Here is Vanity Fair’s list of the 25 best movies about American politics. But… but…
All the President’s Men, sure. The Candidate, fine. Dr. Strangelove? It’s not exactly about politics, but OK. All the King’s Men, A Face in the Crowd? Of course.
But, um, The Queen? Isn’t that sort of, you know, about British politics? (The same folks brought us Frost/Nixon, which isn’t on the list, and probably should be.) The same goes for In the Loop.
The American President is about American politics, of course, but really, it’s not that good a movie — it’s Aaron Sorkin clearing his throat before embarking on The West Wing. If we want throat-clearing, what about including The Ides of March, which seems to be Beau Willimon’s warm-up for House of Cards?
Another omission from the list: the charming Dave, starring Kevin Kline and Sigourney Weaver. Also, was I the only one who liked Primary Colors, with John Travolta and Emma Thompson portraying the fictional equivalent of the Clintons?
I’ve seen most of the movies on the list. One that I’d never even heard of is Gabriel Over the White House, a 1933 fantasy produced by William Randolph Hearst. VF says:
Walter Huston plays a hack president-elect who gets into an automobile crack-up shortly after he’s sworn in. He is subsequently possessed by a spirit (see title) who guides his actions, which include staging firing squads on Ellis Island and bullying the world into submission by brandishing a super-secret military weapon. Quasi-fascism: it gets things done!
Sounds like it’s worth watching!