Top Ten Political Movies

Michael Medved counts down his ten favorite political movies

Michael Medved

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  • 1

    Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)

    A naive man is appointed to fill a vacancy in the US Senate. His plans promptly collide with political corruption, but he doesn't back down.
    Director: Frank Capra
    Stars: James Stewart, Jean Arthur, Claude Rains
  • 2

    The Last Hurrah (1958)

    Frank Skeffington is an old Irish-American political boss, running for re-election as Mayor of of a US town for the last time.
    Director: John Ford
    Stars: Spencer Tracy, Jeffrey Hunter, Dianne Foster
  • 3

    The Candidate (1972)

    Bill McKay is a candidate for the U.S. Senate from California. He has no hope of winning, so he is willing to tweak the establishment.
    Director: Michael Ritchie
    Stars: Robert Redford, Peter Boyle, Melvyn Douglas
  • 4

    Lincoln (2012)

    As the Civil War continues to rage, America's president struggles with continuing carnage on the battlefield and as he fights with many inside his own cabinet on the decision to emancipate the slaves.
    Director: Steven Spielberg
    Stars: Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, David Strathairn
  • 5

    All the King's Men (1949)

    The rise and fall of a corrupt politician, who makes his friends richer and retains power by dint of a populist appeal.
    Director: Robert Rossen
    Stars: Broderick Crawford, John Ireland, Joanne Dru
  • 6

    John Adams (TV Miniseries - 2008)

    The life of one of the USA's Founding Fathers, its second President, and his role in the nation's first 50 years.
    Director: Tom Hooper
    Stars: Paul Giamatti, Laura Linney, John Dossett
  • 7

    The Manchurian Candidate (1962)

    A former Korean War POW is brainwashed by Communists into becoming a political assassin. But another former prisoner may know how to save him.
    Director: John Frankenheimer Stars: Frank Sinatra, Laurence Harvey, Janet Leigh
  • 8

    Frost/Nixon (2008)

    A dramatic retelling of the post-Watergate television interviews between British talk-show host David Frost and former president Richard Nixon.
    Director: Ron Howard
    Stars: Frank Langella, Michael Sheen, Kevin Bacon
  • 9

    The Best Man (1964)

    The two front runners for their party's Presidential nomination, one principled and the other ruthless, vie for the ex-President's endorsement.
    Director: Franklin J. Schaffner
    Stars: Henry Fonda, Cliff Robertson, Edie Adams
  • 10

    The Ides of March (2011)

    An idealistic staffer for a new presidential candidate gets a crash course on dirty politics during his stint on the campaign trail.
    Director: George Clooney
    Stars: Paul Giamatti, George Clooney, Philip Seymour Hoffman
  • 11

    Honorable Mention: State of the Union (1948)

    An industrialist is urged to run for President, but this requires uncomfortable compromises on both political and marital levels.
    Director: Frank Capra
    Stars: Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn, Van Johnson