Monday, June 19, 2017

Six Movies to Watch in the Trump Era

All The President's Men (1976)
Key Quote: Follow the money.
The story of the investigation into a corrupt president displays the power and responsibilities of the press during a constitutional crisis. It is not an overstatement that without a news media free to question and report on the government, democracy cannot survive. An all-star cast including Robert Redford, Dustin Hoffman, and Academy Award winner Jason Robards.

The Manchurian Candidate (1962)
Key Quote: His brain has not only been washed, as they say... It has been dry cleaned.
An American war hero is brainwashed by the Chinese into being a Russian assassin, programed to murder a presidential candidate so a Russian controlled idiot will be elected. Angela Lansbury is outstanding as the treacherous mother of the hero turned assassin who is also his Russian handler.

A Man For All Seasons (1966)
Key Quote:
Sir Thomas More: Then why does your Grace need my poor support?
King Henry VIII: Because you're honest... and what is more to the purpose, you're KNOWN to be honest.

I've mentioned before I think this movie is a good metaphor for Comey-Trump situation. Thomas More, a legal scholar and, perhaps, the last honest man in England during the reign of Henry VIII. He refuses to take the easy path of betraying his conscious and the law to follow the demands of the king. Six Academy Awards including best picture and best actor (Paul Scofield).

Idiocracy (2006)
Key Quote:
President Camacho: Shit. I know shit's bad right now, with all that starving bullshit, and the dust storms, and we are running out of french fries and burrito coverings. But I got a solution.
The President's cabinet
What happens when the United States is run by a gaggle of nincompoops so dumb they can't find their asses with both hands and a chair.

A Face In the Crowd (1957)
Key Quote:
Lonesome Rhodes: This whole country's just like my flock of sheep!
Marcia Jeffries: Sheep?
Lonesome Rhodes: Rednecks, crackers, hillbillies, hausfraus, shut-ins, pea-pickers - everybody that's got to jump when somebody else blows the whistle. They don't know it yet, but they're all gonna be 'Fighters for Fuller'. They're mine! I own 'em! They think like I do. Only they're even more stupid than I am, so I gotta think for 'em. Marcia, you just wait and see. I'm gonna be the power behind the president.

A lowbrow huckster becomes a media sensation. As his popularity grows his ego inflates even faster. He becomes a political kingmaker. His popularity crashes when his real personality is revealed. He then retreats into a delusional fantasy where he pretends he his still beloved. Directed by Elia Kazan and staring Andy Griffith in his first role.

Citizen Cohn (1992)
Key Quote: No! I killed you for the headlines! For the fuckin' headlines!
Donald Trump and Roy Cohn
Roy Cohn was a Jew who hated Jews, a homosexual who hated gays. He was the brains behind Joseph McCarthy and McCarthyism. As a lawyer he was the Mafia's favorite attorney. Utterly ruthless, remorseless, and corrupt. In one of the few times God got it right, Cohn died of AIDS. Important because Roy Cohn was Donald Trump's mentor.

And a television series to make us feel better.

West Wing (1999-2006)
Key Quote: I am the President of the United States, not the President of people who agree with me.
Want to remember a time when the White House was filled with intelligent people, patriotic people whose first instinct was to do what was best for the nation, not their egos?

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