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Michigan State University

Political Science / Public Policy Resources: Feature Films

Selected Feature Films, A-B

All Political Science feature films are located in the Digital and Multimedia Center unless otherwise indicated.

Abe Lincoln in Illinois (1940) / an RKO Radio Picture ; Max Gordon Plays & Pictures Corp. presents ; screenplay by Robert E. Sherwood ; produced by Max Gordon ; directed by John Cromwell.  Burbank, CA : Distributed by Warner Home Video, [2010]  1 DVD videodisc (110 min.) : sd., b&w ; 4 3/4 in.  PN1995.9.B55 A24 2010 VideoDVD : Among the most masterful matchups of actor and role in screen history is this stirring film of Robert E. Sherwood's beloved play taking a thoroughly human look at the early years of our 16th President, with all his frailties and strength of character. Best Actor Oscar? nominee* Raymond Massey (who originated the role on stage) wonderfully plays the future Great Emancipator in a chronicle of his backwoods childhood through his first romance with Ann Rutledge (Mary Howard) to his phenomenal rise to President Elect, besting the great orator Stephen Douglas (Gene Lockhart). Ruth Gordon also does memorable work as driven, ambitious Mary Todd Lincoln, whose vision of Abe's leadership destiny will not be denied by anyone - including her often reticent husband. There's also no denying the enduring emotional power of this simple, magnificent movie.

Advise & Consent  / Otto Preminger presents ; screenplay by Wendell Mayes ; produced & directed by Otto Preminger.  Burbank, CA : Warner Home Video, c2005.  1 DVD videodisc (138 min.) : sd., b&w ; 4 3/4 in. PS3554.R8 A32 2005 VideoDVD : The first of Allen Drury "all names changed to protect the guilty" political novels, Advise and Consent was brought to the screen by producer/director Otto Preminger. The film hinges upon the appointment of Robert Leffingwell (Henry Fonda) to Secretary of State. Leffingwell has been hand-picked by the President (Franchot Tone), meaning that there'll be a battle on the Senate floor between adherents of and opponents to the current administration. Among the participants are veteran Dixiecrat Charles Laughton, freshman Senator Don Murray and Nixonlike powerseeker George Grizzard. Burgess Meredith also shows up as a pathetic Whitaker Chambers type who is brought into the Senate to "prove" that Leffingwell is a communist. To neutralize Murray, Grizzard threatens to dredge up a homosexual incident in Murray's past, which results in the latter's suicide. Advise and Consent is a slow and old-fashioned film, coming to life only when Laughton and Grizzard are on screen--and in the climax, in which the fate of Leffingwell's appointment is left in the hands of acting President Lew Ayres.   Cast : Henry Fonda, Charles Laughton, Don Murray, Walter Pidgeon, Peter Lawford, Gene Tierney, Franchot Tone, Lew Ayres, Burgess Meredith, Eddie Hodges.

Air Force One  / Columbia Pictures and Beacon Pictures present a Radiant production ; a Wolfgang Petersen film ; written by Andrew W. Marlowe ; produced by Armyan Bernstein, Wolfgang Petersen, Gail Katz and Jon Shestack ; directed by Wolfgang Petersen.  Culver City, CA : Columbia TriStar Home Video, c2005.  1 DVD videodisc (125 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in. MSU College of Law Library Reserve Video A : An uncompromising U.S. President has just told the world he will not negotiate with terrorists. But when Russian terrorists hijack Air Force One, the world's most secure and extraordinary aircraft, the President is faced with a nearly impossible decision-- give in to terrorist demands or sacrifice not only the country's dignity, but the lives of his wife and daughter.

All the King's Men (1949)  / Columbia Pictures Corp. ; written for the screen and directed by Robert Rossen.  [United States] : Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, [2006]  1 DVD videodisc (110 min.) : sd., b&w ; 4 3/4 in.  PS3545.A748 A7 2006 VideoDVD : Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Robert Penn Warren, All the King's Men is a roman à clef inspired by the career of Louisiana governor Huey Long. Broderick Crawford won an Academy Award for his portrayal of Willie Stark, a backwoods Southern lawyer who wins the hearts of his constituents by bucking the corrupt state government. Journalist Jack Burden (John Ireland) is impressed by Willie's seeming sincerity, and aids Stark on the road to political power. Once he's reached the governor's mansion, however, Willie proves himself to be as dishonest and despotic as the crooks whom he's replaced. He also cheats shamelessly on his wife with both his campaign manager (Mercedes McCambridge, another Oscar winner) and with Anne Stanton (Joanne Dru), the sister of idealistic doctor Adam Stanton (Sheppard Strudwick). Fiercely protective of his power, Willie organizes a fascistic police force and arranges for "accidents" to befall those who oppose him; even so, he retains the love of the voters by lowering the poverty level, improving the school system, and financing building projects. Even when Willie all but orchestrates the suicide of Anne's uncle, a highly respected judge (Raymond Greenleaf), those closest to him are unable to escape his power and the charismatic hold he has over people. Stockton, CA, stands in for the unnamed state capitol where most of the film's action occurs. In addition to its Oscars for Crawford and McCambridge, All the King's Men won the Best Picture prize. Warren's novel would later be adapted into a stage play, a TV special, and even an opera. Cast : Broderick Crawford, John Ireland, Joanne Dru, John Derek, Merceded McCambridge, Shepperd Strudwick.

All the President's Men (1976) / a Wildwood Enterprises production ; screenplay by William Goldman ; produced by Walter Coblenz ; directed by Alan J. Pakula.  Burbank, Calif. : Warner Home Video, 1983.  1 VHS videocassette (127 min.) : sd., col. ; 1/2 in. PN1995.9.S87 A45 1983 Videocassette : Hollywood customarily takes its time to plumb history, waiting decades -- or even centuries -- to explore the real-life drama of, say, the Vietnam War. But in the case of All the President's Men, director Alan J. Pakula set a particularly high bar for himself, depicting a complex chapter of American political history only two years after the actual events had transpired. Based on the prize-winning book by Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, the story details the step-by-step investigation of the Watergate scandal that led to the 1974 resignation of President Richard Nixon. In preparing for their roles, Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman did formidable legwork researching the intrepid journalists, and their efforts paid off -- Redford conjuring to perfection Woodward's fastidious, almost irksome, penchant for exactitude; Hoffman painting Bernstein as a charming (if a bit reckless) go-getter with an eye for good copy and attractive women. And Jason Robards brings the right blend of grumpiness and grit to the role of Post editor Ben Bradlee. The story has a tragic inevitability -- from an absurdly bungled break-in at an office building to the systematic crumbling of a presidential administration -- which Pakula captures vividly in this edge-of-your-seat political thriller. Cast: Dustin Hoffman, Robert Redford, Jack Warden, Martin Balsam, Hal Holbrook, Jason Robards, Jane Alexander.  Another copy is available in the MSU College of Law Library Reserve collection.

