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Favorite Movie About a Political Campaign or an Election


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In dutiful acknowledgement of the upcoming election (...*yawns* ...) would anyone care to nominate a favorite movie centered around an election and/or a political campaign?

 

 

 

Sadly, the best I myself can come up with is The Best Man(1964), being the sucker for Henry Fonda that I am. (Tagline: "Does The Best Man Always Get To The White House?")

 

 

 

Surely, one of you can do better.

 

 

 

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If that cover is any indication of the contents of that film, I think I'll check it out as well.

 

I couldn't think of many movies surrounded around politics... Other than the obvious, like Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. Or does that count?

 

What about Meet John Doe? I guess I like that one the best.

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> What about Meet John Doe? I guess I like that

> one the best.

 

 

I love Meet John Doe!!! And you're right--there's a political campaign for the so-called "John Doe" party. How could I have forgotten?

 

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I think Mr. Smith Goes to Washington should count too, if only because it's the quintessential timeless Capra political movie.

 

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What great classics!

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I really liked THE DARK HORSE (1932), a really great political satire with Warren William and Bette Davis. THE GREAT MCGINTY is also one of my favorite political satires. James Cruze's WASHINGTON MERRY GO ROUND (1932) is a very good serious politcal film. It has many of the elements that Frank Capra would use in MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON.

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Great choices and posters/lobby cards...A couple of my favorites are "The Manchurian Candidate" and (yes, here we go again) "Nashville..."

 

Hal Philip Walker: "Who do you think is running congress? Farmers? Engineers? Teachers? Businessmen? No, my friends. Congress is run by lawyers. A lawyer is trained for two things and two things only. To clarify-that's one. And to confuse-that's the other. He does whichever is to his client's advantage. Did you ever ask a lawyer the time of day? He told you how to make a watch, didn't he? Ever ask a lawyer how to get to Mr. Jones' house in the country? You got lost, didn't you? Congress is composed of five hundred and thirty-five individuals. Two hundred and eighty-eight are lawyers. And you wonder what's wrong in congress. No wonder we often know how to make a watch, but we don't know the time of day."

 

Which reminds me-whatever happened to Ross Perot?

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Scottman, I just discovered the highly amusing The Dark Horse (1932) during its recent airing on TCM. What a delight with Guy Kibbee as the ultimate empty suit running for office being "managed" by William, Davis and Frank McHugh. I also love Preston Sturges The Great McGinty and an early Garson Kanin effort with a good, late career performance by John Barrymore, called The Great Man Votes(1940). Otto Preminger's Advise and Consent (1962) is a neglected film that deserves to be seen by more people--it's amazing how many of the issues in it are still relevant.

 

There are a couple of other films revolving around elections and the mechanics of government that also deserve to be seen. Interestingly they all feature Patricia Neal: Washington Story(1952) w/ Patricia Neal as a reporter & Van Johnson as a congressman--interesting because it shows the early importance of tv and some of the film takes a fairly realistic look at the very real work of being an elected official.

 

Something for the Birds (1952) also focuses on Washington lobbyists, environmentalism and the oil industry's influence on Congress--shades of Abramoff!. Miss Neal is earnest but Victor Mature is way too obvious here, (think he needed a tough guy director like Henry Hathaway to be effective, perhaps?). The film even has the endearing Edmund Gwenn as a retired admiral who takes Neal under his wing, so to speak. Btw, this was directed very well by Robert Wise and the script is an unusually literate one by I.A.L. Diamond.

 

For a more realistic, fairly nightmarish view of elections and electioneering, A Face in the Crowd (1957), directed by Elia Kazan features a dynamite performance by a hateful Andy Griffith, helped to power over elected officials by Miss Neal. That girl got around, politically, didn't she?

 

I can't say that I've ever enjoyed Capra's Mr. Smith Goes to Washington or Mr. Deeds, etc., however. Maybe it was the schmaltz or (to me at least), the annoying performances he got out of Stewart and Cooper, whom I like in other films.

 

Costa-Gavras' film about the Greek military takeover following a democratic election Z (1969) is a good film that I enjoyed very much--though I realize that we're dealing with primarily American elections. I'd also give a mild thumbs up to John Sayles recent Silver City (2004) with good work by Chris Cooper and Richard Dreyfuss in a somewhat engaging murder mystery/political thriller about an election and lobbyists.

 

Btw, Thanks for starting this thread, Pintorini---I realize that a lot of people yawn when they think of our electoral system, but I guess I'm still stubbornly idealistic enough to hope that something good comes out of it, even if it's just a few more laughs in the human comedy.

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>I

> realize that a lot of people yawn when they think of

> our electoral system, but I guess I'm still

> stubbornly idealistic enough to hope that something

> good comes out of it, even if it's just a few more

> laughs in the human comedy.

 

So true ... so true ... may the entertainment value of politics endure forever. ;)

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Since Mr. Smith Goes to Washington counts, I'll have to go with that one as my favorite. I guess I love that movie because it's such an inspirational film. Jimmy Stewart was simply amazing. This was probably my favorite of all his movie roles. And of course, Jean Arthur was stunning as well. I just love her voice!

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> Since Mr. Smith Goes to Washington counts,

> I'll have to go with that one as my favorite. I

> guess I love that movie because it's such an

> inspirational film. Jimmy Stewart was simply

> amazing. This was probably my favorite of all his

> movie roles. And of course, Jean Arthur was stunning

> as well. I just love her voice!

 

I really like Mr. Smith Goes to Washington too, as well as Jimmy Stewart and Jean Arthur!! I agree about Arthur having a nice voice!

 

I see you are a fellow Missourian, Kodaprn. I was going to ask you what you thought of Missouri's senatorial election ... but then I remembered from a different thread that you are too young to vote!!! :) I am glad you have already come to appreciate classic movies at your young age. It took me many more years to discover them. :)

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How about Michael Ritchie's 1972 film "The Candidate?"

 

I just enjoyed seeing this movie again last week, I guess it was. I was amazed at Peter Boyle and would not have known him except for his voice.

 

I disliked and still dislike Robert Redford, but the specter of 1972 America was interesting. I thought there was a Robert Kennedy-ish ending to the movie, rather it just peters out.

 

Interesting though.

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