It’s election day in the U. S.  Get out and vote if you haven’t already.  Then come back and watch what we think is the best film ever made about politics and politicians.

Hello Everybody.  Joe Morella and Frank Segers, your classic movie guys, back from the polls and in front of the screen.

Everyone has a favorite movie about politics.  For some it’s Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.  For others it’s The Candidate.  Some like All The President’s Men.

Joe’s favorite and his candidate for the BEST classic film about politics is The Best Man.  It was a hit play by Gore Vidal back in 1960 (recently revived on Broadway) and was made into a blockbuster 1964 movie starring Henry Fonda, Cliff Robertson, Edie Adams, Ann Sothern, Lee Tracy, Gene Raymond and Margaret Leighton.

The film is as timely today as when it was released.

Here’s an interesting tid-bit.  Lee Tracy was cast in the play as the former president whose endorsement is being sought by both candidates for the nomination. (He repeated the role in the film.)  Actor Ronald Reagan had been considered but rejected.  Vidal didn’t think him presidential. (So much for Hollywood’s conception of real politics.)

As a matter of course, Frank avoids Hollywood films about politics.  Most often, the filmmakers for many reasons get it all wrong. Generally, politicians in reality are far more interesting that politicians played by actors onscreen.

Broderick Crawford is appropriately blustery as a corrupt Southern politician in 1949’s All The King’s Men.  Sean Penn is dreadful in the same role in a 2006 remake.  Was A Face In The Crowd, not Elia Kazan’s best movie by a longshot, really about politics or simply about an unhinged country singer (Andy Griffith)?

Let’s hear about your favorite films about politics.

 

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