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Movies for President’s Day

Posted on February 20, 2017 at 10:59 am

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.

Then there are fictional movie Presidents like Polly Bergen as the first woman Chief Executive and Harrison Ford as an almost-superhero President in “Air Force One.”  Be sure to check out Yahoo’s slideshow of real-life Presidents portrayed on screen.

 

Ten Presidential 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).

4. “Kisses for My President” This all-but forgotten 1964 film features Polly Bergen 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.

6. Welcome To Mooseport Gene Hackman plays a former President who ends up competing with small town guy Ray Romano in a mayoral race and for Maura Tierney.

7. Guarding Tess Shirley MacLaine is a former first lady and Nicolas Cage is her bored Secret Service guard in this comedy-drama with some funny moments — and some touching ones, too.

8. Dave Kevin Kline plays a man hired to impersonate the President (also Kline) whose challenges include fooling the First Lady (Sigourney Weaver) in this charming comedy.

9. The American President Michael Douglas plays a President in love in this witty story from the man who would go on to create “The West Wing” with Martin Sheen, seen here as a Presidential aide.

10. The President’s Analyst The focus is on the psychiatrist who treats the President in this satire starring James Coburn.

And don’t forget Richard Nixon in “Nixon” (Anthony Hopkins), “Frost/Nixon” (Frank Langella), and “Dick” (Dan Hedaya), John F. Kennedy in “13 Days” (Bruce Greenwood) and “PT 109” (Cliff Robertson), George W. Bush in “W” (James Brolin, with James Cromwell as his father, President George H.W. Bush), and Franklin Roosevelt in “Hyde Park on Hudson” (Bill Murray), “Eleanor and Franklin” (Edward Hermann), and “Sunrise at Campobello” (Ralph Bellamy).  In “The Remarkable Andrew,” the ghost of Andrew Jackson (Brian Donlevy) helps a teacher played by William Holden expose some corruption in his local government and Theodore Roosevelt appears in “The Wind and the Lion” and “My Girl Tisa.”

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Film History For Your Netflix Queue
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Election Day Movies: Presidents

Posted on November 8, 2016 at 7:00 am

After you vote, take a break from red and blue maps to enjoy some of the portrayals of real US Presidents on screen.

Daniel Day-Lewis won an Oscar for Lincoln.  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.

President Kennedy’s WWII experience was the subject of PT 109, starring Cliff Robertson.  He was also the subject of 13 Days, about the Cuban missile crisis.  Oliver Stone has directed movies about Nixon, played by Anthony Hopkins (who also played a memorably cagy John Quincy Adams in “Amistad”), and George W. Bush, played by Josh Brolin.  President Nixon has been portrayed in a number of other films, from the acclaimed Frost/Nixon to the humorous but touching Elvis and Nixon and the wild satire Dick.  And of course he is the subject of the Oscar-winning Best Picture All the President’s Men, though he is only glimpsed in archival footage.

The Butler is based on the true story of a man who worked in the White House for eight Presidents, and we see everyone from Eisenhower to Reagan portrayed in the film. Of course Reagan himself was an actor before he went into politics. His best films include “King’s Row” (his own favorite), “Hellcats of the Navy” (co-starring with Nancy Reagan), and, yes, “Bedtime for Bonzo.”

There are some great President movies made for television: Gary Sinese gave a superb performance in Truman and Bryan Cranston was outstanding in the role he originated on Broadway, Lyndon Johnson in All the Way.

President and Mrs. Obama were portrayed in a film about their first date this year, Southside With You. (For the real story of what happened that night, see this adorable column by my dad, who was there.)  “Barry,” another movie about Barack Obama’s early years, will be out soon.

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, Hyde Park on Hudson, 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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Based on a true story For Your Netflix Queue Politics

President Movies

Posted on February 17, 2014 at 8:00 am

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.raymond massey lincoln

Then there are fictional movie Presidents like Polly Bergen as the first woman Chief Executive and Harrison Ford as an almost-superhero President in “Air Force One.”  Be sure to check out Yahoo’s slideshow of real-life Presidents portrayed on screen.

 

Ten Presidential 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.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l31UUl5SyXk

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).

4. “Kisses for My President” This all-but forgotten 1964 film features Polly Bergen 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)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FfTsMLxHb8g

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.

6. Welcome To Mooseport Gene Hackman plays a former President who ends up competing with small town guy Ray Romano in a mayoral race and for Maura Tierney.

7. Guarding Tess Shirley MacLaine is a former first lady and Nicolas Cage is her bored Secret Service guard in this comedy-drama with some funny moments — and some touching ones, too.

8. Dave Kevin Kline plays a man hired to impersonate the President (also Kline) whose challenges include fooling the First Lady (Sigourney Weaver) in this charming comedy.

9. The American President Michael Douglas plays a President in love in this witty story from the man who would go on to create “The West Wing” with Martin Sheen, seen here as a Presidential aide.

10. The President’s Analyst The focus is on the psychiatrist who treats the President in this satire starring James Coburn.

And don’t forget Richard Nixon in “Nixon” (Anthony Hopkins), “Frost/Nixon” (Frank Langella), and “Dick” (Dan Hedaya), John F. Kennedy in “13 Days” (Bruce Greenwood) and “PT 109” (Cliff Robertson), George W. Bush in “W” (James Brolin, with James Cromwell as his father, President George H.W. Bush), and Franklin Roosevelt in “Hyde Park on Hudson” (Bill Murray), “Eleanor and Franklin” (Edward Hermann), and “Sunrise at Campobello” (Ralph Bellamy).  In “The Remarkable Andrew,” the ghost of Andrew Jackson (Brian Donlevy) helps a teacher played by William Holden expose some corruption in his local government and Theodore Roosevelt appears in “The Wind and the Lion” and “My Girl Tisa.”

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Based on a true story For Your Netflix Queue Lists Neglected gem

Movies to Celebrate Presidents

Posted on February 18, 2013 at 8:00 am

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.

Then there are fictional movie Presidents like Polly Bergan as the first woman Chief Executive.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FfTsMLxHb8g

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.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l31UUl5SyXk

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.

And don’t forget: Richard Nixon in “Nixon” (Anthony Hopkins), “Frost/Nixon” (Frank Langella), and “Dick” (Dan Hedaya), John F. Kennedy in “13 Days” (Bruce Greenwood) and “PT 109” (Cliff Robertson), George W. Bush in “W” (James Brolin, with James Cromwell as his father, President George H.W. Bush), and Franklin Roosevelt in “Hyde Park on Hudson” (Bill Murray), “Eleonor and Franklin” (Edward Hermann), and “Sunrise at Campbello” (Ralph Bellamy)

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