Election Day is Here! Classic Films about American Politics…


Election Day is Here!

Katharine Hepurn_Frank Capra_Spencer Tracy VOTEGET OUT AND VOTE!

After a year and half stuck in a sea of seemingly non-stop political inundation, the day of reckoning has finally arrived: Election Day. Well, at least for our American readers anyway… And, while this election season has certainly been, well, interesting, by tomorrow we will all have cast our votes and (hopefully) everything will return back to normal. Then, we can all sit down and watch some movies that put our political system in perspective.

Below are some of the best classic films about American Politics. Some of them act as cynical critiques of the inner-workings of our political system while others offer great hope about the nature of democracy. Each and every one offers an important insight into what can be considered the best and worst aspects of the American political structure. So, grab your popcorn and get ready to ponder the nature of government…after you’re finished with voting of course.


All The Kings Men


All the King’s Men (1949, Robert Rossen director)

Chronicling the rise and fall of a southern populist, this film is one of the finest examples of how even those with the best of intentions can eventually become just as corrupt as the system they were once rallying against.


Dr. Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb


Dr. Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964, Stanley Kubrick director)

Perhaps one of the most humorous movies ever made about the destruction of civilization, but that’s point. The film is wonderful because it puts on display the absurdity of the modern world, particularly the theory of mutually assured destruction, while critiquing those in power who have created it.


Mr. Smith Goes to Washington


Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939, Frank Capra director)

Now on to a less depressing film, Mr. Smith goes to Washington is a beautiful love letter to our democracy and its dedicated public servants. Although the film operates under the assumption that there is always corruption in our government, its underlying message is incredibly hopeful. Despite the greed that may permeate throughout American politics, there will always be those dedicated to fighting for what is right and fighting for the people they serve. 


Advice and Consent


Advise and Consent (1962, Otto Preminger director)

A scathing critique of Capitol Hill’s political infighting, this film puts on display how those in power can allow their political ideologies to become more important than serving the people who voted for them.


Born Yesterday


Born Yesterday (1950, George Cukor director)

A wonderfully charming film that at its very core is all about understanding importance of ethics and civic responsibility. It’s never too late to start learning about your political system and it’s never too late to start engaging with it.


A Face in the Crowd


A Face in the Crowd (1957, Eliz Kazan director)

The film follows the rise and fall of radio/tv personality, “Lonesome” Rhodes, a power-hungry demagogue who rides into power through a faux-populist image created by powerful media manipulation. If you’ve been paying attention to this year’s media circus, this one might be of particular interest to you.


The Best Man

the-best-manThe Best Man (1964, Franklin J. Schaffner director)

If you think that smoke-and-mirrors politics are a modern day phenomenon, think again. This film delves head first into the backdoor deals and political scandals that often lead to the less qualified person getting more political support. And just like the rest of the films on this list, it’s just as relevant in 2016 as it was when it was made.


Minoo Allen for Classic Movie Hub

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