentment. This film and the novel that it was based on are the un-credited sources for the 1993 Kevin Kline film, Dave.


The Phantom President tells the fictional story of American presidential candidates, based on the novel by George F. Worts. A colorless stiff candidate for President is replaced in public appearances by a charismatic medicine show pitchman.


  • Prof. Aikenhead: "Blair lacks political charm. Blair has no flair for savoir faire."
  • Peeter J. 'Doc' Varney: "I'm just trying to figure out which one of us looks the most alike."


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