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August 30, 2015

If you like politics, check out TCM's Wednesday lineup

by Allison Waldman, posted Sep 2nd 2008 12:05PM
McCain/PorterWhile the Republicans are gathering in St. Paul for their national convention to confirm the candidacy of Senator John McCain as presiden,t and Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate, Turner Classic Movies is presenting a night of alternative politics.

The cable channel going to present five movies about politics, and if you want to see how the world of running for public office has changed in the 20th century, these films are a fantastic reflection of the times.

On Wednesday, September 3, starting at 8 PM ET, the night begins with The Last Hurrah, and includes The Candidate (10:15 PM), The Best Man (12:15 AM), Nashville (2 AM) and The Dark Horse (1932).

Like I said, these pictures are all really interesting choices. The Candidate, released in 1972, for instance, is not so different from today's campaign pitting Senator Barack Obama versus Senator John McCain.

It's a young candidate espousing change, up against an experienced, wizened establishment candidate. Robert Redford plays Bill McKay, the up and comer, while Don Porter is the popular, long-time incumbent senator. Check out these photos, because Porter even looks like McCain!

The Candidate is all about the campaigning, the strategy and the competition. If you liked The West Wing, you'll like this picture. Michael Ritchie, the director, was an expert at movies about competition (Downhill Racer, The Bad News Bears).

The Best Man, which came out in 1964, is all about the convention. Not conventions as we know them today. Back then, conventions were still where a party's choice was determined. The primary system didn't predetermine the pick, so at the convention, there was suspense and a lot of back-room dealing. The term smoke-filled rooms was coined to describe how men would hunker down to deal and make decisions about who would represent the party. The Best Man stars Henry Fonda as an intellectual, the egghead choice, not unlike Adlai Stevenson. His competitor for the party's nomination is Cliff Robertson as an aggressive, overly ambitious Richard Nixon type. The movie illustrates how things were 44 years ago in U.S. politics. It's fascinating and really well-acted.

If you're even a little bit interested in the political process, you'll find all of these film compelling. DVR them and check them out.

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You have written a very interesting post and I have found that posts like yours and sites like http://www.democracyconservator.org has really got me thinking about political issues this year.

September 02 2008 at 8:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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