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Movie Mom

List: Five movies about presidents

posted by Nell Minow

PresidentsDay-w.jpg
Why have there been no great films about George Washington? And why are there so many films featuring Abraham Lincoln? From the John Ford classic Young Mr. Lincoln, starring Henry Fonda, to Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, there is something about the tall man with the wry sense of humor that is very cinematic.
Five great movies for President’s Day:
1. Young Mr. Lincoln Long before he ran for President, we see Abe Lincoln mourn his first love and defend his first clients.
2. Independence Day Bill Pullman is a former fighter pilot who leads America and the world after an alien attack.
3. Dr. Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb This cold-war farce has Peter Sellers in three roles, including President of the United States. His conversation with his counterpart in the USSR is a masterpiece. (Some mature material).
kisses%20for%20my%20president.jpg4. “Kisses for My President” Not available on DVD or video, this all-but forgotten 1964 film features Polly Bergan as the nation’s first female President, but in this pre-feminist era its focus is on the problems faced by her husband, played by Fred McMurray. It is every bit as silly as its title suggests and you will never believe how it all gets resolved. (Guesses welcome)
5. Air Force One Harrison Ford is the President as action hero. When Air Force One is captured by terrorists, it’s a good thing that the man who played Han Solo and Indiana Jones is on hand.

  • Rita

    How about The American President, with Michael Douglas as a widowed President with a tween-aged daughter (and card carrying member of the ACLU) and Annette Benning playing the lobbyist for an environmental group whom he choses to date?

  • Nell Minow

    I am such a huge Aaron Sorkin fan! And I love both of their performances, and the wonderful dance they do to “I Have Dreams,” from “The King and I.”

  • Kevin L.

    You haven’t even touched the surface – and with action pictures “Independence Day” and “Air Force One”, you bounced right off it.
    Two alternate suggestions:
    “Thirteen Days” – President Kennedy and the Cuban Missile Crisis
    “Gabriel Over the White House” (1933), with Walter Huston – (http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0024044/). A “party man” is elected president in the midst of the depression, but changes after a near-death experience. He demands and gets dictatorial powers from Congress, goes to war with gangsters (calling in tanks at one point), and threatens war on Europe unless they agree to mutual disarmament. Neat piece to remind people how attractive Fascism can be.

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