25 Absolute best Fictional Film Presidents






The President of america is a fictional process. No, that doesn’t imply that the President doesn’t exist, nor does it imply that any one who holds the place of business doesn’t have monumental obligations. Alternatively, the presidency does develop into the focus for the hopes and fears of Americans, who (rightly or wrongly) venture their concepts concerning the process onto the individual.

Because of this, the presidency lends itself properly to cinema, even prior to display screen superstar Ronald Reagan held the process for 8 years within the Nineteen Eighties. Like their real-world opposite numbers, film presidents frequently seem larger than existence, whether or not they are punching out terrorists with their very own two fists, guiding their kids’s romantic misadventures, or, you already know, main the rustic. There’s a time and a spot for each and every way of film president, as noticed with those twenty-five greats.

1. Andrew Shepherd (The American President, 1995)

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Symbol Credit score: Sony Photos Freeing.

With the idealism of Clinton’s first time period fading into the nationwide reminiscence, the high-minded nature of creator Aaron Sorkin’s political scripts can appear retro, if now not laughable. However even probably the most cynical viewer has to sigh a little when President Andrew Shepherd (Micheal Douglas) broadcasts a daring environmental plan right through the State of the Union cope with. Aided by way of Rob Reiner, nonetheless in his miracle run of significant motion pictures, and a hovering ranking by way of Marc Shaiman, The American President makes audience lengthy for the previous. Now not such a lot for the president we had right through the 90s, however the president we idea we might get.

2. Dave (Dave, 1993)

Symbol Credit score: Warner Bros.

Written by way of Gary Ross and directed by way of Ivan Reitman, Dave operates in step with the fable on the middle of all democracies: what if a standard man was the chief of the unfastened international? That premise doesn’t stray too a ways from fairy stories about servant women turning into princesses, however Dave avoids veering into ridiculousness with a sweetness that continues to be aspirational however by no means false. Performed by way of Kevin Kline with a naïveté that by no means merits mockery, Dave proves himself to be now not only a higher husband to First Girl Ellen Mitchell (Sigourney Weaver)  and a greater buddy to Secret Carrier agent Duane Stevenson (Ving Rhames), but additionally a greater president than someone who got here prior to him.

3. Douglass Dilman (The Guy, 1972)

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Symbol Credit score: Paramount Photos.

Halfway thru The Guy, new president Douglass Dilman calls his disinterest within the place of business his “best distinctive high quality.” After all, that’s now not true. Dilman has many distinctive qualities, together with the way in which he got here to energy (a chain of injuries that made him subsequent in line of succession) and the truth that he’s Black. Performed by way of James Earl Jones, Dilman struggles with the obligations thrust upon him, whether or not they be expectancies of larger motion from his activist daughter (Janet MacLachlan) or the conservative Congress, which tries at each and every flip to undermine him. Initially shot as a television film, The Guy once in a while buts up in opposition to the restrictions of the supposed shape (regardless of the most efficient makes an attempt by way of director Joseph Sargent) and the screenplay by way of Rod Serling slips from righteous fury to milquetoast centrism, however The Guy provides us an image of the awe impressed by way of a just right guy turning into president. 

4 – Chet Roosevelt (Americathon, 1979)

Symbol Credit score: United Artists.

To make sure, no person desires Chet Roosevelt to be within the White Area. The affable stoner performed by way of John Ritter suits properly within the satirical international that director Neal Israel and writers contributors Phil Proctor and Peter Bergman designed for Americathon. Alternatively, no person can deny the attraction of a laid-back chief of the unfastened international, a person who doesn’t reply to the oncoming chapter of the country now not by way of stating battle on different nations however by way of website hosting a telethon, interesting to his media-obsessed constituency. Possibly we don’t need Chet Roosevelt operating the actual U.S.A., however our presidents may just be informed one thing from his chilled persona.

5. Judson Hammond (Gabriel Over the White Area, 1933)

Symbol Credit score: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

President Judson Hammond (Walter Huston) turns out like a swell man for the primary 3rd of Gabriel Over the White Area. Whether or not bantering with political operatives or teasing kids, Hammond has an acuity that makes his upward push to the White Area a foregone conclusion. That cheery disposition drops after he recovers from a automobile twist of fate, however he replaces that jocularity with a dedication to the typical American. “Save your sympathy for the folks of america, who’re in dire want of it,” Hammond barks at one glad-hander prior to launching his expansive social time table. Director Gregory Los angeles Cava and screenwriters Carey Wilson and Bertram Bloch (adapting a singular by way of T.F. Tweed) lack the emotional contact that makes Frank Capra’s populist motion pictures resonate nonetheless nowadays. Nonetheless, even a grouchy agent of the folks can be a welcome substitute for most present politicians.

