The Big Brass Ring is a 1999 drama film, starring William Hurt, Nigel Hawthorne, Irene Jacob, Jefferson Mays and Miranda Richardson (who was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for her performance). The film's script was heavily rewritten by George Hickenlooper and F. X. Feeney from a previous screenplay written by Orson Welles and Oja Kodar in the early 1980s; Hickenlooper also directed the film.
The story concerns the darker side of a political campaign trail in Missouri. A gubernatorial candidate, Blake Pellarin, is making a campaign stop in St. Louis when his old mentor, Kim Minnaker, resurfaces. Minnaker left the country after a scandal, but now is working on a memoir and evidently possesses compromising photos of Pellarin that could end his hopes of becoming governor and, beyond that, President of the United States.
Pellarin is already juggling the pressures of a political race with a frayed relationship with his wife, Dinah, a wealthy woman with a drinking problem, and an affair with Cela, a worldly journalist. He endeavors to learn what kind of blackmail Minnaker has in store for him, as well as how it could affect his political future and his family.