Presidency on Film, Part 2

Updated August 5, 2020 | Infoplease Staff

Presidential Trivia

Eight of the first nine American presidents —Washington, John Adams, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, John Quincy Adams, Jackson, and Harrison— were born British subjects. Van Buren was the first president born a U.S. citizen.

The most common religious affiliation among presidents has been Episcopalian.

Nine U.S. presidents never attended college.

Kennedy and Taft are the only presidents buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

The president's original salary was $25,000. The chief executive now makes $200,000 a year.

James Buchanan was the only president never to marry. Buchanan's niece, Harriet Lane, was hostess at the White House during his term.

Presidents Adams, Jefferson, and Monroe all died on the 4th of July; Calvin Coolidge was the only president to have been born on that day.

Wilson (1944)

Director: Daryl F. Zanuck. Cast: F. Alexander Knox, Charles Coburn, Geraldine Fitzgerald, Vincent Price

This forgotten biopic wouldn't be considered earth shattering by today's standards, but at the time, it was a revealing portrait of a vulnerable man. The film charts Woodrow Wilson's rise from president of Princeton to his governorship of New Jersey to the presidency and follows his active social life after the death of his first wife. Wilson won five Oscars and was nominated for Best Picture.

Dr. Strangelove

or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1963)

Director: Stanley Kubrick. Cast: Peter Sellers, George C. Scott, Sterling Hayden, Slim Pickens, Keenan Wynn

This masterful Cold War black comedy remains timeless as it speaks volumes about the power machines wield over men. Peter Sellers's bumbling, impotent President Merton Muffley (one of three roles he plays in the film) struggles to avert a nuclear disaster spurred on by a maniacal Air Force general who wants to decimate the Soviets because, he believes, they are out to "pollute the precious bodily fluids" of Americans.

All the President's Men (1976)

Director: Alan J. Pakula. Cast: Dustin Hoffman, Robert Redford, Jason Robards

Though they essentially brought down Tricky Dick, Woodward and Bernstein can also lay claim to ushering in a new generation of prying and spying journalists driven by their thirst to unearth the next scandal that will change the world. The film about the Washington Post reporters' crusade to lay bare the facts of Watergate did open the Oval Office to public scrutiny, both in real life and in celluloid.

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