As we should know by now, Charlotte is bracing for the arrival of the DNC. Whether you’re actively involved in the convention, a by-stander or a collateral observer, this convention has the potential to be a game-changer for our city and likely for our country. Even if you’re not into this particular convention, you might enjoy reading about real or fictionalized election campaigns. If so, check out “Political books: Strange truths and fun function” by Pam Kelley in the Charlotte Observer. If you’re more of a movie junkie, you might be in the mood to watch one of the following classic movies:
My personal recommendations include:
“State of the Union” (1948) starring Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn and Angela Lansbury. Angela Lansbury is the newspaper magnate and lover of Spencer Tracy, a married, WWII decorated hero who convinces a naïve Tracy to run for office and then manipulates his campaign. Katharine Hepburn portrays the wife.
“All the President’s Men” (1976). Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman star as Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, the two Washington Post journalists who uncovered and investigated the events of the Watergate break-in. The break-in became the scandal that brought down President Nixon.
“All the King’s Men” (1949) shouldn’t be confused with the Redford/Hoffman movie or with the 2006 remake. Look for the one staring Broderick Crawford and based on the book by Robert Penn Warren. It’s a fictionalized account of Louisiana’s Huey Long.
“The War Room”(1993), a documentary of Bill Clinton’s presidential campaign. This provides a behind-the-scenes look at the campaign operations and prominently features campaign manager, James Carville, and press spokesman, George Stephanopoulos.
“The Seduction of Joe Tynan” (1979) staring Alan Alda, Barbara Harris and Meryl Streep. The screenplay, written by Alda, depicts a U.S. Senator whose affair with attorney, Streep, threatens not only his marriage, but his political career. This may not land on anyone’s “best political movie” list, but I’ve always enjoyed it because it features the likeable Alda, one of Streep’s first major roles, and a classic story about egotism and corruption.
“Primary Colors”(1998) stars John Travolta and Emma Thompson in roles thinly based on Bill and Hillary Clinton.
If these movies, don’t interest you, try another list and enjoy.
- Neal Gabler’s Ten Great Political Films
- “The Campaign” and Four More Movies About Serious Politics”
- “Roll’Em! Our Favorite Political Movies”