6. Tom Beck (Deep Affect, 1998)

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Symbol Credit score: Paramount Photos.

In our creativeness, we flip to the president in instances of disaster to supply phrases of knowledge, management, and hope. Few international leaders have confronted an issue slightly like an oncoming asteroid that may obliterate the planet, as noticed in Mimi Leder’s Deep Affect, written by way of Bruce Joel Rubin and Michael Tolkin. Whether or not authorizing plans to prevent the asteroid or comforting the folks within the face of loss of life, Beck exceeds our expectancies for the Commander in Leader. Performed by way of Morgan Freeman in his past due 90s paternalist mode, President Beck seems towards the digicam with resignation and charm as he shepherds the rustic during the finish of the sector, one thing few would be expecting of genuine politicians.

7. David Stevens (Twilight’s Final Gleaming, 1977)

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Symbol Credit score: Allied Artists.

When rogue Air Drive Common Lawrence Dell (Burt Lancaster) and his males seize a missile silo in Montana, they touch President David Stevens (Charles Durning) with two calls for: $10 million and the discharge of proof concerning the nation’s errors in Vietnam. Neither a blustering hawk nor a simpering dove, President Stevens does the extra plausible factor, spending a lot of the film weighing the probabilities and making an allowance for his choices. That sense of realism raises the stakes of Twilight’s Final Gleaming, raising it above maximum political thrillers.

8. James Marshall (Air Drive One, 1997)

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Symbol Credit score: Sony Photos Freeing.

Together with his grouchy disposition off and on the display screen, few may just consider Harrison Ford would win sufficient votes to safe the presidency. But if terrorists hijack his aircraft within the ridiculous Wolfgang Petersen vintage Air Drive One, there’s no more sensible choice. The script by way of Andrew W. Marlowe provides Ford quite a few grandstanding moments as President Marshall defends the aircraft from Soviet terrorist Egor Korshunov, enacting his coverage of punching baddies within the face. Real looking? No. However exciting? Completely.

9.  Artwork Hockstader (The Absolute best Guy, 1964)

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Symbol Credit score: United Artists.

We frequently recall to mind former presidents as lame geese, individuals who hang ceremonial roles after leaving their positions of energy. However within the Franklin J. Schaffner movie The Absolute best Guy, former President Hockstader (Lee Tracy, in an Oscar-nominated efficiency) carries extra energy than the ones vying to be his successor. Written by way of Gore Vidal, The Absolute best Guy follows two possible birthday celebration applicants (Henry Fonda and Cliff Robertson) dating former President Hockstader’s approval, repeatedly proving that the following technology lacks the category of former possible choices.

10. The President (The Werewolf of Washington, 1973)

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Symbol Credit score: Diplomat.

“I believe your father’s a go between Abraham Lincoln and Jesus Christ,” political reporter Jack Whittier (Dean Stockwell) tells his would-be fiancé Marion (Jane Area), who occurs to be the daughter of the President of america. Via maximum of The Werewolf of Washington, written and directed by way of Milton Moses Ginsberg, the President (Biff McGuire) treats his possible son-in-law with kindness and dignity, partly as a result of he doesn’t notice that the boy is the lycanthrope terrorizing the capital town. However by way of the tip of the movie (Spoilers for a fifty-year-old film no person has noticed), the President transforms into a brand new wolfman, hanging another chief who performs at toughness.

11. The President (Being There, 1979)

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Symbol Credit score: United Artists.

No one comes out having a look nice in Being There, the satire from director Hal Ashby and creator Jerzy Kosiński, now not even the idiot Likelihood (Peter Dealers), who everybody errors as a genius. When Presidential Guide Ben Rand (Melvyn Douglas) brings Likelihood into the White Area, the dim-witted gardener turns into a key marketing consultant to the President (Jack Warden), providing recommendation to one of the crucial robust other folks on the earth. Whilst this may look like a knock in opposition to the president, Hartley uncovers a gentility within the President’s interactions with Likelihood, revealing a delicate and most likely even smart facet to the flesh presser.

12. Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho (Idiocracy, 2006)

Symbol Credit score: twentieth Century Fox.

The standard of a president can best be correctly measured inside their time. Such is the case for Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho, the sector’s first grownup movie superstar/pro-wrestler/president, performed with glee by way of Terry Crews. The American president within the Mike Pass judgement on comedy (co-written by way of Etan Cohen) Idiocracy, which takes position in a long run ruled by way of dimwits, President Comacho represents without equal finish of populist politics. However even inside his impressive boasts, Comacho no less than has the knowledge to make a choice the common Joe (Luke Wilson) to unravel the rustic’s drought, permitting him to enact the bright plan of giving vegetation water.

