Presidents in the Movies: American History and Politics on by I. Morgan

By I. Morgan

Cinematic depictions of genuine U.S. presidents from Abraham Lincoln to George W. Bush discover how Hollywood videos symbolize American background and politics on reveal. Morgan and his participants express how motion pictures mix fantasy and fact to give a good message approximately presidents because the epitome of America's values and idealism till unpopular international wars in Vietnam and Iraq resulted in a darker portrayal of the imperial presidency, operated by means of Richard Nixon and Bush forty three. This fascinating new assortment additional considers how Hollywood has consistently reinterpreted traditionally major presidents, significantly Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, and Franklin D. Roosevelt, to slot the days during which videos approximately them have been made.

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Character Above All (New York: Simon, 1995), 202. For insightful analysis of the character issue, see James Pfiffner, The Character Factor: How We Judge America’s Presidents (College Station: Texas A&M Press, 2004). 18. Fred Greenstein, The Presidential Difference: Leadership Style from FDR to Clinton (New York: Free Press, 2000). org. 19. Arthur M. , The Imperial Presidency (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1973); Andrew Rudalevige, The New Imperial Presidency: Renewing Presidential Power after Watergate (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2005).

But, as Shenkman comments: If Hollywood’s power to shape our perception of individual presidents has been limited, its power to shape how we think about presidents in general has been great. Hollywood, more than any other force in society, has determined how people think a president should act and look. 15 Cinematic biographies of presidents have, therefore, fallen into two very neat divisions throughout Hollywood’s existence. They are either denounced for their lack of attention to the historical record, or they are lauded for their ability to capture the social, philosophical, and idealistic character of the person, if not the times in which he lived.

As such they were pale imitations of forerunners such as Suddenly (1954), The Parallax View (1974), In the Line of Fire (1993), Enemy of the State (1998), and especially the original production of The Manchurian Candidate (1962). Movies characteristic of the early twenty-first-century wave of political assassination thrillers allude to militaristic policies in the Bush era and the threat of a terrorist network, Middle-Eastern or otherwise, either working outside America or—in The Sentinel (2006) and Vantage Point (2008)—within its institutional fabric.

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