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

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American Presidents On Screen | Martin Van Buren (1837-1841)
Martin Van Buren (1837-1841)

Star: Nigel Hawthorne
Film: Amistad (1997)

Kinda like The Avengers for US presidents – except that there’s only two Avengers and they’re on, erm, different sides – Amistad ‘assembles’ Presidents Van Buren and Adams in a real-life courtroom tussle over one of the slave trade’s murkiest incidents. Nigel Hawthorne’s Martin Van Buren was the occupant of the White House at the time of the Amistad incident so technically he’s top dog, but then he’s sharing the screen with Anthony Hopkins’ John Quincy Adams who’s (a) the more interesting president and (b) Odin. Chalk that as a win for Adams.

What it tells us about the time it was made: That Hollywood was so in love with the courtroom drama that even Presidents had to answer the summons.

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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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