With Election Day almost upon us, The Movie Mind thought he would give you all some last minute help to sort through the potential candidates. What better way to approach tomorrow’s election than to look at some of the finest Presidents to ever grace the big-screen. Some led the country through alien invasions, others just sat in the Oval Office and figured out how to deal with their daughter, wife, or cabinet. I still think it is more difficult to portray a President in a film than in real life. That is assuming the real life ones do anything more than portray the image anyway. So without further ado, I present this Movie Mind Original List of the Best Movie Presidents and their real-life counterparts:
- Independence Day
Candidate: President Thomas J. Whitmore (Bill Pullman)
Reminds Me Of: Rudy Giuliani
Pullman is a bad liar when he pretends to have been kept in the dark about the hidden departments of government (upon arriving at Area 51 for the first time, “I don’t understand, where does all this come from? How do you get funding for something like this?”). However, behind closed doors, he is a trigger-happy cartoon President who may have been “violated” by the aliens (“I saw… its thoughts. I saw what they’re planning to do…They’re moving from planet to planet… after they’ve consumed every natural resource they move on… and we’re next. Nuke ‘em. Let’s nuke the bastards.”). Didn’t Rudy actually say something similar to this after 9/11? I can already see Pullman’s reelection campaign where he references “7/4” (aka Independence Day) in response to every question he is asked regardless of the topic. His biggest mistake still could have been putting the fate of the world in the hands of Randy Quaid…I’d rather he brought back Dan Quayle as a trusted advisor.
- Air Force One
Candidate: President James Marshall (Harrison Ford)
Reminds Me Of: John McCain
They both have the “old man strength” going for them and the appearance of being a no-joke badass. If there is any question on where Pres. Marshall stands in regards to threats against our country, he answers them in demanding fashion by decreeing, “Never again will I allow our political self-interest to deter us from doing what we know to be morally right. Atrocity and terror are not political weapons. And to those who would use them, your day is over. We will never negotiate. We will no longer tolerate and we will no longer be afraid. It’s your turn to be afraid.” That kind of resolve could either mean we will always be safe, or that we could still be in war in 2012. Plus he has a wife he appears to still love, and he single-handedly took back Air Force One and conquered the terrorists. Yeah, I know what you’re thinking: we’re still one bad sushi roll and coronary away from Glenn Close as the leader of the free world.
Candidate: President Bill Mitchell / Dave Kovic (Kevin Kline)
Reminds Me Of: H. Ross Perot
They are both some of the only candidates in movies or real life to had any actual real-world work experience. President Mitchell –err, Dave Kovic, was able to solve the budget crisis overnight with his CPA buddy, and simultaneously bring some badly lacking purpose to the office of the presidency. He had the Presidential routine down pat while he lied to the First Lady, and the American Public, but then something odd happened…he truly attempted to do some good. Much like H. Ross, philosophically it makes sense, but can never happen in real life.
- Welcome to Mooseport
Candidate: Monroe Cole (Gene Hackman)
Reminds Me Of: Bill Clinton
Let’s see…he is a smooth-talker, cheats at golf, and tries to steal other guys’ women. Need I say more?
- Deep Impact
Candidate: President Tom Beck (Morgan Freeman)
Reminds Me Of: Barack Obama
If elected, Sen. Obama will potentially be under the same metaphorical comet headed for earth with the intent of destroying the world. Since the cool, calm, and collected Morgan Freeman was able to avert disaster, let’s hope the equally as suave Sen. Obama can do the same. The scary part here is that if you put the two of them next to each other, 9 out of 10 people would say Obama is the actor and Freeman is the politician. Only time will tell who winds up correct.
- The American President
Candidate: President Andrew Shepherd (Michael Douglas)
Reminds Me Of: Mitt Romney
A former slick insurance executive, Romney is just as debonair as the polished Douglas. You could just see Romeny utilizing the White House as his personal speed dating meeting spot. These are two guys who certainly look the part, but are better off staying in front of the big screen than behind the big desk.
