The Leading Man

The Leading Man is a 1996 British romantic drama film directed by John Duigan. It premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 1996 but was not released in the United States until March 1998. The film is set in London in the winter.

The Leading Man
Directed byJohn Duigan
Produced byPaul Raphael
Bertil Ohlsson
Written byVirginia Duigan
Music byEdward Shearmur
Distributed byNorthern Arts Entertainment
Release date
6 September 1996 (Canada)
22 May 1997 (Australia)
12 September 1997 (U.K.)
6 March 1998 (U.S.)
Running time
100 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom
Box office$18,012[1]


A brash American actor, Robin Grange, goes to London to feature in a major new play. The playwright of the production, Felix Webb, is having an intense affair with the leading lady, Hilary Rule. His wife of fourteen years, Eleanor, suspects that her husband is cheating and cannot suppress her rage. Robin comes up with an intriguing plan; to seduce Felix's elegant wife to end hassling her husband. In desperation, Felix agrees, but soon faces a dilemma in that he feels increasingly jealous of Robin's attempts to seduce his willing wife, especially when he charms (and attempts to seduce) Hilary and the other members of the production and becomes too popular at Felix's expense. Felix is caught in a web of deceit and jealousy, prompting him to seek revenge on the opening night of his new production.



The film currently holds a 69% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 16 reviews with an average rating of 6.2/10.[2] While enjoying performances by most of the cast, critics have given the film mixed reviews. Film4 argued about whether it is considered to be a comedy, drama or both, with neither making a large impression.[3] The New York Times reviewed the film as "watchable without being gripping".[4]



  1. "The Leading Man". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved 17 April 2018.
  2. "The Leading Man (1998)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved 17 April 2018.
  3. "Leading Man, The". Film4. Channel 4. Retrieved 4 October 2014.
  4. Van Gelder, Lawrence (20 March 1998). "'The Leading Man,': Watchable but Not Gripping". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved 4 October 2014.

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