From Box Office to Ballot Box: The American Political Film by M. Keith Booker

By M. Keith Booker

Given the complexity and price of constructing and allotting a movie, the method of filmmaking is through its very nature a political technique. in addition, given the facility and persuasiveness of the cinema as a medium, movie could be a strong political software. it's going to therefore come as no shock that movie has had a protracted and vast engagement with various political subject matters, starting from the particular mechanics of governance to electoral politics, to any variety of particular political matters. via a film-by-film exam of the flicks explicitly inquisitive about American politics and American political concerns, From field place of work to poll field presents necessary new insights into our culture's perceptions of assorted political environments and serves as a witness to the cinema's personal complicated contribution to the media's assurance of, and dating to, American politics at large.From field workplace to poll field takes as its topic motion pictures exploring the electoral technique, the method of governing, and the involvement of the media in either. Separate chapters additionally care for movies concerning particular political concerns or phenomena which are really proper to the above 3 different types, together with exertions and sophistication, the chilly warfare, the Vietnam conflict, and the opposite contemporary conflicts within which the media has performed this kind of huge function. particular motion pictures mentioned contain: Citizen Kane, the entire King's males, The Manchurian Candidate, the entire Presidents' males, front, M*A*S*H*, JFK, Nixon, Wag the puppy, 3 Kings, Black Hawk Down, The Quiet American, The Contender, and plenty of extra.

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O’Brien, in fact, is the true protagonist of the film, which from this point becomes a sort of murder mystery as O’Brien’s errand for Raven turns into a genuine investigation. O’Brien is not the toughest or most efficient private eye in the world, but he shambles along in the manner of Philip Marlowe in Robert Altman’s The Long Goodbye (1973), gradually growing in curiosity as a loose collection of clues slowly congeals into a network of connections. In particular, O’Brien discovers that the body in the lake was that of a Benteen employee killed in an on-the-job accident due to unsafe working conditions.

Though dogged by rumors of his past sexual indiscretions, Stanton’s campaign begins to pick up momentum as he moves from a relative unknown to a major contender. This narrative of the campaign, meanwhile, is paralleled by the story of Henry Burton (Adrian Lester), the idealistic grandson of a famous civil-rights leader. Burton, who provides the central point of view in the film, is reluctant to become involved in a political campaign, but is convinced to join Stanton’s staff after he concludes that the governor is different from the run-of-the-mill politician and that Stanton wants power largely because he wants to be able to help those who do not have the resources to help themselves, including African Americans.

Lincoln (1939), which, like PT 109, focuses on the younger years of a president-to-be. Strictly speaking, not an exploration of the workings of government, this film focuses on Abraham Lincoln during his days as a young lawyer in private practice rather than on his political career. Highly fictionalized, Young Mr. Lincoln is an unabashedly patriotic tribute to the 38 From Box Office to Ballot Box young Lincoln as a paragon of wit, wisdom, and homespun craftiness. It features Henry Fonda in the title role, wearing heavy makeup that makes his face look remarkably like a young, unbearded version of the craggy visage we all know so well.

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