Feature: Election Movies

As I remain at my office desk past 1 a.m. hoping to soon receive a reprieve from my duties as reporter this election night, I find myself contemplating movies that hinge on the subject. In my bleary state, I am having trouble coming up with many classic ones, so I might need help in adding to this list of great election/political movies:

  • Mr. Smith Goes to Washington I believe to be the film that changed my mind about James Stewart. Although I had become quite tired of the man from too many forced viewings of It’s a Wonderful Life (Have I mentioned this before? I’m looking at YOU, Mom), it was this other Frank Capra-directed flick that turned it around. Accompanied by the always awesome Jean Arthur,  Stewart plays a replacement in the Senate who is supposed act as pushover but ultimately tackles attempted corruption.
  • All the King’s Men, the recent remake of which was lousy, perhaps makes one hate politicians. This story is actually on the campaign trail as a redneck politician wins the support of the people only to screw them over when he becomes corrupted after he takes office. Seems like that might be fairly commonplace outside the theater also.
  • The Manchurian Candidate, the recent remake of which also does not hold a candle to the original, takes a different approach to elections.  A superb Frank Sinatra works to stop a Korean veteran from fulfilling the assassination of a presidential nominee he’s been programmed to execute. Fantastic thriller.
  • Suddenly has Sinatra again involved in an assassination plot, this time with the actual president. I watched this movie years ago and thought it amounted to very little, and so it sits on my shelf untouched, but TCM has rated this one 4/5 stars, so what’s the deal? I should make a list of movies I’ve decided against and revisit them.

Help me out and drop some other favorite election/political movies in the comments. It’s all over now, so it’s okay to have fun.

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3 Responses

  1. Well, considering Jerry Brown seems to be winning in California. Right now I am listening to California Uber Alles.

    The Parallax View is the political film that has stuck with me the most of late. Warren Beatty as a reporter investigating a conspiracy around an assassination only to find out too late that he is being set up. Much better than the third film in Pakula’s trilogy: All The Presidents Men.

  2. The Last Huhrah–Tracy/Old time Boston politics
    The Best Man–Fonda and Robertson
    Advise and Consent–Fonda
    The Candidate–Redford

    These in addition to your fine selections.

  3. By the way: I agree with your comment on the remake of All the King’s Men. The original, with Broderick Crawford and John Ireland is fantastic.

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