Tuesday is finally Election Day in America, where voters will choose among Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Gary Johnson and Jill Stein as to who will be the next President of the United States. However, politics is not strictly limited to the front sections of newspapers — it can be a big factor in the entertainment pages as well. As this special day is merely hours away, tour through our new photo gallery looking at how Hollywood has depicted the political process with 15 of the best American political films from the past 77 years.
Some of the political films in our gallery are about lawmaking. Steven Spielberg‘s “Lincoln” (2012) is a prime example where audiences are shown the difficulty of the negotiations needed to make a bill a law. Daniel Day-Lewis won his third career Oscar for his lead role as President Abraham Lincoln.
Then there are the campaign films, such as a standout like Michael Ritchie‘s “The Candidate” (1972) starring Robert Redford. Life on the campaign trail is detailed with the ups and downs of incidents with which any campaign must deal.
Plus there are political films such as Stanley Kubrick‘s “Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb” (1964) that are simply indescribable. Peter Sellers received an Oscar nomination for playing three vastly different roles (the title character, the U.S. President and a group captain).
Before clicking through the photo gallery to see all 15 films, a few notes on our rules why others weren’t chosen:
There are landmarks of American cinema — Orson Welles‘ “Citizen Kane” (1941) and Robert Altman‘s “Nashville” (1975) come immediately to mind — that are not essentially about politics, so they’re not here. Nor are political films from other countries — Costa-Gavras‘ “Z” (1969), Bernardo Bertolucci‘s “The Conformist” (1970) and Pablo Larrain‘s “No” (2012) — on the list because we want to stick to American politics for this Election Day.