After hearing news that Bill Murray is in line to play America’s most famous war-time president Franklin Delano Roosevelt in Roger Michel’s adaptation of a BBC Radio play Hyde Park on the Hudson, we decided to compile a list of the best film tributes to real life presidents. But then we realised that such a feature would ultimately just turn into a George W. Bush-bashing session and besides… some of the fictional presidents have been much more fun.
Charlie ‘Tigerblood’ Sheen may have been the star of this 1993 sequel, but it was the late Lloyd Bridges who stole the show as bumbling President Benson. His persoanl duel with Saddam Hussain was memorable for the banter alone… “We’ll do this the old navy way. First one to die… loses!”
There’s only one thing that unites the American people more than an alien invasion – and that’s an alien invasion on a public holiday. One person was pleased to see the spacelings without virus protection though. Bill Pullman’s term in office was about the hit the skids but after an inspirational speech and a spectacular dog-fight, he was looking at the business end of an election landslide..
Released a couple of months before the almost identical Armageddon, Deep Impact was lauded by boffins as “more scientifically credible” than its rival (presuamably in the same way that Shell is more popular than BP with your average member of Greenpeace..) upon its release in 1998. But a black man as President?! Sometimes even Hollywood goes too far..
Peace-loving Jim Dale (played by Jack Nicholson) continually tries to negotiate with these viscous Martians despite the fact that they incinerated Congress, destroyed various cultural landmarks around the globe (standard practice for any bunch of invading aliens) and attempted to assinate him on a couple of occasions. From that day forward the Oval Office has bombed first and asked questions later..
The American President in Richard Curtis’s feast of sentimentality is so villainous that he doesn’t even have a name, but he swans into Downing Street shoves Hugh Grant about for a bit and tries to seduce Martine McCutcheon. Okay so he wasn’t evil, he was just more interested in casual sex than love ™ – which makes him a veritable Kim Jong Il by Richard Curtis standards..
President Indy took exception when a crew of commies led by Gary Oldman hi-jacked his plane back in 1997, but even without his trademark fedora and bull-whip he managed to score a unprecedented publicity victory by icing a dozen terrorists with his bare hands. A preposterous but entertaining piece of Americana.
In the years between The Last Crusade and Air Force One, Indy was a humble CIA agent with unbending morals and lovable knack for getting himself in sticky situations. In Clear and Present Danger he was forced to report his own President (the rather less scrupulous Donald Moffat) to congress for telling porkies. Presumably he ran for office immediately afterwards (see previous)..
Officially this was the completely fictional tale of a greying politician who rose from humble beginnings in the South to become the most powerful man in America in the early nineties. Unofficially Bill Clinton’s publicity officer’s wet dream. But John Travolta’s jaunt to the White House was notable for including Billy Bob Thornton (who would of course become a President himself one day) and Adrian Lester of Hustle..
A rom-com set in the White House?! Do us a favour.. Great speech though.