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10 Movies Featuring US Presidents

Updated on September 24, 2014

Do you prefer Fictional or Non-Fictional roles featuring a US President?

Do you prefer Fictional or Non-Fictional roles featuring a US President?

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Fictional and Non-Fictional Movies Featuring US Presidents

It's the 4th of July and before the fireworks go off, I am a little nostalgic and thinking about movies that were about or portrayed U.S. Presidents after reading a Chicago Tribune article featuring All the Presidents Movies. The article however misses some of the more interesting movies which don't feature US Presidents, but investigations that occurred about them, such as All the President's Men starring Dustin Hoffman and Robert Redford and JFK featuring Kevin Bacon and Kevin Kostner.

Interestingly, the movies I think the most about are actually fictional portrayals of a US President like Michael Douglas' portrayal in The American President, Kevin Kline in Dave, or Bill Pullman in Independence Day.

And in case I haven't name dropped enough, here are additional actors that have also portrayed a US President: Gene Hackman, Morgan Freeman, Jack Nicholson, Peter Sellers, Henry Fonda, John Travolta, Bill Murray, Anthony Hopkins, Charlton Heston, Bruce Greenwood, and Robin Williams.

All movie images from Amazon.

Independence Day featuring Bill Pullman - Science Fiction Genre

Even though Bill Pullman wasn't the star of the movie, I liked his performance as a President of the United States. He was very much down to earth and showed some fear of not sure how to deal with the Aliens. I like the role up your sleeves attitude as the President gets in a plane to help fight off the alien invaders. Of course, stars Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum, really make this movie go.

A couple of honorable mentions in the Science Fiction Genre include Deep Impact starring Morgan Freeman and Mars Attacks starring Jack Nicholson.

Air Force One starring Harrison Ford - Action Genre

I'm going to put any Harrison Ford movie in my top 10 lists. I liked this movie for the suspense and drama. A group of hijackers jump aboard Air Force One mid-flight to capture the President. Glen Close as Vice President takes control of the negotiations with terrorist Gary Oldman as the in-flight battle to save the President and his family rages on.

Honorable Mentions in the Action Genre: Olympus Has Fallen and White House Down

The American President and Dave

Two of my favorite romantic comedies The American President and Dave. If you liked the TV series West Wing, The American President feels like the pre-cursor starring Michael Douglas and co-starring sexy Annette Benning, Martin Sheen, and Michael J. Fox. Michael Douglas is a widow who asks Annette Benning's character out on a date while the President's staff is trying to get a bill approved by Congress. Lots of good banter and playful politics.

Dave is a little more far fetched as the President slips into a coma and a look-a-like takes his place. As the look-a-like President, played by Kevin Kline, attempts to fake his way through doing what he thinks is right and what the President's staff wants him to do and say, the first lady becomes, Sigourney Weaver, becomes wise to the switch and falls in love with the new guy. With a little politics thrown in, this is a fun movie to watch.

Lincoln starring Daniel Day-Lewis

Abraham Lincoln is in almost every movie about the civil war. Many have been made about his assassination, and even one where he is a vampire slayer, however, the latest one starring Daniel Day-Lewis is my current favorite as it portrays his relationship with his wife, played by Sally Field, and the stress of dealing with the Civil War with his cabinet. There seems to be more truth's in this movie than cinematic gestures with this period piece.

As I am more concentrated on movies where the character is actually the President, Abraham Lincoln is portrayed in the years leading up to his presidency in Young Mr. Lincoln starring Henry Fonda and Abe Lincoln in Illinois starring Raymond Massey.

Finally, some honorable mention appearances by Lincoln in Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure and the Lego Movie.

National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets

I'm throwing this in since I love the National Treasure movies, so when Nicholas Cage kidnaps the President at George Washington's home in Mt. Vernon by finding a secret passage to convince the President, played by Bruce Greenwood, to tell him about the Books of Secrets, so that they can find the treasure and clear the Goodspeed name, well, what could be more Presidential than that. Oh year, how about a scene around Mt. Rushmore?

Dr. Strangelove starring Peter Sellers - Comedy Genre

Less than a year after the assassination of John F. Kennedy, Dr. Strangelove is a comedic masterpiece featuring Peter Sellers playing multiple roles and George C. Scott as a general.

Honorable Mentions in the Comedy Genre: My Fellow Americans starring Jack Lemmon, James Garner, and Dan Aykroyd, Kisses for My President starring Fred MacMurray, and First Family starring Bob Newhart.

Murder at 1600 featuring Ronny Cox - Conspiracies at the White House

The actual star of Murder at 1600 is Wesley Snipes as he investigates a murder where the President is the primary suspect. Through twists and turns in the plot and the White House trying to keep the murder from becoming public, I really enjoyed watching this movie.

Other Conspiracy movies: Absolute Power starring Gene Hackman and Seven Days in May starring Fredric March, Kirk Douglas, and Burt Lancaster.

The President's Lady starring Charlton Heston

Charlton Heston played Andrew Jackson twice in the movies. First in The President's Lady where he defends the honor of the first lady, and second as a General during the War of 1812 in the move The Buccaneer.

Thirteen Days starring Bruce Greenwood

Thirteen Days depicts the time time during the Cuban missle crisis and Bruce Greenwood plays John F. Kennedy. Many, many movies feature John F. Kennedy before and during his presidency and the final days before his assassination.

Honorable mentions include PT 109 and JFK.

What is your faovite movie featuring the leader of a country?

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    • lions44 profile image

      CJ Kelly 

      3 years ago from Auburn, WA

      Great list. Dave was a very underrated movie. Kevin Kline was great. Dr. Strangelove is a classic. Seven Days in May is one I would add to the list. Voted up.


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