Top Political Movies, Part 7

Shake Hands With the Devil (1959) / Director: Michael Anderson / Stars: James Cagney, Don Murray, Dana Wynter

This is the tale of a medical doctor and lecturer named Sean Lenihan (Cagney), who embraces violence as a moonlighting IRA commander in the fight against the British in 1920s Ireland. The message: when political passions seem to justify any means, even the most sympathetic character loses his legitimacy and simply becomes a killer.

JFK (1991) / Director: Oliver Stone / Stars: Kevin Costner, Jack Lemmon, Gary Oldman, Tommy Lee Jones, Donald Sutherland, Sissy Spacek, Joe Pesci, Kevin Bacon

New Orleans district attorney Jim Garrison (Costner) believes there’s more to the Kennedy assassination than the official story, and he’s determined to air the truth even if it takes Oliver Stone more than three hours (189 minutes) to do it.

The Best Man (1964) / Director: Franklin J. Schaffner / Stars: Henry Fonda, Cliff Robertson, Lee Tracy, Edie Adams

Two men, one principled and the other ruthless, vie for an ex-President’s endorsement in their competition for their party’s presidential nomination, in this tale written by Gore Vidal.