The American President (1995) / Castle Rock Entertainment and Universal Pictures present a Wildwood Enterprises, Inc. production ; a Rob Reiner film ; written by Aaron Sorkin ; produced and directed by Rob Reiner.  Burbank, CA : Distributed by Warner Home Video, [2008]  1 DVD videodisc (115 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in. PN1995.9.P678 A64 2008 VideoDVD : What sounds like a high-concept romantic comedy pitch from hell--widower president falls for smart lobbyist while the world watches--is actually intelligent, charming, touching, and quite funny. Granted, it's wish fulfillment all the way (when was the last time you saw a president who was truly presidential?), but in the capable hands of writer Aaron Sorkin (TV's Sports Night) and director Rob Reiner, The American President is incredibly enjoyable entertainment with quite a few ideas about both romance and the government. Michael Douglas stars as the president, who after three years in office starts thinking about the possibility of dating. When he auspiciously encounters cutthroat environmental lobbyist Sydney Ellen Wade (Annette Bening), sparks begin to crackle and the two begin a tentative but heartfelt romance. Of course, his job gets in the way--their first kiss is interrupted by a Libyan bombing--but darn it if these two kids aren't going to try and make it work! However, they hadn't counted on the president's Republican antagonist (Richard Dreyfuss), who starts carping about family values. The predictable plot--Douglas finally goes to bat for his lady and his country--is leavened by Sorkin's wonderful, snappy dialogue and a light touch from the usually subtle-as-a-sledgehammer Reiner. Both manage to create a believable White House-office atmosphere (with a crack staff including Martin Sheen, Michael J. Fox, Anna Deavere Smith, and Samantha Mathis) as well as a plausible and funny dating scenario. The true success of the movie, though, rides squarely on Douglas and Bening; this is unequivocally Douglas's best comedic performance (ergo his best performance, period) and Bening, usually such a good bad girl, takes a standard career-woman role and fleshes it out magnificently. You can see in an instant why Douglas would fall for her. One of the best unsung romantic comedies of the '90s.

Assassination (1987) / written by Richard Sale ; directed by Peter Hunt ; produced by Pancho Kohner ; executive producers, Menahem Golan, Yoram Globus. New York, NY : Keepers Home Video, c1993.  1 videocassettes (93 min.) : sd., col. ; 1/2 in. PN1997 .A87 1993 Videocassette : After threats have been made to the first lady, a secret service agent (played by Bronson) is called in to be her bodyguard. They both become the targets of terrorist attacks which seem to be directed from inside the White House.

The Aviator (2004) / Warner Bros. Pictures and Miramax Films presents in association with Initial Entertainment Group a Forward Pass/Appian Way/IMF production ; written by John Logan ; produced by Michael Mann ... [et al.] ; directed by Martin Scorsese.  Burbank, CA : Distributed by Warner Home Video, 2007  1 Blu-ray disc (170 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in  PN1995.9.B55 A953 2007 Blu-ray VideoDVD : An epic biopic depicting the early years of legendary director and aviator Howard Hughes' career, from the late 1920's to the mid-1940's.  It is included under political science because of the scene where Howard Hughes is called on to testify before Congress about his war profiteering, with surprising results.

Battlestar Galactica - Season One (2005) / produced by Harvey Frand ; developed by Ronald D. Moore ; executive producers, Ronald D. Moore, David Eick ; R & D TV.  Universal City, CA : Universal, c2005. 5 DVD videodiscs (ca. 756 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in. PN1992.8.S35 B376 2005 VideoDVD Season 1  Discs 1-5 : Features a female president in a future setting. Mary McDonnell fill the role of Laura Roslin, the Secretary of Education who becomes the President of the Twelve Colonies after everyone above her is killed during the first Cylon attack that wipes out most of the human race. As if trying to keep what remains of the Colonies together after a nuclear act of war isn’t hard enough, she also has to deal with her own personal demons, the most daunting of which is having cancer. Roslin’s greatest strength as President was her complete lack of political ambition — she sure as hell didn’t ask for this job, so her decisions were never ego-driven or underhanded. She’s awesome

Battlestar Galactica - Season 2.0 (Episodes 1-10) (2005) Universal ; consulting producer, Glen A. Larson, Mark Verheiden ; produced by Harvey Frand ; developed by Ronald D. Moore ; executive producers, Ronald D. Moore, David Eick.  Universal City, Calif. : Universal Studios Home Entertainment, c2005.  3 DVD videodiscs (ca. 438 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.  PN1992.8.S35 B376 2005 VideoDVD Season 2  Discs 1-3 : The first half of Battlestar Galactica's second season left no doubts about the continuing excellence of the best science fiction TV series of 2005. Beginning with the Colonial Fleet separated, Col. Tigh (Michael Hogan) botching his temporary command, and Capt. Adama (Edward James Olmos) near death after a Cylon assassination attempt, series producer/developer Ronald D. Moore and his gifted writing staff packed more into these 10 episodes than most series manage in a full season. Maintaining its reputation as an adult drama, the series is compellingly anchored by the gravitas of Olmos and Mary McDonnell, whose role as Fleet President Laura Roslin grows more complex as she reveals her diagnosis of breast cancer and defies Adama, playing the "religious card" with her conviction that prophetic visions will lead the embattled fleet toward its legendary home planet Earth. As Adama's son Apollo (Jamie Bamber) wrestles with his role in Roslin's mutinous agenda, paranoia runs high as Cylon copies (or "avatars") of Boomer (Grace Park) complicate matters aboard Galactica and on Kobol, where a lost Raptor crew struggles to survive and Dr. Baltar (James Callis) endures the increasingly haunting and manipulative intrusions into his tormented psyche by Number Six (Tricia Helfer), the seductive Cylon who holds the secret to the Cylon master plan to destroy humankind....Further action takes place on Cylon-occupied Caprica, where Starbuck (Katee Sackhoff) and Helo (Tamoh Penikett) discover a group of human resistance fighters who survived the Cylons' nuclear attack in season 1. As all of these plot threads are expertly interwoven, the high-stakes conflict of BG 2.0 culminates in a suspenseful mid-season cliffhanger. Through all of this, Battlestar Galactica maintains consistently high standards of intelligent drama and well-justified, story-based use of spectacular special effects, while developing rich relationships across a broad spectrum of interesting supporting characters. The series' large and likable cast is well-used throughout (even smaller roles are given adequate dimension), and Moore's "podcast" commentaries provide a smart, thorough analysis of the show's writing process and conceptual evolution. Yes, it's undeniably true that this half-season DVD set is a blatantly commercial ploy to lure more and more viewers into the ongoing season (which resumed in January 2006), but you can hardly blame Universal for capitalizing on a high-quality series. With solid ratings, good scripts, and a devoted cast and crew, Battlestar Galactica showed every indication of thriving toward a third season and beyond.