- Man of the Year
Candidate: Tom Dobbs (Robin Williams)
Reminds Me Of: Ron Paul
It’s funny to think that either one of these goofballs could actually be the smartest and most effective answer to the office of the President we have seen in some time. While it would take a miracle for them to get elected, it may just warrant some true attention. It may be worth it just to see the real candidate play himself on the Saturday Night Live parodies. They can’t be worse than pageant-queen Palin’s appearance was.
- The Contender
Candidate: President Jackson Evans (Jeff Bridges)
Reminds Me Of: Gov. Bill Richardson
Right off the cuff I have to say the beards are what originally put these two together for me. But I think it runs deeper than that…you can just tell Richardson has a bit of “The Dude” somewhere in his past, and you could totally see Bridges just letting himself go much like Gov. Richardson. The scary comparison of this film to our real life counterparts is when Bridges appoints Joan Allen as Vice President, igniting a sex-scandal from Allen’s past. Now I won’t put Palin in those same shoes, but is it really that far out of the question?
- Mars Attacks!
Candidate: President James Dale (Jack Nicholson)
Reminds Me Of: Ralph Nader
There’s no telling just how crazy either one of these two are. All I know is that if the world was being attacked by aliens, I would want no one else in office but these guys. I think they both could communicate well with the Martians, and you know with ol’ Ralphie in office all of America would be armed to their teeth and could take on any invaders.
- Primary Colors
Candidate: John Travolta
Reminds Me Of: Al Gore
It doesn’t matter that this role was actually built as a clone to Bill Clinton…Travolta is much “Big Al” than “Slick Willie”. Maybe it is the sheer appearance of the two that is throwing me off, but if you erased that baby powder die-job on Travolta in this film, you’re staring at Mr. Greenpeace Gore. And besides, you just know Gore cruises around in his own gas-guzzling 747 by himself since it’s the only thing that can fit him.
- Head of State
Candidate: President Mays Gilliam (Chris Rock)
Reminds Me Of: Jesse Jackson
We know he isn’t qualified, but we can’t help but be deftly attentive to inevitable hilarity that is to ensure on the campaign trail. Although Jackson is much more dangerous than Rock could ever hope to be, the problem comes from what Eddie Murphy once said in his classic standup routine, “I voted for Jesse Jackson, I voted for Jesse Jackson! Sh*t…he f*cking won?”
- First Kid
Candidate: President Davenport (James Naughton)
Reminds Me Of: George W. Bush
The biggest parallel here is that they both seem completely oblivious to what is going on around them, and both seem to be suspiciously missing in times of need. It makes us wonder if Pappa Bush had a Sinbad around to watch over W. while he was young if we would ever be in the situation we are in now. Man, I never thought I would be so in need of Sinbad.
- First Daughter
Candidate: President Mackenzie (Michael Keaton)
Reminds Me Of: Ronald Reagan
Who couldn’t feel warm and fuzzy and comfortable with one of these guys in office? After enduring some of the recent Oval Office inhabitants and subsequent films, we certainly long for those days. Mr. Mom would probably have brought a more feminine touch to the presidency than if Hillary won the nomination.
- Chasing Liberty
Candidate: President James Foster (Mark Harmon)
Reminds Me Of: John Edwards
You have to admit that these two could have been passed off as brothers. If Edwards took a slightly different route after college you know he could have easily become Schoup (Summer School), living on the beach, teaching summer school, and getting hit on by a student.
- Vantage Point
Candidate: President Ashton (William Hurt)
Reminds Me Of: Fred Thompson
These guys are a couple of very savvy veterans, both onscreen and in the public service sector. Only someone with their knowledge and experience could pull off something akin to the National League’s double switch and fool everybody. With Thompson’s acting background, he and Hurt are well-versed in the use of stunt-doubles and stand-ins.
- Murder at 1600
Candidate: President Jack Neil (Ronny Cox)
Reminds Me Of: Dick Chaney
You know if Chaney was the head honcho something like this film is TOTALLY feasible.