Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Not a Monday Movie Post

OK, I've just struggled a lot to get back into the rhythm of doing Monday Movie Posts. I'm not sure whether very many readers care, but I'll try to get back to it. I would blame the GOP debates (which knock out an average of one movie-length time slot a week)...really, I've just been watching other things. I do have a half-finished post about that awful Kelsey Grammer show, so I should finish it one of these weeks. I have another excuse...my DVR died suddenly a couple weeks ago, and with it a couple dozen or so movies I had saved to watch for Monday Movie Posts. But it's not much of an excuse, since TCM keeps showing at least one a week that I could do, and, well, I haven't, yet.

I should get to the point -- if you really want some very brief movies stuff from me, head over to Salon, where they've put together a slideshow of favorite "election entertainment" from various people and they were nice enough to ask me to participate. I don't know that it's really my favorite as such, but I picked "The Great McGinty" and also mentioned "Hail the Conquering Hero" -- both are movies I've highly recommended here in the past. Take a look at what others picked. I'm very skeptical of "Primary Colors" (the movie), although I've never seen it or read the book, so I could be wrong and I'm not a huge fan of "The Best Man," but other than that there are lots of good picks to check out. Might as well open it up to everyone: I was asked to "name [my] favorite election- or campaign-related movie, novel, or TV show." Got one?

13 comments:

  1. Milk is probably the best depiction of what it feels like to work on a campaign at the basic ground level.

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  2. I still think The Candidate is amazing.

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  3. One of my favorite political movies is "Iron Jawed Angels," about the last phase of the women's suffrage movement. It's not quite an election movie, but it's certainly a movie about a campaign (of a sort) and voting.

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    1. Awfully good choice. We're rewatching now with our oldest, and just saw Razor, which I think is terrific. To me at least, the whole series holds up very, very well the second time through, at least so far -- although I have to say that watching the first hour or so of the miniseries was just brutal, especially knowing that our daughter would soon be falling in love with all these characters and then having to go through what was to come.

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  5. Readers want to know what you think of State of the Union, with Angela Lansbury, Adolphe Menjou, Van Johnson and of course Tracy and Hepburn.

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  6. I suspect the great campaign movie hasn't been made -- because campaigning is about as exciting as selling Amway products.

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  7. Is there a movie version of The Last Hurrah? The book is a really good story based on Boston's James Curled.

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    1. Yes, John Ford directed, Spencer Tracy starred. Although I'm a fan of both, I haven't seen it yet.

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  8. I'm sure many have memories of electoral story arcs from "The West Wing", but for a favorite I'll call out the fourth season of "Hill Street Blues", and their re-telling of the 1983 Chicago (Democratic Primary) Mayoral Election.

    Best TV Guide program blurb of all-time: "Councilman Fisk drops out of the race."

    (Fortunately the show didn't reprise the ugly business of the Harold Washington-Bernard Epton general election that ensued.)

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  9. It's a very slow-moving, contemplative movie, but I really like "The Contender" with Joan Allen (2000). It focuses on a VP, not the Presidential contender; did she get caught in a scandal, or not, and why won't she clarify? Her reasons, revealed at long last, are persuasive, though I don't know that any real-life candidate could pull it off.

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  10. I can see why, generally, a political scientist wouldn't be a huge fan of The Best Man, but is there a particular reason why you don't? I really like it, even if it does seem much more novelistic than true. I suppose the same could be said of House of Cards, which I love.

    While I haven't seen it in years, I seem to remember A Perfect Candidate doing a nice job of conveying a lot of things about the way campaigns are run.

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  11. I think that's a problem with films generally, politics is a long, slow process and that's better suited to novels or TV series (i.e. the last season and a half of West Wing or House of Cards).

    Where films/movies work is when they're about specific events (such as Thirteen Days) or epic long character studies (like Nixon).

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