Battlestar Galactica: Season 2.5 (Episodes 11-20) (2005) / Universal ; consulting producer, Glen A. Larson ; produced by Harvey Frand ; developed by Ronald D. Moore ; executive producers, Ronald D. Moore, David Eick ; director of photography, Stephen McNutt ; R&D TV.  Universal City, CA : Universal Studios Home Entertainment, c2006.  3 videodiscs (ca. 521 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.  PN1992.8.S35 B376 2006 VideoDVD Season 2.5  Discs 1-3 : Battlestar Galactica's season 2.5 (i.e., the final 10 episodes of the second season, plus an extended version of episode 10) picks up where season 2.0 (the first 10 episodes) left off: Galactica's giddy reunion with the Pegasus had taken a sour turn when Admiral Cain (Michelle Forbes) went back on her word to Commander Adama (Edward James Olmos) and decided to integrate the crews, moving Apollo (Jamie Bamber) and Starbuck (Katee Sackhoff) to Pegasus. The animosity, combined with an attack on Sharon (Grace Park), threatens to derail a golden opportunity for the fleet to strike the Cylons where they'll hurt, and stay hurt--their resurrection ship. In many ways, Sharon is the central character. The attack lands Helo (Tahmoh Penikett) and the Chief (Aaron Douglas) in hot water; her impending baby remains the subject of heated debate among president Laura Roslin (Mary McDonnell), Commander Adama, and others; and a rebellious movement determined to force Galactica to give up the Cylon ends up threatening both Apollo and Starbuck and putting further strain on their already-shaky relationship. Dr. Baltar (James Callis) becomes even more intertwined with the Cylons when he discovers another version of Number Six (Tricia Helfer) on the Pegasus, but is also in line to take over the presidency as Roslin's cancer reaches a critical stage. Battlestar Galactica's inexorable dramatic arc sagged in a couple episodes during this run, but the terrific two-part season finale involving a presidential election, a glimmer of hope for humanity, and some unexpected turns of events makes for a thrilling springboard to season 3. Battlestar is often called the best sci-fi show on television, but that seems like damning it with faint praise; it's the best drama on television.

Battlestar Galactica - Season Three / Universal Studios.  Universal City, CA : Universal Studios Home Entertainment, c2008.  6 DVD videodiscs (ca. 953 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.  PN1992.8.S35 B376 2008 VideoDVD Season 3  Discs 1-6 : The third season of Battlestar Galactica got off to a rip-roaring start on New Caprica, where the settlers had found themselves under Cylon occupation at the end of the previous season. Dr. Baltar (James Callis) had been elected President based on his intention to stop looking for Earth and settle on New Caprica, but is now a puppet of the Cylons, forced to sign execution orders for numerous humans, including former President Roslin (Mary McDonnell). A resistance movement is building, however, led by Col. Tigh (Michael Hogan), and assisted by Chief Tyrol (Aaron Douglas) and Samuel Anders (Michael Trucco). Tigh's desperate tactics--including suicide bombers--raise interesting parallels to the U.S. war in Iraq, and he finds he has to make an even tougher choice. Thanks to Admiral Adama's (Edwards James Olmos) return and the unexpected help of Boomer (Grace Park), the colonists escape, then begin a series of trials in order to convict all of the Cylon collaborators, culminating in the explosive trial of Baltar himself. In a boxing-metaphor episode, Apollo (Jamie Bamber) and Starbuck (Katee Sackhoff) resume their mutual attraction with a surprising outcome. After the exciting beginning, Battlestar Galactica sagged a little in the middle of the third season (as it did in the second season) with its ship-bound episodes, but caught speed again at the end. The quest to find Earth, the unexpected loss of a major character, and the revealing of four of the final five Cylons kept viewers coming back to a series that blends action, drama, and universal questions of loyalty, faith, and justice in a way that transcends the science-fiction setting. With Dean Stockwell, Lucy Lawless, and Tricia Helfer as Cylons 1, 3, and 6, Mark Sheppard as defense attorney Romo Lampkin, Alessandro Juliani as Lt. Gaeta, Kandyse McClure as Petty Officer "Dee" Dualla, Nicki Clyne as Crewman Specialist Cally, Kate Vernon as Ellen Tigh, and Rekha Sharma as presidential aide Tory Foster.

Battlestar Galactica - Season 4.0 (2004) / Universal Studios.  Universal City, Calif. : Universal Studios Home Entertainment, 2009.  4 DVD videodiscs (755 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in. PN1992.8.S25 B376 2009 VideoDVD Season 4  Discs 1-4 : They’ve traveled millions of miles and defied relentless attackers, but nothing will prepare the human race for what lies ahead as Battlestar Galactica 4.0 arrives on DVD! In ten gripping episodes, relive each pivotal moment as the civil war amongst the Cylons escalates and the quest for Earth continues.

