Movie Mom

Movie Mom

Celebrate Presidents on Election Day

posted by Nell Minow

After you vote, take a break from red and blue maps to enjoy some of the portrayals of real US Presidents on screen.  This week, the second 2012 movie about our 16th President opens — Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln,” starring Daniel Day-Lewis.  And we’ll see another movie about a real President later this month when Bill Murray plays Franklin Roosevelt in “Hyde Park on the Hudson.”

I’ve already written about some of the many other movie versions of Lincoln’s life.  “Wilson” stars Oscar nominee Alexander Knox in a dignified tribute to the 29th President. Gary Sinese gave a powerful performance in the HBO movie, Truman. Rough Riders has Tom Berenger as Theodore Roosevelt, leading Cuban rebels against Spain.


Perhaps the most fanciful portrayal of a real US President is “The Remarkable Andrew,” with William Holden as an honorable accountant who discovers a discrepancy in the town books and is visited by the ghost of his favorite President, Andrew Jackson (Brian Donlevy), who provides guidance and support. According to TIME Magazine, Lincoln has been portrayed most frequently on screen but perhaps the President most memorable on film is Franklin Roosevelt, the only man to be elected four times, with Sunrise At Campobello, Eleanor and Franklin and its sequel, Warm Springs, and, of course, Annie!  (TIME notes that the only US President never to show up as a character in a movie is Warren G. Harding.)

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