Holiday movie season is in full swing, and Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln” (filmed partly at Richmond’s Capitol Square after the state lured it with more than $4 million in incentives) has drawn a lot of positive reviews.
Blue Ridge Caucus contributor Dwayne Yancey had words of praise for it this morning (I’ll leave it to him to elaborate). But our morning small talk sparked a related conversation about politics movies.
“The Campaign” just arrived in my mailbox from Netflix over the weekend, but I haven’t yet had the chance to check it out. I’m not looking for realism so much as I am a few laughs.
I watched 1972′s “The Candidate” a couple of years ago and was struck, both by how dated it feels at times but also how it’s still very current in other ways.
There’s “The War Room,” of course, which focuses largely on Clinton staffers James Carville and George Stephanopoulos during the 1992 campaign. The “War Room” is a documentary, but the characters are so vivid that at times it feels like a fictional movie.
Closer to home, there’s also “A Perfect Candidate,” which focuses on Oliver North’s 1994 run for U.S. Senate against Chuck Robb. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention there’s a scene with a press scrumb that includes Christina Nuckols (now the Roanoke Times editorial page editor), David Poole (founder of the Virginia Public Access Project) and Warren Fiske (now of PolitiFact Virginia).
Probably the two most quoted movies in the press room during my four years covering the Virginia General Assembly aren’t technically political but have either elements of politics or good lines that are applicable: “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” (see the clip at the top of this entry) and “Animal House,” which is filled with quotable lines.
Dwayne also reminded me of a great political scene from an all-time classic: “Citizen Kane.” I’ve included the scene (it’s less than 20 seconds) below.
Clearly, we’ve omitted a lot of great politics-related movies. So please weigh in with your contributions in the comments below. What are your favorite political movies or scenes?
– Mason Adams