Battlestar Galactica: Season 4.5 (2004) / Universal Studios; [developed by David Eick, Ronald D. Moore ; produced by Ron French, Michael Rymer ; directed by Michael Nankin ... [et al.]]. Universal City, Calif. : Universal Studios Home Entertainment, 2009. 4 DVD videodiscs (763 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in. + 1 booklet (32 p.). PN1992.8.S25 B376 2009 VideoDVD Season 4.5  Discs 1-4 & 1 booklet : Battlestar Galactica: Season 4.5 is the final 10 episodes of the Sci-Fi Channel's highly acclaimed reimagining of the 1970s show, including one of the more stirring and satisfying series finales in television history. Aired in January 2009 after a six-month hiatus, the half-season opens following the devastating revelation about Earth and with four of the final five Cylons revealed, including Tigh (Michael Hogan), Anders (Michael Trucco), Foster (Rekha Sharma), and Tyrol (Aaron Douglas). The uneasy alliance between humans and a pack of rebel Cylons, including Caprica 6 (Tricia Helfer) takes a quizzical turn when the former residents of Earth appear to be Cylon rather than human, and some of the final five begin to recall their past lives on Earth. Kara (Katee Sackhoff) has to call her own human status into question when she discovers a crashed Viper occupied by a corpse wearing her dog tags, and President Roslin (Mary McDonnell) and Admiral Adama (Edward James Olmos) battle their own despair and struggle to lead an emotionally devastated fleet. Capitalizing on the turmoil, Vice President Tom Zarek (Richard Hatch) and Felix Gaeta (Alessandro Juliani) organize a mutiny aboard the Galactica and Zarek makes an unbelievable power move against the Quorum of Twelve. But before they can carry out their plans for execution, a commando raid led by Kara and Lee Adama (Jamie Bamber) fighting side by side strikes back against the mutineers. That's the action high point of the half-season, as the show then seems to mark some time with such issues as babies and structural integrities until the three-part finale, which, despite a head-scratcher or two, manages to resolve its issues tidily. That viewers even get a rare glimpse of sunlight is kind of a reward for fans of this outstanding but relentlessly dark series. DVD features include extended versions of three episodes ("A Disquiet Follows My Soul," "Islanded in a Stream of Stars," and "Daybreak'), Ronald D. Moore's podcast commentaries for each episode, deleted scenes, David Eick's video blogs, and five behind-the-scenes featurettes.

The Birth of a Nation 1915)  / Lumivision Corporation & International Museum of Photography at George Eastman House ; director and producer, D.W. Griffith ; writers, Thomas F. Dixon, Jr., D.W. Griffith, Frank E. Woods.  Burbank, CA : Triton Multimedia, c2002. 1 DVD videodisc (200 min.) : si., b&w ; 4 3/4 in.  PN1995.75 .B57 2002 VideoDVD : One of the earliest films dramatizing the birth of the Ku Klux Klan.  Includes a cameo of Lincoln agonizing over whether to declare war on the Confederate States of America, and then wiping aways tears when he decides to go ahead.  Want more info?  Try Movie Review Query Engine

Bulworth (1998) / Twentieth Century Fox ; a Warren Beatty film.  Beverly Hills, CA : 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, 1999.  1 DVD videodisc (108 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in. PN1995.9.P6 B85 1999 VideoDVD : Jay Bulworth is your typical senator going through a nervous breakdown. The empty speeches, lies, money, and pressure have led him to plan his own assassination on a weekend trip home to California just before the election. However, a cord snaps in him and like Jim Carrey's rambling lawyer in Liar, Liar, Bulworth can only tell the truth. This new freedom turns Bulworth on and he spews the ugly truth about politics: he tells mass media they are as corrupt as insurance companies; lambastes a black church for not having leaders; and riles the Jewish power elite of Hollywood. He enters South Central running away from advisors (including a bemused Oliver Platt) and mixing it up with a potential new girlfriend (Halle Berry) and a local boss (Don Cheadle). He offends across the board, even developing an inherent knack to rap his speeches. And the public loves it. The weekend becomes a clarifying point for Bulworth: he finds a reason to live....Beatty's rude and relevant comedy is a one-joke movie, but the joke is pretty good. It's a courageous film that is always sharp even though it loses narrative focus. Beatty's hilarious raps are so inspired they deserve repeated viewings. As usual, Beatty surrounds himself with a great crew, Ennio Morricone's music and Vittorio Storaro's cinematography being especially noteworthy. Beatty and Storaro even have the audacity to imitate two very famous photographs in the film's final seconds. The script by Beatty and Jeremy Pikser won the L.A. Film Critics award and was nominated for an Oscar.

Selected Feature Films, C-I

The Candidate (1972) / Warner Bros. ; produced by Walter Coblenz ; directed by Michael Ritchie ; written by Jeremy Larner.  Burbank, CA : Warner Home Video, c2001. 1 DVD videodisc (110 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in. PN1995.9.P6 C343 2001 VideoDVD :  Michael Ritchie's 1972 drama about a political idealist (Robert Redford) recruited to make a run for the Senate is still engrossing and still a terribly accurate reflection of the contemporary campaign process. In one of his trademark roles as a man haunted by some shadow of inauthenticity, Redford is superb as a first-time candidate watching his values and control over his message disappear in the age of TV-friendly prefabrication. Peter Boyle is ideal as his clearheaded campaign manager, Allen Garfield is effectively creepy as a media strategist, and Melvyn Douglas makes a memorable appearance as a retired politico whose endorsement is gold.

Charlie Wilson's War  / Good Time Charlie Productions ; Universal Pictures ; Playtone ; Participant Productions ; Relativity Media ; produced by Gary Goetzman, Tom Hanks ; screenplay by Aaron Sorkin ; directed by Mike Nichols.  Universal City, Calif. : Universal Studios Home Entertainment, [2008]  1 DVD videodisc (102 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.  PN1995.9.B55 C437 2008 VideoDVD : In the early 1980s, Charlie Wilson is best known as a womanizing US congressional representative from Texas. He seemed to be in the minor leagues, except for the fact that he is a member of two major foreign policy and covert-ops committees. However, once Charlie is prodded by his major conservative supporter, Joanne Herring, Wilson learns about the plight of the people who are suffering from the effects of the brutal Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. With the help of the maverick CIA agent, Gust Avrakotos, Wilson dedicates his canny political efforts to supply the Afghan mujahideen with the weapons and support needed to defeat the Soviet Union. Ultimately, Charlie learns that while military victory can be obtained, there are other consequences and prices to that fight that are ignored to everyone's sorrow. Based on a true story.

