Saturday, May 12, 2012

Political Picks

The 2012 Presidential campaign is well underway, and if you're looking for a companion movie to leave the pundits behind, there are plenty to choose from. I just picked 5 of my favorites.

tt0074119.jpg1. All The President's Men--Who couldn't love (or hate) this 1976 political thriller that tells the story of how two real-life news men broke the Watergate scandal that led to the resignation of President Nixon? Well played by Dustin Hoffman and Robert Redford, lead an all star cast in this classic.

tt0068334.jpg2. The Candidate--Just four years before he took a much more serious role in my #1 pick, Redford played a bubble gum-chewing candidate for U.S. Senate who didn't really have a chance of winning, so he just spoke his mind. The idea backfired in his favor. The very last line of the movie is still one of my favorites. Look out for Peter Boyle in a great supporting role. Redford has stated that he thought about revisiting the character, but for now, enjoy a look at the first film.

tt0103850.jpg3. Bob Roberts--Jump ahead 20 years, and you've got the always enjoyable Tim Robbins in a documentary (sort of) about a folk-singing candidate for U.S. Senate. Robbins wrote many of the songs in the movie, but when asked about why no soundtrack was released, he said he worried it might be manipulated, and he's probably right. Many Bob Dylan references make it one of my favorites. Watch out for a young Jack Black and James Spader among many others in this one.

tt0114738.jpg4. Truman--A fine HBO film starring Gary Sinise as Harry S. Truman, a man who started from literally the bottom of the political rung who eventually climbed to the highest spot on the ladder. The makeup artists did a fantastic job of making him look like the great man, and his story is a fascinating one indeed. But the buck doesn't stop here...

tt0031679.jpg5. Mr. Smith Goes To Washington--Of course, I had to put this one in--it's too much of a gem (no pun intended). Frank Capra directs Jimmy Stewart as a junior Senator from the midwest who winds up fighting political corruption. His nemesis? None other than the magnificent Claude Rains.

Naturally, there are many other political films out there--definitely no shortage of them, and I'm sure we all have our faves.

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