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Film / The President's Analyst

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A satirical 1967 film written and directed by Theodore J. Flicker (who later co-created TV's Barney Miller) and starring James Coburn as Dr. Sidney Schaefer, who is recruited for the eponymous position; the stress of the job soon sends him on the run, with the knowledge gained from his sessions making him the target of every intelligence agency on the planet. Then there's the most sinister and feared entity of all: T.P.C.

Contains examples of:

  • Action Film, Quiet Drama Scene: The movie is packed full of zaniness and ridiculous over-the-top satire, but it opens with a an emotional, painful monologue from Godfrey Cambridge about a childhood experience with racism.
  • Affably Evil: The Phone Company and most of the secret agents in the movie are actually quite friendly people. Ruthless, but friendly.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Once the final villain is revealed, go back and watch the movie again: Much of the seemingly random events that drive the plot will make perfect sense.
  • Corporate Conspiracy: The primary villain turns out to be T.P.C. (The Phone Company), a corporation set on "improving" humanity by implanting a 'cerebrum communicator' into the brain of every newborn child.
  • Courteous Canadian: When the titular individual goes on the lam, along with being stalked by the FBI, the CIA and The Phone Company, he runs afoul of the Canadian intelligence service. They are very polite about abducting him and drugging him for classified info.
  • Credits Gag: The disclaimer at the start about the film's depiction of the FBR and the CEA.
  • Creepy Monotone: Arlington Hewes , president of The Phone Company, speaks in a measured, friendly, even-tempered tone that stays disturbingly constant even as the situation starts getting tense. Turns out he's an animatronic robot.
  • Deadpan Snarker: The two FBR agents sent to kill our hero, one of whom is enormously bitter over the other being given a license to kill.
  • Did I Mention It's Christmas?: The final scene, with Sidney and Nan entertaining Don and Kropotkin for the holidays while TPC spies on them.
  • Eagleland: Gleefully, enjoyably Type I.
  • Enlightened Self-Interest: Besides the obvious benefits of rescuing someone held against his will and striking a blow at an organization with sinister plans, Masters and Kropotkin also realize at the climax how much they personally need Dr. Schaefer's care.
    Kropotkin: Shall we rescue our doctor?
    Don: Yeah. If I don't resume my analysis pretty soon, I'm gonna flip out.
  • Ethereal Choir: Plays on the soundtrack whenever Schaefer's sense of paranoia gets stoked.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: And it's about how the psychoses of everyone else around him – from the President on down – is driving the analyst crazy.
  • Faceless Eye: A now-deleted scene.
  • Fictional Counterpart: The US Government spy-agencies are renamed. The head of the "FBR" is named Lux, after a then-popular brand of vacuum cleaner (a Stealth Pun on the name Hoover).
  • Gainax Ending: The main characters get happy endings, but The Phone Company seems to have ended up winning in ways that aren't entirely clear.
  • Glorious Mother Russia: Kropotkin is mostly an aversion. He's pragmatic and neurotic and not slavishly devoted to his country.
  • Government Agency of Fiction / Fun with Acronyms: The "CEA" and "FBR".note 
  • Hypocritical Humor: Wynn Quantrill, the "liberal" Everyman, is just one example.
    "The Bullocks, next door? Real right-wingers. American flag up every day. Real fascists. Ought to be gassed. You know the type."
  • Invisible President: Schaefer is depicted leaving the President's office or room, but is never seen inside with the man.
  • The Men in Black: The FBR agents sent to kill our hero.
  • Milkman Conspiracy: The ultimate villains and greatest threat? TPC: The Phone Company. Schaefer gets kidnapped by them while trying to use a phone booth. They load the whole booth with him in it onto one of their trucks.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: The fake Beatles in one sequence. Also Henry Lux/J. Edgar Hoover.
  • Only Sane Man: Schaefer, and even he starts to lose his grip at times.
  • Or Was It a Dream?: Schaefer blacks out at one point, just catching a glimpse of his girlfriend unexpectedly brandishing a gun; when he comes to, he's not sure it actually happened.
  • Properly Paranoid: Everyone is spying on everyone else. The trick is not minding it.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: The main CIA and KGB agents are good pals. They also figure out they have a common enemy: the Phone Company.
  • Re-Release Soundtrack: The title character at one point hides out with rock band Clear Light, led here by Barry McGuire, but initial video release of the movie substituted a couple of songs they did with some similar-sounding generic tunes (though a later DVD release put the original music back).
  • Rogue Agent: Kropotkin is supposed to capture Sidney but ends up rescuing him.
  • Single-Issue Psychology: Schaefer analyzes Kropotkin's problems as stemming from his unacknowledged hatred of his own father.
  • Sinister Surveillance: Played straight but then subverted by the Ambiguous Ending where the analyst and all the other major characters seem happily oblivious that they're still being watched by the Phone Company.
  • The '60s: The movie hits pretty much every possible stereotype of the era, from
  • Slipping a Mickey: Our hero has this done to him at one point, during the "acid trip" sequence.