Citizen Kane (1942) / RKO Radio Pictures ; a Mercury production ; director/producer, Orson Welles ; screenplay, Herman J. Mankiewicz, Orson Welles.  [United States] : Warner Home Video, [2001].  2 DVD videodiscs (119 min., 120 min.) : sd., b&w ; 4 3/4 in.  PN1997.C5117 C5 2001 VideoDVD  1-2 : An all-powerful press magnate, Kane, dies in his fabulous castle Xanadu, his last word being "Rosebud", which leads a reporter to seek the meaning behind the word and find the meaning of Kane. Prominant publisher, William Randolph Hearst, saw the film as a thinly disguised version of his career and attempted to suppress it.  Cast : Orson Welles, Joseph Cotton, Dorothy Comingore, Agnes Moorehead, Everett Sloane.  Also available on 12-inch discs and VHS.

Commander in Chief: Part One (The Inaugural Edition) (2005) / Burbank, CA : Buena Vista Home Entertainment, 2006.  2 DVD videodiscs (427 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.  PN1992.77 .C66636 2006 VideoDVD Pt.1  Discs 1-2 : Geena Davis deserved the Golden Globe she won in her first season as the first female American President on Commander in Chief. Though best known for quirky or comedic roles in films like The Accidental Tourist or Thelma and Louise, Davis has summoned terrific gravitas, leavened by just enough wry humor, to be perfectly believable as President Mackenzie Allen, blazing political trails and trying to be present for her family--while never, ever letting down her guard. Her arch-nemesis is played with Snidely Whiplash devilishness by Donald Sutherland, the Speaker of the House with his own powerful, possibly destructive, agenda. Davis is by turns steely and contemplative, and self-possessed in a way none of her previous roles have shown her to be. "What a town," the President mutters during yet another political crisis. "You can't even trust the back-stabbers." But you can trust that Davis is simply smashing in the lead role and makes the series a must-watch for fans of political dramas and of series with great roles for women. This two-set disc includes the pilot and nine other episodes.

Commander in Chief : Part Two (The Inaugural Edition) (Episodes 11-18) (2005) / Burbank, CA : Buena Vista Home Entertainment, 2006. 2 DVD videodiscs (390 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.  PN1992.77 .C66636 2006 VideoDVD Pt.2  Discs 1-2 : It looks like The West Wing, it feels like 24--it must be Commander in Chief. Created by critic-turned-filmmaker Rod Lurie (The Contender) and produced by Steven Bochco (NYPD Blue) and Dee Johnson (E.R.), the political drama reeled in the accolades and awards during its first year. Unfortunately, ABC bounced the show around so often, even pulling it from the schedule for a hiatus, that it failed to attract enough viewers to justify a second--let alone full--22-episode season....As the series continues, tensions between the US and North Korea have reached critical mass ("No Nukes is Good Nukes," the conclusion to a two-part episode from the first set). President Mackenzie Allen (a commanding Geena Davis) is doing what she can to extract an American submarine stranded in sovereign waters. If she can't come up with a plan in time, the crew will die. Worse yet, North Korea could declare war. In this episode, the Independent will also decide to run for re-election--against Republican Speaker of the House Nathan Templeton (Donald Sutherland as a deceptively genial snake)--setting the stage for the rest of the year....Other developments include compromising photographs concerning Kyle Secor's First Gentleman ("State of the Unions"), the resignation of a key cabinet member ("Ties That Bind"), and a bout of appendicitis, which leads to Templeton becoming Leader of the Free World--for a day ("The Elephant in the Room"). The series ends with "Unfinished Business," in which Templeton makes his bid for the White House official and political consultant Dickie McDonald (Mark-Paul Gosselaar) reveals his true colors. Bonus features include deleted scenes, a blooper reel, and episode commentaries from Lurie and Johnson.

The Contender (2000) / Battleground Productions ; DreamWorks Pictures ; produced by Willi Bär ... [et al.] ; written and directed by Rod Lurie.  Culver City, CA : DreamWorks Home Entertainment, 2001.  1 DVD videodisc (127 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in. PN1995.9.P6 C677 2001 VideoDVD : Depending on your perspective, The Contender can be praised and damned for the same reasons. A political thriller with an insider's view, it's deadly earnest in its defense of truth, justice, and the American way, but writer-director (and former film critic) Rod Lurie resorts to the same manipulation that his film purports to condemn. But with political savvy, a timely idea (a female vice president), and a cast of first-rate actors, this high-office chess game is unabashedly entertaining. You can argue with Lurie's tactics, but you can't fault his patriotic passion....In a role written especially for her, Joan Allen is outstanding (if a bit too saintly) as the Republican-turned-Democrat senator who is chosen by the president (Jeff Bridges) to fill a vice presidential vacancy. Bridges is a cagey chief executive, seemingly aloof as he gleefully challenges the White House's 24-hour kitchen staff but more than a match for the embittered and unscrupulous congressman (Gary Oldman) who plots to destroy Allen's character with seemingly dark secrets from her past....As a gender-switching response to the Lewinsky scandal, The Contender asks potent questions with its impassioned plea for integrity in public service. That makes this a film well worth defending, and the stellar cast (which includes Christian Slater and William Petersen) triumphs over most of the plot's hokey machinations. The ideas are more compelling than their execution, however, and although Lurie's climactic revelation is a vast improvement over the reckless cheat of his previous film Deterrence, it still threatens to tarnish the gloss of an otherwise fascinating film.

