Top Political Movies, Part 4

Argo (2012) / Director: Ben Affleck / Stars: Ben Affleck, Bryan Cranston, Alan Arkin, John Goodman

An espionage thriller based on the true story of a highly imaginative operation to extract six Americans hiding in the Canadian embassy after Tehran fell to Islamic revolutionaries in 1979. Winner of the Best Picture Oscar, although Affleck oddly wasn’t even nominated for Best Director.

A Clockwork Orange (1971) / Director: Stanley Kubrick / Stars: Malcolm McDowell, Patrick Magee, Michael Bates

A jailed psychopath (McDowell) volunteers for an experimental therapy developed by in a future Britain to solve society’s crime problem.

All The King’s Men (1949) / Director: Robert Rossen / Stars: Broderick Crawford, John Ireland, Mercedes McCambridge

The rise and fall of a corrupt politician Willie Stark (Crawford), a fictional treatment of the real-life story of populist Louisiana governor Hugo Long. Adapted from Robert Penn Warren’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, Oscars for Best Picture and Best Actor. Remade in 2006, with much less effect and success, with Sean Penn.

The Candidate (1972) / Director: Michael Ritchie / Stars: Robert Redford, Peter Boyle, Melvyn Douglas

Bill McKay (Redford) is a politically inexperienced liberal attorney in California who has little hope of winning a seat in the U.S. Senate, so he lets ‘er rip. As his candor makes him a poll favorite, McKay gradually abandons his principles. Best Screenplay Oscar for Jeremy Lerner, a former political speechwriter, for his unsentimental and funny dissection of big-time politics. Playing a good man seduced by power, this may be Redford’s best performance, and one sadly neglected by the Academy.

Bob Roberts (1992) / Director: Tim Robbins / Stars: Tim Robbins, Giancarlo Esposito, Alan Rickman, Gore Vidal

A conservative business tycoon (Robbins) casting himself as a folksinger runs a crooked election campaign while a reporter tries to stop him. Gore Vidal plays his opponent.