Aug 27

“Hail to the Chief”: 11 Great (Fictional) United States Presidents

Tag: blinkboxblinkbox @ 2:18 pm

In the new film Olympus Has Fallen, Gerard Butler plays a disgraced Secret Service agent who finds himself back in the mix when terrorists kidnap the President of the United States (Aaron Eckhart), holding him hostage in the White House.

To commemorate the film’s release at blinkbox, we’re looking back at some of the great (and not-so-great) fictional presidents of the silver screen…

1. Harrison Ford as President James Marshall in Air Force One.
A Vietnam veteran and a Medal of Honor recipient, he’s forced to exercise his ‘executive power’ when Russian terrorists hijack the most famous Jumbo jet in the world.

2. Gene Hackman as the philandering, murder-covering President Alan Richmond in Absolute Power
This wasn’t Hackman’s first time in the White House. In Superman II, he (as Lex Luthor) ends up in the Oval Office (well, kind of) when General Zod deposes the Commander-in-Chief.

3. Morgan Freeman as President Tom Beck in Deep Impact
One of the first black presidents in mainstream American cinema, Freeman’s President Beck has the ignominy of presiding over the end of the world as we know it.

Other African-American presidents with the misfortune of ushering in the apocalypse include Danny Glover in 2012 and Tommy ‘Tiny’ Lister in The Fifth Element.

4. Michael Douglas as the lovelorn President Andrew Shepherd in ‘The American President’.
In some ways a dry run for writer Aaron Sorkin’s landmark White House drama, the cast includes future West Wing stars Anna Deavere Smith, Martin Sheen and Joshua Malina.

5. Bill Pullman as President Thomas J Whitmore in Independence Day
He’s a loving father and a considerate statesman. But most importantly, he’s a veteran fighter pilot who can take the fight to alien invaders.

6. Bruce Greenwood as the secret book-having POTUS in National Treasure: Book of Secrets
Greenwood also played President John F Kennedy in the Cuban Missile Crisis dramatization Thirteen Days. Plus, if they ever need an actor to play Mitt Romney, we reckon this guy would be a shoe-in.

7 & 8. Jack Lemmon and James Garner as Russell Kramer and Matt Douglas in My Fellow Americans
Playing former Presidents of the United States, Lemmon and Garner go on a bungling road trip to uncover corruption in Washington DC.

Walter Matthau was originally slated to co-star with his Odd Couple and Grumpy Old Men partner but health issues prevented the 75 year-old actor from appearing.


9. Jack Nicholson as President James Dale in Mars Attacks!
Nicholson also plays a second role in this film as the over-the-top Vegas Cowboy tycoon, Art Land.

Why did he do this? Were the two characters somewhat related? Did this add anything to this movie?
Who knows; no; and probably not.

10. Peter Sellers as President Merkin Muffley in Dr Strangelove
In the film, Sellers also plays RAF Captain Mandrake as well as the title character, a former Nazi scientist. Columbia pictures financed the picture on the condition that Sellers played multiple characters, as he did in Stanley Kubrick’s Lolita and the 1959 comedy The Mouse That Roared.

11. Terry Crews as President Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho in Idiocracy
In the year 2505, the human race will have evolved to become totally stupid: they only watch TV shows about people getting injured in the groin and Gatorade has completely replaced water. In this society only men with big muscles and great hair will become president.

Olympus Has Fallen is now available at blinkbox

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