Dave  / Warner Bros.  Burbank, CA : Warner Home Video, 1993.  1 VHS videocassette (110 min.) : sd., col. ; 1/2 in.  PN1995.9.C55 D38 1993 Videocassette : The ghost of Frank Capra must have smiled when he saw Dave, an amusing and effective update of one of Capra's favorite themes -- the scrupulously honest little guy who becomes a force for good against a corrupt system. Dave Kovic (Kevin Kline) runs an employment agency and seems to genuinely enjoy finding work for people who need it. He also bears a striking resemblance to the president of the United States, Bill Mitchell (also played by Kline) and occasionally gets work as a Bill Mitchell impersonator. One day, Dave gets a call from the Secret Service -- for security purposes, they want to hire him to act as a decoy for an upcoming appearance by the president. All goes well, but later that evening President Mitchell suffers a massive stroke while in bed with his mistress. Wanting to keep the matter a secret, two of the president's top advisors appeal to Dave to stand in as Bill Mitchell until he regains his health. One of the men behind this scheme, Bob Alexander (Frank Langella), hopes to use Mitchell's absence to promote his own right-wing political agenda, but after a few weeks "in office," Dave decides it's time to promote some changes of his own that will help increase employment and keep homeless shelters open. Dave also finds himself growing fond of Ellen Mitchell (Sigourney Weaver), the President's wife, while Ellen sees in Dave the idealism her husband left behind years ago. Dave features numerous cameo appearances by politicians, Washington insiders, and journalists; Oliver Stone also appears to explain a conspiracy theory regarding sudden changes in Bill Mitchell's behavior.   Cast : Kevin Kline, Sigourney Weaver, Ivan Reitman, Frank Langella, Ving Rhames, Kevin Dunn, Ben Kingsley, Charles Grodin.  Also available on 12-inch disc.

Dr. Strangelove : or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1963) / Columbia Pictures ; Hawk Films, Ltd. Culver City, CA : Columbia Tristar Home Video, 1999, c1963.  1 DVD videodisc (93 min.) ; sd., b&w ; 4 3/4 in.  PR6057.E54 R4 1999 VideoDVD : Stanley Kubrick takes on the deadly serious issue of nuclear war and turns it into the blackest of comedies. No one has done a better job of showing the absurdity of war, and showing the idiocy of those in power. Kubrick originally intended to end the film with a pie fight in the war room but instead opted for Slim Pickens riding a bomb to nuclear annihilation. George C. Scott overacts to perfection and Peter Sellers shines in three roles. "Gentlemen you can't fight in here this is the war room."  Cast : Peter Sellers, George C. Scott, Sterling Hayden, Keenan Wynn, Slim Pickins.  Also available on 12-inch disc.

Duck Soup (1933) / Paramount Productions.  Universal City, CA : MCA Universal Home Video, Inc., c1995.  1 VHS videocassette (68 min.) : sd., b&w ; 1/2 in. PN2297.M3 D83 1995 Videocassette : For those who love the Marx Brothers (Animal Crackers, A Night at the Opera), that this movie is side-slappingly funny is a given. For those new to the Marx Brothers, this is the perfect introduction to Groucho, Chico, and Harpo (and even Zeppo), three of the funniest men to ever grace the screen. Rufus T. Firefly (Groucho) is the dictator of the small nation Freedonia. The country is a disaster, in financial disrepair, and the wealthy Mrs. Teasdale (Margaret Dumont) is its benefactor and the object of Firefly's shrewd affection. When the leader of the neighboring Sylvania decides he's in love with Mrs. Teasdale, Firefly declares war. The movie, from 1933, is tremendously satirical, a play on politics and war. (As Firefly says to a hapless young solider, "You're a brave man. Go and break through the lines. And remember, while you're out there risking your life and limb through shot and shell, we'll be in be in here thinking what a sucker you are.") Full of witty lines, great sight gags, and even some snazzy song numbers ("Freedonia's Going to War" is the hilarious declaration of battle), this is surely one of the best--if not the best--the Marx Brothers have to offer.  Mussolini thought the film was making fun of him, which delighted the Marx Brothers who were really making fun of all politicians and governments. The 4 Marx Brothers (Groucho, Harpo, Chico, and Zeppo), Margaret Dumont, Louis Calhern, Raquel Torres, Edgar Kennedy.

Fail-Safe (1964) / Columbia ; screenplay, Walter bernstein ; producer, Max E. Youngstein ; director, Sidney Lumet.  [Culver City, Calif.] : Columbia TriStar Home Video, c2000.  1 DVD videodisc (ca. 112 min.) : sd., b&w ; 4 3/4 in.  PS3503.U5972 F32 2000 VideoDVD : A computer malfunction causes nuclear-equipped American bombers to destroy Moscow and the president of the United States has to take terrible measures to appease the Soviets and prevent all-out nuclear war.  Cast : Henry Fonda, Dan O'Herlihy, Walter Matthau, Frank Overton, Edward Binns, Larry Hagman, Fritz Weaver.

Gore Vidal's Lincoln (1988), see Lincoln.

Hiroshima (2005) / Hallmark Entertainment in association with Showtime Network Inc. and Adelson Entertainment presents a Telescene Communications Inc. (Canada)/Daiei Company Ltd. in association with Cine Bazar (Japan) production ; a Roger Spottiswoode film ; producer, Kazutoshi Wadakura ; screenplay by John Hopkins, Toshiro Ishido ; directors, Roger Spottiswoode, Koreyoshi Kurahara.  Beverly Hills, Calif. : Echo Bridge Home Entertainment ; La Crosse, Wis. : Platinum Disc Corp., c2004. 1 DVD videodisc (ca. 180 min.) : sd., col. and b&w ; 4 3/4 in.  PN1995.9.H5 H58 2004 VideoDVD : "Hiroshima" is a fascinating, factual portrayal of the events surrounding the conclusion of World War II. The inter-mixing of documentary and historically accurate drama was exceptionally well done, and it is obvious that the producers of this project took great lengths to not only be historically accurate, but to be as unbiased and neutral as possible.

