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11.9 Recommended Viewing

The Best Man (1964). Film version of Gore Vidal’s mordant portrayal of the candidates’ machinations at a convention to become their party’s presidential nominee.

Bob Roberts (1992). A fake documentary about a folksinging conservative candidate (Tim Robbins) that shows elections reduced by the media to easy entertainment.

Boogie Man: The Lee Atwater Story (2008). A documentary chronicling the career of the Republican mastermind of contemporary slash-and-burn election campaigns.

The Candidate (1972). The classic “authentic” campaign movie in which a candidate (Robert Redford) increasingly compromises his ideals as he is seduced by the prospects of victory.

Journeys with George (2001). A network television producer’s droll video diary of herself and the press covering George W. Bush’s 2000 presidential campaign.

The Last Hurrah (1958). In John Ford’s film, a machine-politics, big-city mayor (Spencer Tracy) seeks reelection at a time when television media image making is taking over campaigns.

Medium Cool (1969). Radical in content and form: the clashes between police and demonstrators at the 1968 Democratic national convention as seen from the perspective of a news cameraman.

Primary (1960). The first documentary on a campaign focuses on candidates Senators John F. Kennedy and Hubert H. Humphrey in Wisconsin’s 1960 presidential primary.

Unprecedented: The 2000 US Presidential Election (2003). A corrosive documentary about the contest between Governor George W. Bush and Vice President Al Gore for Florida.

The War Room (1993). A riveting documentary about the people, particularly James Carville, running Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign.