“Advise and Consent” Most political movies in Hollywood tend to “dumb down” the mechanics of politics for mass audiences. But that’s not the case with “Advise and Consent,” which shows all of the goings-on surrounding a nomination for Secretary of State, both in public and behind the scenes. It can get a little confusing, but it’s relatively easy to follow the plot, and with a cast that included Henry Fonda, Charles Laughton, and a very young Betty White, who cares if you know all the details?
“The Manchurian Candidate“ Political thrillers can be exciting and thought-provoking, and this is arguably the single film that created that genre. The plot may be a little close to science fiction to be literally believable, what with its Communists-hypnotizing-soldiers-into-mindless-assassins plot, but the themes explored are as important now as they were then. Frank Sinatra and Angela Lansbury give career-defining performances, and you’ll never look at political speeches or conventions the same way again.
“1776” Dial back the ol‘ time machine for this one, which is an in-depth musical look at the founding of America and the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Like many great musicals, the plot is interesting enough without the songs, but who can resist a musical number sung by Benjamin Franklin? It’s educational and catchy—a rare combination.