Ike - Countdown to D-Day (2004) / directed by Robert Harmon ; written by Lionel Chetwynd.   Culver City, CA : Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment, c2004.  1 videodisc (89 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.  E836 .I54 2004 VideoDVD : Tom Selleck gives a restrained yet powerful performance as General Dwight D. Eisenhower in Ike: Countdown to D-Day. This made-for-cable feature focuses on the solemn, brilliant but plain-speaking Ike as he fine-tunes, over 90 days, tactical and political concerns involved with the Allies' imminent D-Day invasion of Normandy, i.e., America and Britain's long-awaited joint assault against Nazi-occupied Europe. A strong cast--James Remar as General Omar Bradley, Timothy Bottoms as Ike's assistant, Walter Bedell "Beetle" Smith--anchors the film's mesmerizing, blow-by-blow account of Eisenhower's leadership under the shadow of many uncertainties (predicting the weather for D-Day becomes a suspenseful refrain) and pressure from conflicting egos (Montgomery, DeGaulle, Patton). Ian Mune is a delight as a wary, darkly bemused Churchill, who encourages Ike's strategy of supreme leadership and low-key diplomacy. The script by Lionel Chetwynd (DC 9/11: Time of Crisis) captures the unbearable tension of commencing the invasion--and awaiting the results.

In the Line of Fire[Burbank, Calif.] : Columbia TriStar Home Video, 1993.  2 12 inch videodiscs (ca. 2 hr., 7 min.) : sd., col.  PN1995.9.S87 I6 1993 Video (12 inch) disc : Frank Horrigan, a veteran Secret Service agent haunted by his failure to protect JFK from assassination gets a chance to redeem himself when a brilliant psychopath threatens to kill the current president and take Horrigan with him.

In the Loop (2009) / BBC Films and UK Film Council present ; in association with Aramid Entertainment, an Armando Iannucci film ; directed by Armando Iannucci ; produced by Kevin Loader, Adam Tandy ; screenplay by Jesse Armstrong, Simon Blackwell, Armando Iannucci, Tony Roche. [New York] : IFC Films, [2010]  1 DVD videodisc (106 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in. PN1995.9.P6 I6 2010 VideoDVD : "The US President and UK Prime Minister fancy a war. But not everyone agrees that war is a good thing. The US General Miller doesn't think so and neither does the British Secretary of State for International Development, Simon Foster. But, after Simon accidentally backs military action on TV, he suddenly has a lot of friends in Washington, DC. If Simon can get in with the right DC people, if his entourage of one can sleep with the right intern, and if they can both stop the Prime Minister's chief spin-doctor Malcolm Tucker rigging the vote at the UN, they can halt the war."

Independence Day (1996)  / Twentieth Century Fox presents a Centropolis Entertainment production ; directed by Roland Emmerich ; written by Dean Devlin & Roland Emmerich ; produced by Dean Devlin.  Beverly Hills, Calif. : Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, [2000]  2 videodiscs (153 min.)  PN1997.A1 I53 2000 VideoDVD :  How will the President of the United States react to an alien invasion?  Massive spaceships appear in Earth's skies and wonder turns to terror as the ships blast destructive beams of fire down on cities all over the planet. The world's only hope lies with a determined band of survivors. Cast : Will Smith, Bill Pullman, Jeff Goldblum, Mary McDonnell, Judd Hirsch, Margaret Colin, Randy Quaid, Robert Loggia, James Rebhorn, Harvey Fierstein, Brent Spiner. Want more info?  Try Movie Review Query Engine.

Selected Feature Films, J-R

Jefferson Davis : an American President / Rosemont Pictures Inc. in association with Flying Chaucer Films, LLC.  West Long Branch, NJ : Kultur, c2008.  3 DVD videodiscs (230 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in. E467.1.D26 J44 2008 VideoDVD  disc 1-3 : Jefferson Davis is perhaps the most misunderstood and maligned figure in United States history....One of the most outstanding statesmen of the United States during the first 60 years of the 19th century, he sacrificed everything to defend the South's position regarding the rights of the states and conservative constitutional interpretation. Against staggering odds he led the South and held it together in the bloody Civil War or War Between the States...Over 620,000 Americans died in this tragic war, sometimes called a second American Revolution. The history of this period has been written mainly by the victor; however, historians are revisiting Davis and his legacy....A West Point graduate, a hero of the Mexican War, United States Senator, outstanding Secretary of War under Franklin Pierce and the only President of the Confederate States of America. Among his many contributions to this country, he is largely responsible for the Smithsonian Institution, and the way the National Capitol looks today ....Unparalleled interviews with top Davis scholars...Never before seen footage from Davis' boyhood home to the actual place of his capture...An all access pass to the United States Capitol, both Confederate White Houses, the West Point art collection, and many more institutions and private homes...Extensive, pre-Hurricane Katrina footage of Beauvoir (Biloxi, MS) and Fortress Monroe (VA)

John Carpenter's Escape from New York / Avco Embassy Pictures, International Film Investors, Goldcrest Films International present ; a Debra Hill production ; written by John Carpenter and Nick Castle ; produced by Larry Franco ; produced by Debra Hill ; directed by John Carpenter.  Santa Monica, CA : MGM Home Entertainment, c2000.  1 DVD videodisc (99 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in. PN1995.9.A3 E7 2000 VideoDVD : In a world ravaged by crime, the entire island of Manhattan has been converted into a prison which houses the world's most brutal inmates. And when the President of the United States crash lands inside, only one man can bring him back: Snake Plissken, a notorious outlaw and former Special Forces war hero who, in exchange for a full pardon, descends into the decayed city and wages a blistering war against the captors. But time is short: in 24 hours, an explosive charge planted inside Snake's body will end the mission-- and his life-- unless he succeeds!

Kennedy (1983) / Central Independent Television in association with Reeves Entertainment Group ; writer, Reg Gadney ; producer, Andrew Brown ; director, Jim Goddard.  New York, NY : Lance Entertainment, c2001.   2 DVD videodiscs (ca. 300 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.  E841 .K4664 2001 VideoDVD  1-2 : Martin Sheen played president well before his stint on television's The West Wing in this affecting miniseries about John F. Kennedy. All of the momentous events of JFK's remarkable term are covered (with actual news footage used to excellent effect), but it is the portrayal of the entire Kennedy family as real, flawed people that gives Kennedy its power. The Kennedys gossip, snipe, joke, and bother each other like a real family rather than rigid historical figures or threadbare caricatures. Sheen plays Kennedy as a man with lofty ideals who is more than willing to dirty his hands to serve his greater purpose. Blair Brown plays Jacqueline Kennedy with a shrewd understanding of politics, but also a whiff of vanity. In addition to the strong performances by both leads, Vincent Gardenia gives a brilliant performance as J. Edgar Hoover: stiff, quirky and strange, prurient and moralistic at the same time, and boiling with hatred. The DVD includes 75 minutes of documentary footage from the Kennedy library.

