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UK Prime Ministers on film, in honor of UK Election Day


Swithin
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British Prime Ministers have been depicted as characters in the movies almost since films began, right up to the present. Sometimes they are the main character, sometimes an important supporting character, sometimes a bit player. 

 

By way of honoring Election Day in the UK, which is today, please post your favorite depiction of a UK Prime Minister in a feature film, and why you like that particular depiction. Three rules, if I may:

 

1. Just ONE name (I know the brilliant among you will want to mention every appearance of a PM character that you can think of);

 

2. No documentaries or TV films/series;

 

3. No discussion of British politics or the election itself. Start an off-topic thread if you want to do that.

 

I'm particularly fond of a very minor character in the film Random Harvest, toward the end of the movie, at a party thrown by Colman and Garson. The fact that Garson gets the PM to dance with her is mentioned as a testament to her charm. The character (probably either Ramsay MacDonald or Stanley Baldwin) is billed only as "The Prime Minister" and is played by Edward Fielding.

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How about the supercool PM from "Love Actually" (2003)? Hugh Grant appears as David, the new prime minister who stands up to the headstrong U.S. president (Billy Bob Thornton as a cross between Bill Clinton and George W. Bush). His memorable comments about all good things from the U.K. would make me proud to be British if I had been born there.

 

 

 

The PM also shows off his dancing skills during what he believes to be a private moment at No. 10 Downing Street.

 

 

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I thought that Michael Sheen was tremendous as Tony Blair in THE QUEEN (2006). The film was Helen Mirren's show from start to finish, of course. But Sheen does a good job of acting like an ordinary person suddenly thrust into a crisis that requires an extraordinary amount of diplomacy and political acumen.

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I thought that Michael Sheen was tremendous as Tony Blair in THE QUEEN (2006). The film was Helen Mirren's show from start to finish, of course. But Sheen does a good job of acting like an ordinary person suddenly thrust into a crisis that requires an extraordinary amount of diplomacy and political acumen.

I worked with Michael Sheen, he's as down to earth in real life as he was in that movie. A real sweetie.

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If you meant real-life prime ministers, then what immediately comes to mind is Meryl Streep as Margaret Thatcher in "The Iron Lady" (2011). Streep's portrayal of Thatcher (1925-2013) -- from her early days in politics to her declining years suffering from dementia -- earned the American star her second Academy Award for Best Actress (and third Oscar overall).

 

 

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Sheen portrayed Tony Blair two other times. "The Deal," a 2003 movie for British television, was about Blair's power-sharing agreement with fellow Labour heavyweight Gordon Brown (played by David Morrissey, The Governor from TV's "The Walking Dead"). Brown succeeded Blair as PM in 2007.

 

Sheen also appeared as Blair in "The Special Relationship," a 2010 HBO production about the British prime minister's dealings with Bill Clinton (Dennis Quaid) during the president's second term. Hope Davis appeared as First Lady Hillary Clinton. Helen McCrory (Narcissa Malfoy in the "Harry Potter" series) returned to the role of Blair's wife, Cherie. The British actress also played Mrs. Blair in "The Queen" (2006).

 

"The Deal," "The Queen" and "The Special Relationship" all were written by British playwright Peter Morgan. Sheen also portrayed TV host David Frost in the 2008 film version of Morgan's play "Frost/Nixon."

 

 

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1st thought was George Arliss as Disraeli

 

disraeli1.jpg

 

I think that is Disraeli. He played the Prime Minister TWICE. Once in Disraeli, and also in The Tunnel, during the opening dedication of the tunnel. Walter Houston played the US President, which was the second time he played the US President.

 

I looked for stills of Arliss in The Tunnel, but I couldn't find any. His appearance was fairly brief, just a couple of minutes.

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If you meant real-life prime ministers, then what immediately comes to mind is Meryl Streep as Margaret Thatcher in "The Iron Lady" (2011). Streep's portrayal of Thatcher (1925-2013) -- from her early days in politics to her declining years suffering from dementia -- earned the American star her second Academy Award for Best Actress (and third Oscar overall).

 

 

 

Yes, it was really good performance.

 

I know some people on this board dislike Meryl Streep but she's a really good actor in command of both technical and emotional acting skills.

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