Kisses For My President (1964) – A Review


A review of the 1964 comedy Kisses For My President starring Fred MacMurray and Polly Bergen as a female president of the U.S. and her awkward husband

Kisses For My President 1964 Fred MacMurray

It’s a historic moment when the first female president is elected! President Leslie McCloud (Polly Bergen) is moving into the White House and is going to be plenty busy with running the country.

But wait what is her husband Thad (Fred MacMurray) expected to do now that he’s the First Gentleman? Poor Thad has to pick out what will be served at dinner, attend tea parties and christening ships while spending his nights in the lovely First Lady feminine bedroom. Let the sexist hi-jinks begin!

This is an extremely boring one-joke comedy that runs out of gas very, very quickly. It becomes such an antiquated, sexist, cornball comedy that I imagine it seemed like it was out of date when it was made!

I’ll admit for the first ten minutes I was intrigued by the setup. What adjustments would the First Gentleman have to make assuming a role that had always been a woman’s? And it’s amusing when MacMurray meets his social secretaries and sees his flowery bedroom. But after that the movie has nothing else to do.

Bergen gets a few skeptical reactions by dignitaries who are not confident that a ‘woman can handle this job’. Meanwhile, MacMurray feels castrated because he’s filling ‘the woman’s role’. Yawn.

Kisses For My President 1964 comedy Fred MacMurray Polly Bergen first womanThe rest of the film consists of MacMurray trying to do something with his time and that results in him entertaining a South American dictator (Eli Wallach) who is quite a rambunctious fellow. The bad press he invites annoys the President, but amuses his son.

Then MacMurray flirts with an old girlfriend and decides to work with her at her perfume company, which annoys the President. Finally MacMurray comes to his senses that he’s only being used because of his First Gentleman image to bring publicity to her company. Took him long enough. Both of these scenarios have zero laughs.

Really the funniest thing is the couples son using the secret service as his own protection when he gets into schoolyard fights.

It’s a painfully dull movie.


5 thoughts on “Kisses For My President (1964) – A Review

  1. Have you ever seen THE CONTENDER starring Joan Allen? It's way better when it comes to the consideration of a Lady President. This sounds mediocre at best, dated and offensive at worst.

  2. One wonders if MacMurray's health had been better if he could have taken on Reagan in the 80'S.

    Sounds like this movie would have killed that ambition right quick.

    On the other hand, Reagan did have Bedtime for Bonzo.

  3. 1964 also saw the release of that other Presidential movie: Seven Days In May. It seems very Taoist; for every great movie like that you have to have a movie like Kisses For My President.

  4. Oh yeah you totally nailed it, this is really dull sexist crap of a high (or is it low?) order. MacMurray at his unfunny worst.

    I just have to ask though- how does one Christian a ship? Does it involve actually dunking it in holy water? ;>)

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