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Tanner on Tanner 

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"Everybody's Making Pictures," observes Martin Scorsese in this sly sequel to Robert Altman and Garry Trudeau's Emmy Award-winning satirical miniseries, Tanner '88. Sixteen years after Jack... See full synopsis »




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Series cast summary:
Cynthia Nixon ...  Alex Tanner 4 episodes, 2004
Michael Murphy ...  Jack Tanner 4 episodes, 2004
Pamela Reed ...  T.J. Cavanaugh 4 episodes, 2004
Matt Malloy ...  Deke Connors 4 episodes, 2004
Ilana Levine ...  Andrea Spinelli 4 episodes, 2004
Luke Macfarlane ...  Stuart DeBarge 4 episodes, 2004
Aasif Mandvi ...  Salim Barik / ... 4 episodes, 2004
Harry Belafonte ...  Himself 2 episodes, 2004
Carl Bernstein ...  Himself 2 episodes, 2004
Janeane Garofalo ...  Herself 2 episodes, 2004
Richard Gephardt ...  Himself 2 episodes, 2004
Robert Redford ...  Himself 2 episodes, 2004
Alexandra Kerry ...  Herself 2 episodes, 2004
Jim Fyfe ...  Emile Berkoff 2 episodes, 2004
Chris Matthews ...  Himself 2 episodes, 2004
Al Sharpton ...  Himself 2 episodes, 2004
Michael Kaycheck ...  New York policeman 2 episodes, 2004
Avery Clyde ...  Rebecca 2 episodes, 2004
Marla Sucharetza ...  Roxanne Newman 2 episodes, 2004
Ryan Spahn ...  Ryan 2 episodes, 2004
Krysten Ritter ...  Saleswoman 2 episodes, 2004


"Everybody's Making Pictures," observes Martin Scorsese in this sly sequel to Robert Altman and Garry Trudeau's Emmy Award-winning satirical miniseries, Tanner '88. Sixteen years after Jack Tanner (Michael Murphy) ran for president, his filmmaker daughter Alex (Cynthia Nixon) is making a documentary about her dad's dark horse campaign. At least, that's the plan - until a disastrous screening sends Alex back to the drawing board, and on to the 2004 Democratic National Convention.

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Off the record, on camera.









Release Date:

5 October 2004 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Tanner '04 See more »

Filming Locations:

Boston, Massachusetts, USA See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs



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Did You Know?


Both series take place during historically bad years for Democrats running for president. In 1988, when the original series takes place, Michael Dukakis lost the presidency for a rare third election in a row, while in 2004, when this series is set, John Kerry lost the popular vote for the only time after 1988. See more »


Alex Tanner: AHHHHHHH! A brand new Discover card, with a $10,000 limit! We're going to Boston!
Andrea Spinelli: Wow! 19 per cent interest, bring it on!
See more »


Follows Tanner '88 (1988) See more »

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User Reviews

Diary of a Mad Film-maker
31 October 2004 | by GyranSee all my reviews

It was a joy to discover 8 hours of Robert Altman's best work that I had not previously seen or even heard of. In the last week in the UK the BBC has screened the series Tanner 88 on its late night cultural ghetto channel BBC Four, followed by the recent update, Tanner on Tanner filmed largely during the 2004 democratic convention. This work has a breadth that has not been seen since Nashville, and, with a screenplay by Garry Trudeau, it also has a rare depth.

It is, of course, difficult for me to judge how well Tanner on Tanner would stand up as a film on its own. Much of the pleasure of the film is in seeing how the characters have matured over the 16 years since the original series, notably Alex Tanner played by the 22 year-old Cynthia Nixon in 1988. As a British viewer I learned a lot about the American political system from watching these films, although Tanner on Tanner is as much a satire about film-makers as it is a film about politicians.

It was clear from the beginning that the successful project would not be Alex Tanner's film about her father but her student's study of Alex, which we see at the end as Diary of a Mad Filmmaker. However, the anticipation of the irony did not detract from the pleasure. To my mind, the best scene in the film is where Alex Tanner and Alexandra Kerry find themselves double-booked to film an interview with Ron Reagan. They alternate Kerry's serious questions about stem-cell research with Tanner's ditzy questions about what it's like to have a celebrity father. I don't know what the future may hold for her father ( this is written 2 days before the election) but Alexandra Kerry would certainly seem to have a future as a comedy actress.

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