13. The President of america (Fail Secure, 1964)

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Symbol Credit score: Columbia Photos.

Directed by way of Sidney Lumet and written by way of Walter Bernstein, audiences bear in mind Fail Secure as a major counter to Stanley Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove, launched previous that 12 months. The place Kubrick’s film answered to the specter of nuclear holocaust with a joyless snigger, Fail Secure casts a sober eye, portraying the nationwide mechanisms referred to as into motion by way of a near-nuclear match. Nowhere is that extra transparent than with the latter film’s president, performed with quiet depth by way of Henry Fonda. Gazing the breakdown of controls supposed to forestall a battle between the U.S. and the Soviet Union, Fonda’s president tries each and every to be had choice, determined to stay the machine in position whilst retaining as many lives as imaginable.

14. Charlotte Box (Lengthy Shot, 2019)

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Symbol Credit score: Lionsgate.

True, Charlotte Box (Charlize Theron) best turns into president right through the general scene of Lengthy Shot, with the film following as an alternative the headaches led to by way of her romance with reporter-turned-speechwriter Fred Flarsky (Seth Rogan). However the script by way of Dan Sterling and Liz Hannah, directed by way of Jonathan Levine, makes use of the courtship and candidacy to remark upon the character of the presidency. When Box and Flarsky come underneath scrutiny, they develop into avatars of a much less conventional majority, one now not frequently represented by way of the country’s leaders, now not by way of the conservatives who oppose the couple.

15. John McKenzie (First Daughter, 2004)

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Symbol Credit score: twentieth Century Fox.

Throughout the eyes of the romantic comedy First Daughter, President John McKenzie (Michael Keaton) is maximum essential as the daddy to Samantha (Katie Holmes), the titular daughter. Regardless of ready route by way of Woodland Whitaker, the script by way of Jessica Bendinger and Kate Kondell felt a little too unbelievable for audience on the time, who most well-liked 2004’s different president’s daughter rom-com Chasing Liberty. However First Daughter makes the record right here on account of Keaton’s skill to retain an edge, even taking part in a paternal president.

16. Ellen Claremont (Crimson, White, & Royal Blue, 2023)

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Symbol Credit score: Amazon High Video.

Upon listening to her son (Taylor Zakhar Perez) pop out to her and disclose his courting with an English prince (Nicholas Galitzin), President Claremont (Uma Thurman) reassures him with love and make stronger, or even provides some embarrassing however well-meaning recommendation. To be transparent, that is the naked minimal of human decency one would be expecting of a mum or dad, however how time and again have fictional presidents didn’t transparent even this low bar? Thurman’s take at the president supplies a refreshing however wrong humanity to a film directed by way of Matthew Lopez — who co-wrote this adaptation of the Casey McQuiston novel with Ted Malawer — that too frequently indulges in cleaning soap opera tropes.

17. James Sawyer (White Area Down, 2013)

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Symbol Credit score: Sony Photos Freeing.

Even at his maximum fascinating, Jamie Foxx all the time has a little of an edge to him, making his President James Sawyer one of the crucial real looking in Hollywood historical past, although it is available in a crazed Roland Emmerich motion flick. During White Area Down (written by way of James Vanderbilt), Sawyer simply wishes to stick alive, a role sophisticated by way of an assault by way of white supremacist terrorists. Fairly than let veteran and Capitol cop John Cale (Channing Tatum) do the entire laborious paintings, Sawyer will get concerned himself, serving to to avoid wasting the day.

18. Presidents Kramer and Douglas (My Fellow American citizens, 1996)

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Symbol Credit score: Warner Bros.

In a listing stuffed with two-fisted heroes and those who apply their moral sense, Presidents Kramer and Douglas (Jack Lemmon and James Garner, respectively) stand out. Repeatedly bickering and ceaselessly petty all the way through My Fellow American citizens, the 2 former executives can not drop their contention, even lengthy after their administrations have ended. As frustrating as that premise may sound, director Peter Segal assists in keeping the target audience at the duo’s facet, even if the screenplay by way of E. Jack Kaplan, Richard Chapman, and Peter Tolan tries for more difficult satire. That comfortable hand may make for a irritating general watch, however audiences can’t lend a hand however pull for Kramer and Douglas, particularly when portrayed by way of such likable actors.

19. President Jordan Lyman (Seven Days in Might, 1964)

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Symbol Credit score: Paramount Photos.

