Watching those ridiculous YouTube Democratic presidential debates the other day made me ask myself: what movies had better presidents than the current crop running for office? As usual I set right to work to figure it out.
Criteria: Must be a president, elected or otherwise (obviously); has to have more than just a quick entrance/photo op; exhibit a unique quality
|10||Tom “Tiny” Lister Jr. — The Fifth Element
It’s true, he can’t enunciate his words particularly well but so what! Just knowing this man, with the intelligence of a grapefruit, was able to rise up to become the President of the United Federated Territories lets me know the future is going to be a great place. Thankfully, I’ll be dead by then.
|9||Robin Williams — Man of the Year
President-Elect: Tom Dobbs
On a lark, this late-night talk show host decides to run for office. Amazingly, he gets elected. Williams in all his looniness comes across as a likable guy. It’s also always a pleasure to see stuffed shirt posturing lose out to common sense and lightheartedness in a debate.
|8||Bill Pullman — Independence Day
President: Thomas J. Whitmore
Pullman might be slightly miscast in this role but all is forgiven when he leads a squadron of planes into the heart of invading aliens. Yeah, his rally cry may have been a bit corny, but any president willing to risk certain death gets my vote.
|7||Morgan Freeman — Deep Impact
President: Tom Beck
How much does it suck to have most of the East Coast disappear due to a comet strike during your administration? Ask Beck. He handles the dire situation with care and the utmost class. Could we expect anything different from Morgan Freeman? I think not.
|6||Michael Douglas — The American President
President: Andrew Shepherd
This is probably the most realistic portrayal of the president in any movie. The most powerful man on earth is humanized and made to be just a man. Douglas doesn’t disappoint either — he nails the role.
|5||Gene Hackman — Absolute Power|
President: Alan Richmond
Hackman portrays one ruthless son-of-a-bitch. He’ll stop at nothing to cover-up the murder of his mistress by the secret service. His actions lend credence to the statement: Absolute power corrupts absolutely. I know I’ll never piss anyone off in government ever again.
|4||Harrison Ford — Air Force One
President: James Marshall
This is our tough guy president of the list. He kicks the ass of Russian hijackers, flies Air Force One and does some crazy high-wire act between fighter jets — as they’re flying! If one has to lead by example, this is one hell of an example for others to follow!
|3||Jack Nicholson — Mars Attacks!
President: James Dale
This president doesn’t get much accomplished after the Martians land and attack. As things fall apart all around him, the best he can drum up is, “I want the people to know that they still have 2 out of 3 branches of the government working for them, and that ain’t bad.” I feel better now, don’t you?
|2||Peter Sellers — Dr. Strangelove
President: Merkin Muffley
His name alone should invoke images of a nerdy guy out of his element. It turns out he actually is totally worthless as he does absolutely nothing during a nuclear crisis. Peter Sellers captures Muffley’s complacency perfectly.
|1||Kevin Kline — Dave
President: Bill Mitchell/Dave Kovic
Okay, so he doesn’t actually get elected president, but he takes the place of the president and runs the country for a short while. I think this is the kind of president every American yearns for. He is an everyday kind of guy, who wonders aloud why everything is done in such an asinine manner. He can’t be real!
Yes, I know there are hundreds more. Before, you start randomly thowing names at me, think about it. Then give me the qualities these individuals exhibit and the movies they’re in.
By the way, we are so screwed in the next election . . .