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Film Studies 101
Feature
American Presidents On Screen
We look at POTUS in the movies

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This week sees the release of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, in which a fresh-faced Abe (Benjamin Walker) takes time out from Emancipation Proclamations, Gettysburg Addresses and wearing a stovepipe hat to slaughter the blood-craving undead. In the near future Bill Murray’s Franklin D. Roosevelt will also make his onscreen bow in Hyde Park On Hudson. The two films got us thinking: which other American presidents have made an impression on the big screen, and who played ‘em? Here’s a gallery for your reference…

WORDS PHIL DE SEMLYEN
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American Presidents On Screen | George Washington (1789-1797)
George Washington (1789-1797)

Star: Terry Layman
Film: The Patriot (2000)

Now that Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln has wrapped, that surely leaves George Washington next in line for the Serious Biopic treatment and, frankly, about time. The great man deserves more than a cameo in Al Pacino’s Revolution and a walk-on part in this Roland Emmerich historical hogwash drama, not least because he spent an entire winter outdoors. Seriously, who does that? Ignoring his famous hardiness and overlooking troublesome things like facts – the film does, after all – we will say that at least The Patriot doesn’t have Cary Grant crawling up his nostril like North By Northwest.

What it tells us about the time it was made: Historical accuracy came a distant second to A-list casting.

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Your Comments

1 Bill
Get Clinton on movies goddamit! More

Posted by Pelle on Sunday June 24, 2012, 08:28

2
Would have been nice to have James Brolin included as Reagan (also in a miniseries) or Richard Crenna for that matter in 'The Day Reagan was Shot.' And where's Eisenhower? More

Posted by JohG on Sunday June 24, 2012, 07:55

3
Are you forgetting Dennis Quaid as Clinton in The Special Relationship? More

Posted by MartinHeron on Sunday June 24, 2012, 03:08


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