Six of the best… movie Presidents of the United States

As the American people decide on Clinton v Trump - we remember some of most presidential performances in film history...

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Whether inspiring the people of the Earth to take up arms against an alien enemy, getting medieval on some undead blood-suckers or trying to hang on to office at whatever cost, being leader of the free world (in a movie) requires a special kind of man…

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The inspirational Presidents

When mankind is threatened with imminent destruction (as is so often the case in the movies), the people of Earth need someone who will give them hope, and inspire them to greater things – with speeches. These are those men…

Thomas J Whitmore (Bill Pullman) – Independence Day

If something extremely cheesy is nonetheless bringing tears to your eyes, you’ve either just found some 6-month-old Camembert at the back of the kitchen cabinet or you’re watching Thomas J Whitmore send the troops off to fight alien invaders…

“We will not go quietly into the night! We will not vanish without a fight! We’re going to live on! We’re going to survive! Today, we celebrate our Independence Day!”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l31UUl5SyXk

Tom Beck (Morgan Freeman) – Deep Impact (1998)

When a huge comet is on a collision course with the Earth, one way or another millions are going to die. That’s when you need a pragmatic President, someone who knows that although you might not make it, the human race will… by national lottery – now that’s what I call a rollover.

“Now, I can promise you… all of you, everyone in this room and everyone listening to my voice, that at some point over the next ten months, all of us will entertain out worst fears and concerns. But I can also promise you this: life will go on. We will prevail.”

 

The kick-ass Presidents

Speeches are all very well but sometimes the President has to lead by example and get physical with the enemy –  be they terrorists or blood-sucking members of the undead…

James Marshall (Harrison Ford) – Air Force One

Having hijacked the US President’s official aircraft and killed all the Secret Service agents on board, terrorist Egor Korshunov (Gary Oldman) intends to start working his way through the hostages until his demands are met. But he’s reckoned without President James Marshall, a Vietnam vet and Medal of Honour recipient who’s more than prepared to take matters into his own hands…

Abraham Lincoln (Benjamin Walker) – Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

What better training for leading a new nation conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal, than getting medieval on some vampire ass? This imaginative take on the early years of Abraham Lincoln does exactly what it says on the tin…

 

The Presidents Nixon

Richard Nixon (Anthony Hopkins) – Nixon

The biggest tribute you can pay Anthony Hopkins for his masterful (and sweary) portrayal of the disgraced president in Oliver Stone’s Shakespearean epic is that he manages to squeeze some sympathy out of the audience…

Richard Nixon (Frank Langella) – Frost/Nixon

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Frank Langella is Richard Nixon to Michael Sheen’s David Frost in the story of their historic interview over the Watergate scandal. Langella may have put a little too much effort into trying to recreate Nixon’s throaty delivery but, having honed his performance in the stage version, he’s quietly electrifying…