Initially of the John Frankenheimer-directed mystery Seven Days in Might, President Jordan Lyman (Fredric March) does the unthinkable: he indicators a nuclear disarmament treaty with the Soviet Union on the peak of the Chilly Struggle. That call drives the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs (Burt Lancaster) to devise a coup in opposition to the unpopular president, a lot to the chagrin of Colonel Jiggs Casey (Kirk Douglas). As unbelievable as that premise sounds, it has its roots in the actual international, as authors Fletcher Knebel and Charles W. Bailey II drew from their enjoy as political newshounds to jot down the radical Seven Days in Might. Unsurprisingly, the screenplay by way of Rod Serling veers somewhat an excessive amount of towards the idealistic, however that mixture makes Lyman an efficient mixture of the optimum and the actual.

20. Thomas J. Whitmore (Independence Day, 1996)

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Symbol Credit score: twentieth Century Fox.

During Independence Day, we pay attention that President Whitmore (Invoice Pullman) is simply too younger, an excessive amount of of a fighter jockey, too family-oriented to be a just right president. After which, he proves his critics flawed by way of main a jet squadron in opposition to alien invaders. No, it doesn’t make sense, nor does President Whitmore’s rousing “Independence Day” speech on the finish of the film. However like the most efficient portions of Roland Emmerich’s disaster-heavy sci-fi flick, which he co-wrote with Dean Devlin, Whitmore’s plot works absolute best when audiences close off their brains and benefit from the spectacle. In any such inconsiderate state, President Whitmore seems like Lincoln.

21. The President of america (Canadian 1st Baron Beaverbrook, 1995)

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Symbol Credit score: Gramercy Photos.

Michael Moore made his title by way of hanging himself on the middle of left-leaning and agitating documentaries similar to Bowling for Columbine. Moore carries a lot of that very same solution to Canadian 1st Baron Beaverbrook, his sole narrative function, which follows the upward thrust of a brand new Chilly Struggle between The us and its neighbor to the north, Canada. To his discredit, Alan Alda’s President of america is going together with the plan, hoping to reinforce his sagging approval scores. However he has a unusual common sense to his way, hoping {that a} pretend battle will permit him to serve the rustic’s kids, which is as just right because it will get in Moore’s cynical worldview.

22. The President (Nationwide Treasure: E book of Secrets and techniques, 2007)

Symbol Credit score: Walt Disney Studios Movement Photos.

Performed by way of the ever-impressive Bruce Greenwood, the President in Nationwide Treasure: E book of Secrets and techniques makes in all probability the bravest determination of someone in this record: he listens to Nicolas Cage. After all, that is Nicolas Cage as treasure hunter Ben Gates, the hero of the Nationwide Treasure films from director Jon Turteltaub and screenwriters Cormac Wibberley and Marianne Wibberley. As anticipated, E book of Secrets and techniques has a daft plot, involving a guide of secrets and techniques handed alongside to presidents and hidden passages within the White Area. However by some means, Greenwood assists in keeping his dignity, even if the President performs together with Gates’s nutty theories.

23. President Jack Neil (Homicide at 1600, 1997)

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Symbol Credit score: Warner Bros.

1997 was once a nasty 12 months for film presidents, with each Homicide at 1600 and the Clint Eastwood movie Absolute Energy involving foul play within the White Area. Whilst the latter finds the president because the killer proper from the start, the previous poses that risk simply to disprove it. As Detective Harlan Riggs (Wesley Snipes) investigates the homicide, he uncovers a better plot to transport in opposition to President Neil, which underscores his decency as a global chief.

24. Jackson Evans (The Contender, 2000)

Symbol Credit score: DreamWorks Photos.

Inside the black-and-white worldview of creator/director Rod Lurie’s The Contender, there are just right other folks and dangerous other folks. Within the latter falls Consultant Sheldon Runyon (Gary Oldman), who invokes an ethical panic in opposition to Vice Presidential nominee Laine Billings Hanson (Joan Allen) with a purpose to safe his extra preferred selection. Within the former falls President Jackson Evans (Jeff Bridges) who now not best chooses Hanson over extra common males however stands by way of her right through Runyon’s manhunt. The Contender isn’t probably the most advanced imaginative and prescient of Washington to ever hit the display screen, however Bridges’s easy and principled take has a thrilling high quality.

25. President John Harker (Get away from New York, 1981)

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Symbol Credit score: AVCO Embassy Photos.

Of the entire presidents in this record, John Harker is probably the most questionable. He spends maximum of John Wood worker’s Get away from New York captive within the titular town, which has develop into a large jail within the film’s dystopian long run, and he’s now not even an American, performed by way of Donald Pleasence in his herbal English accessory. Regardless of those knocks in opposition to him, Harker holds his personal, even if matching wits with Snake Plissken (Kurt Russell), the good difficult man to ever grace the display screen. And any president who holds his personal with Snake merits their position in this record.

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