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Are There "Positive" Political Films?

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#1 of 45 OFFLINE   MichaelBA


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Posted November 23 2005 - 04:04 AM

I know this is an extremely delicate subject on HTF, so if this thread needs to be closed before it's even open, I completely understand.

But I will try to word my question carefully:

What films depict politicians or politics in a wholly or even mostly "positive" light?

Lots of negative depictions of both, veering from total corruption of the system and those participating in it to maybe at best showing a few singularly exceptional untainted individuals, e.g., Lincoln in YOUNG LINCOLN or only perhaps the Founding Fathers in 1776.

I think a television program like THE WEST WING shows politics and politicians, overall, quite positively.

Any films that do that?
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#2 of 45 OFFLINE   Matt Czyz

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Posted November 23 2005 - 04:19 AM

Shouldn't this be in the "Movies" forum?

#3 of 45 OFFLINE   Thommy...M


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Posted November 23 2005 - 04:20 AM

DAVE starring Kevin Kline portrays a politician the way a politician should be.

#4 of 45 OFFLINE   MattHR



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Posted November 23 2005 - 04:20 AM

TEAM AMERICA. (Just kidding, but I still love it!) Good question. It should be able to be discussed as long as the focus stays on the films, without member's injecting their own politics...which would lead to other members' attacks...which would lead to your thread being shut down. I would also be interested in seeing some suggestions. Although, Hollywood movies about politics without politics wouldn't be very...well,..."Hollywood"...if you know what I mean.

#5 of 45 OFFLINE   MichaelBA


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Posted November 23 2005 - 04:22 AM

TEAM AMERICA! That's great!Posted Image

I don't think DAVE qualifies because there's too much overall corruption of the political system and the political players, with only a good and pure outsider, non-politician able to set things straight for the good and pure, but previously shunted aside, vice-president.

But this thread should have been in Movies.

Sorry!:b Posted Image
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#6 of 45 OFFLINE   Paul McElligott

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Posted November 23 2005 - 04:25 AM

The American President was a fairly positive film, with the same sort of idealized President that Martin Sheen plays in The West Wing.
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#7 of 45 OFFLINE   Jesse Blough

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Posted November 23 2005 - 04:46 AM

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

#8 of 45 OFFLINE   MattHR



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Posted November 23 2005 - 05:02 AM

Within this discussion, could we could also include suggestions for movies that take shots at politicians in general, for laughs, without taking sides or making statements? Eddie Murphy's THE DISTINGUISHED GENTLEMAN came to mind, but there are countless others. No doubt this list would be much longer.

#9 of 45 OFFLINE   Jeff Gatie

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Posted November 23 2005 - 05:14 AM

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, of course. The dramatization of the Cuban Missle Crisis - Thirteen Days.

#10 of 45 OFFLINE   george kaplan

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Posted November 23 2005 - 05:31 AM

Air Force One - not a political movie per se, but showing the president and vp in a very positive light. Seven Days in May - positive portrayal of the president and other politicians, though a negative portrayal of a general wanting to be president.
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#11 of 45 OFFLINE   ChristopherDAC



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Posted November 23 2005 - 05:34 AM

Blast! Kaplan beat me to it by five seconds. Seven Days in May, by all means, as a film which shows the good meaning of the word "politics".

#12 of 45 OFFLINE   Haggai



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Posted November 23 2005 - 05:42 AM

MichaelBA's original post specified that he was not talking about movies that "show a few singularly exceptional untainted individuals," which would unquestionably rule out Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, where the entire Senate is stacked against Mr. Smith.

#13 of 45 OFFLINE   Peter M Fitzgerald

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Posted November 23 2005 - 05:52 AM

Here are five off the top of my head; most are in the "politicians in a mostly positive light" category:


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#14 of 45 OFFLINE   Jeff_HR



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Posted November 23 2005 - 10:01 AM

Or the earlier version, "The Missiles of October".

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#15 of 45 OFFLINE   Michael Reuben

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Posted November 23 2005 - 10:08 AM

Great summary! M.
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#16 of 45 OFFLINE   glen_esq


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Posted November 23 2005 - 11:04 AM

Gandhi (1982) The Candidate (1972) Disraeli (1929)
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#17 of 45 OFFLINE   Brook K

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Posted November 23 2005 - 08:20 PM

Zombie Lake Dr. Stangelove (If you think about it, the president is pretty level-headed through the whole ordeal)
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#18 of 45 OFFLINE   andrew markworthy

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Posted November 23 2005 - 10:46 PM

Um, not really - if memory serves me correctly, it showed the Brit politicians in a very negative light (and was also somewhat over-flattering about Gandhi). How about The Young Mr Pitt (1942) starring Robert Donat?

#19 of 45 OFFLINE   Sam Favate

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Posted November 24 2005 - 12:31 AM

I remember when Air Force One was released, Harrison Ford appeared on David Letterman's show, and each time the camera cut to Ford, there would be words on the screen that said "Harrison Ford: Ass-Kickin' President!" The president in AFO is as positive a character as those in The American President or The West Wing.

Bill Pullman's president in Independence Day is also shown in a positive light.

Jimmy Smits' Senator Organa is the only honest man left in the Republic in Revenge of the Sith.

I also think Anthony Hopkins showed Richard Nixon in a fairly positive light in Oliver Stone's Nixon.

#20 of 45 OFFLINE   SteveGon


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Posted November 24 2005 - 01:15 AM

Actually, if you watch the deleted scenes on the ROTS DVD, you'll see that there were others (Mon Mothma for instance). Just nit-pickin'! Posted Image

Overall I'd say politicians get about as much respect from Hollywood as science and scientists do.

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