Election 2020 – 20 movies to get us through to Nov. 4 - BlueStone Press
November 30, 2020
Just for fun!

Election 2020 – 20 movies to get us through to Nov. 4

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The rough-and-tumble world of politics, with its down-and-dirty, contentious hi-jinks, has been the subject of films and television ever since those media began. And, of course, elections often figure in the story. At this point, we confess to being pretty worn out from the political fracas of the past weeks/months/years, and we find ourselves turning away from the nonstop news blasts, social media alarms, reactions and overreactions to look for a little … distraction. Please.

With Election Day 2020 on the horizon and approaching fast, we searched for election-themed movies that were intended to entertain us, amuse us, excite us, and maybe even educate us.

You probably have your own favorite films on the subject of politics and elections, but the following is the BSP list, in order of release. (Most of these titles should be available online or via your local library.)

  1. “The Great McGinty” (1940), directed by Preston Sturges, starring Brian Donleavy

  2. “The Last Hurrah” (1958), directed by John Ford, starring Spencer Tracy

  3. “The Manchurian Candidate” (1962 and 2004), earlier version directed by John Frankenheimer, starring Frank Sinatra, Laurence Harvey, Angela Lansbury; later version directed by Jonathan Demme, starring Denzel Washington, Liev Schreiber, Meryl Streep

  4. “The Best Man” (1964), screenplay by Gore Vidal, directed by Franklin J. Schaffner, starring Henry Fonda, Cliff Richardson

  5. “The Candidate” (1972), directed by Michael Ritchie, starring Robert Redford, Peter Boyle

  6. “Bob Roberts” (1992), directed by and starring Tim Robbins

  7. “The Distinguished Gentleman” (1992), directed by Jonathan Lynn, starring Eddie Murphy

  8. “The War Room” (1993), directed by Chris Hegedus and D.A. Pennebaker, featuring James Carville and George Stephanopoulos

  9. “The American President” (1995), directed by Rob Reiner, starring Michael Douglas, Annette Bening

  10. “Wag the Dog” (1997), directed by Barry Levinson, starring Dustin Hoffman, Robert De Niro

  11. “Primary Colors” (1998), directed by Mike Nichols, starring John Travolta, Kathy Bates

  12. “Bulworth” (1998), directed by and starring Warren Beatty

  13. “Election” (1999), directed by Alexander Payne, starring Reese Witherspoon, Matthew Broderick

  14. “Head of State” (2003), directed by and starring Chris Rock, with Bernie Mac

  15. “Napoleon Dynamite” (2004), directed by Jared Hess, starring Jon Heder, Efren Ramirez (“Vote for Pedro”)

  16. “Idiocracy” (2006), directed by Mike Judge, starring Luke Wilson

  17. “Swing Vote” (2008), directed by Joshua Michael Stern, starring Kevin Costner

  18. “The Ides of March” (2011), directed by George Clooney, starring Paul Giamatti, George Clooney, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Ryan Gosling

  19. “The Campaign” (2012), directed by Jay Roach, starring Will Ferrell, Zach Galifianakis

  20. “Game Change” (2012), directed by Jay Roach, starring Julianne Moore, Woody Harrelson, Ed Harris

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