Being the president of the United States can’t be easy, in fact it feels as though it would be one of the most stressful jobs in the world since half the nation might root for you but half the nation might be seeking your demise, or impeachment at least. In the movies however there have been a few truly great presidents, and there have been some that aren’t that great but are still memorable and deserve a spot on the list just for the simple fact that they were amusing to watch. It’s a bit easy to think that actors might have a slight cushion when it comes to playing the president since when the cameras are rolling they’re expected to do their best, but when the cameras are off they can go back to being their regular selves. The actual POTUS doesn’t have much of a choice, since his life tends to be recorded, photographed, and observed on a regular basis and being anyone but who he is will gain a great deal of notice and therefore turn the public towards him or against him. Actors can at least drop the act after a while.
Here are a few of the best fictional presidents of all time.
5. Jimmy Dale – Mars Attacks!
So Jack Nicholson isn’t exactly the most stable president in the world when it comes to this goofy and out of control movie, but he’s definitely fun to watch since he plays more of a sniveling type of individual that couldn’t save the world if he had Rambo, John Matrix, John Wick, and even Neo in his back pocket for later use. But he does provide a good deal of comedy in this scifi stinker that eventually became a cult classic and is still remembered by a lot of people since it was just goofy enough to be remembered. This is a good example of a movie that was so terrible that it became instantly great in the eyes of many.
4. Tom Beck-Deep Impact
Admit it, if someone like Morgan Freeman was president a lot of people on both sides would love it since just listening to his voice has a calming effect that a lot of folks can’t hope to deny. Plus, he’s a rather calm and level-headed individual that doesn’t jump to conclusions that often unless he’s being paid to do so for other roles, meaning as the president of the United States he might actually slow down and listen to what EVERYONE had to say before making any judgments based on one party or the other. As far as the movie goes it was kind of ‘meh’, but his performance was just great.
3. Dave Kovic-Dave
Kevin Kline is another actor that can’t really do a lot of wrong since even if he’s in a subpar movie he’s still bound to be great since his acting style is nothing short of impressive. Imagine a president, who isn’t really the president, being able to walk in and actually deal with the country’s budget in a way that makes sense. Yeah, you can imagine that it would be met with a lot of derision and possibly a good amount arguing. After all, balancing the budget might cut into the special interests of a lot of people involved, meaning that it wouldn’t go that far simply because of the status quo and its need to defend itself. But still, Kevin Kline is one of the better presidents in the movies.
2. Thomas J. Whitmore-Independence Day
A good president is a person that people can get behind and support, but a great president is someone that will walk among the people and risk every bit as much as they do while inspiring them at the same time. That’s why Bill Pullman turned in such a great role, he gave a speech that roused his fellow Americans, those in attendance anyway, and was meant for pretty much everyone that would be taking the offensive at one point. Not only that, but he was up in the air with the pilots, risking his own life to insure that they brought down the alien spaceship to save their people. THAT’S a leader, someone you can fight alongside and who doesn’t ask a person to risk anything that they wouldn’t.
1. James Marshall-Air Force One
Here’s another great example of a president that we haven’t seen in a while, a man that had a chance to escape and get away to safety but stayed with his family, his people, on a plane that had been hijacked by loyalist soldiers. Obviously it’s a bit out there to think that the leader of the USA is going to take on a band of terrorists and win, but seeing as how Marshall knew how to fight and wasn’t the kind of person to back down it wasn’t too surprising that he took the fight to the people that threatened those he cared about.
Just like anything else, movie presidents give us something to cheer for before we return to reality.