Presidency on Film, Part 4

Updated February 28, 2017 | Infoplease Staff

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Air Force One (1997)

Director: Wolfgang Petersen. Cast: Harrison Ford, Gary Oldman, Wendy Crewson, Glenn Close

Harrison Ford's President James Marshall is the chief executive that only Hollywood could create: a no-nonsense leader, steadfast in his resolve to suppress terrorists and dictators and a dedicated family man. When Air Force One is taken hostage by a group of Communist fanatics, the prez single-handedly saves the day.

Wag the Dog (1997)

Director: Barry Levinson. Cast: Dustin Hoffman, Robert De Niro, Anne Heche

The story is much the same as the one that has been dominating the headlines for the past year, but the fictional account is a hilarious satire, while the non-fiction story is satirically hilarious. The president's in deep when a Firefly Girl (someone along the lines of a Girl Scout) accuses the prez of getting a little too touchy feely in the Oval Office. A presidential aide calls in a fix-it guy to enlist the aide of a slick movie producer, who "produces" a war in Albania. Dramatic footage and heart-warming songs suitably distract the public long enough for the president to be re-elected.