Lincoln  / Dreamworks Pictures, Twentieth Century Fox and Reliance Entertainment present in association with Participant Media and Dune Entertainment an Amblin Entertainment/Kennedy/Marshall Company production ; directed by Steven Spielberg ; screenplay by Tony Kushner ; produced by Steven Spielberg, Kathleen Kennedy.  [United States] : Touchstone Home Entertainment ; Burbank, Calif. : Distributed by Buena Vista Home Entertainment, c2013.  4 videodiscs : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.  Rovi Movie Collection  AR2 D0152441 Blu-ray Video & VideoDVD  discs 1-4 :  In a nation divided by war and the strong winds of change, Lincoln pursues a course of action designed to end the war, unite the country and abolish slavery. With the moral courage and fierce determination to succeed, his choices during this critical moment will change the fate of generations to come.  Based in part on the book Team of rivals : the political genius of Abraham Lincoln / by Doris Kearns Goodwin.

Lincoln (1988) / a film by Lamont Johnson ; produced by Bob Christianson, Rick Rosenburg ; writer, Ernest Kinoy ; directed by Lamont Johnson.  [S.l.] : [Distributed by] Echo Bridge Home Entertainment, c2009.  1 DVD videodisc (190 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.  PN1995.9.H5 L58 2009 VideoDVD    Also available as part of the Rovi Movie Collection : Author Vidal's work of "factual fiction", Lincoln, is a monumental novel focusing upon the five years of the most dramatic of presidencies. Distilling nearly 700 pages of biographical detail into a three hour miniseries must have been daunting, but writer Ernest Kinoy was up to the task. It's hard to judge direction in a piece that's divided for commercial breaks, but under the hand of Lamont Johnson, the story remains cohesive. Casting Sam Waterston in the title role was a stroke of genius. Squint a bit, and you could be convinced he was Lincoln, lthough a surprisingly unwrinkled and unworn one. Waterston's Lincoln is fully human, down to high pitched, twangy quality of Lincoln's voice; he has turned in the most credible movie portrayal to date. Most of the supporting cast was also outstanding, with the singular exception of Mary Tyler Moore. Thin to the point of gauntness, and rigid in her self control, MTM was the visual antithesis of the real Mary Lincoln, who was short, heavy set, and given to unforgettable displays of temper and hysteria.  Cast : Sam Waterston, Mary Tyler Moore, Richard Mulligan, Deborah Adair, Tom Brennan (II)

MacArthur (1977) / Universal Studios ; produced by Richard Zanuck/David Brown, Frank McCarthy ; directed by Joseph Sargent ; written by Hal Barwood, Matthew Robbins.  Universal City, CA : Universal Home Video, c2001.  1 DVD videodisc (130 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.  E745.M3 M33 2001 VideoDVD : The 1977 film "MacArthur" is well aware that there were two sides to the controversial military leader Douglas MacArthur, and you can almost see the makers of this film flipping a coin to decide which side Gregory Peck gets to show in the next scene. On the one hand there was the brilliant military strategist and leader who directed Allied forces in the Pacific against the Japanese in World War II and for the first half of the Koran War. On the other hand that was the vain and egotistical man who selected official photographs with as much care as he plained invasions and attacks. Most of the credit in this film goes to Peck's performance in making these two diverse sides fit together for the most part. Both Roosevelt (Dan O'Herlihy) and Truman (Ed Flanders) have their pokes at MacArthur, while it is a pair of his Japanese adversaries who speak to his military ability (scenes that are reminiscent of the Germans doing the same thing in "Patton"). The Presidents give the general credit for his military endeavors, but those accolades are buried beneath the verbal ripostes; on the political side the rebuttal comes from actual film footage of Republican Senators (e.g., Nixon of California) supporting MacArthur and blasting Truman. Even stranger, MacArthur's aides are forced to play it both ways. On the one hand they are doing everything they can for the general's public relations, but then there are also times when they basically roll their eyes at what is coming out of MacArthur's mouth. In the end, MacArthur is not only redeemed by Peck's performance, but by having the final two scenes of the film be the famous pair of speeches MacArthur delivered when he returned to the United States. The first was the "The Old Soldiers" speech given to the Joint Session of Congress and the other the speech to the cadets. When you have a character who has been saying some pretty stupid things from time to time throughout the film and then allow him to reach such flights of oratorical elegance, it is hard not to end on his side of the ledger. "MacArthur" is not enough to allow anyone to make a reasoned judgment on the man and his career, but it should be enough to inspire those who are interested to go read some books that can provide you better evidence for really making up your mind.

The Manchurian Candidate (1962) / United Artists Pictures Inc. ; M.C. Productions ; screenplay by George Axelrod ; produced by George Axelrod and John Frankenheimer ; directed by John Frankenheimer.  Santa Monica, CA : MGM Home Entertainment [distributor, 1998]  1 DVD videodisc (129 min.) : sd., b&w, double sided ; 4 3/4 in.  PS3553.O487 M3 1998 VideoDVD : A U.S. Army platoon, captured in the Korean conflict, is whisked to Manchuria for three nightmarish days of experimental drug-and-hypnosis- induced conditioning that transforms the men into human time bombs. Returned to the United States as war heroes, one of them is used by his mother to promote her Joseph McCarthy-like husband's political career.  Cast : Frank Sinatra, Laurence Harvey, Janet Leigh, Angela Lansbury, Henry Silva, James Gregory.

Mars Attacks! (1996) / Warner Bros. presents a film by Tim Burton. Burbank, CA : Warner Home Video, c2008.  1 DVD videodisc (106 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.  PN1995.9.C55 M377 2008 VideoDVD : A silly yet oddly violent alien invasion spoof including an attack on the U.S. President and Congress! While the movie itself doesn’t completely work, Mars Attacks! sports a pretty impressive cast,. The best of the lot is definitely Jack Nicholson (working with Burton for the first time since Batman), in a dual role as the hapless President of the United States and an obnoxious Las Vegas real estate developer. Nicholson brings a calm cluelessness to the former role, the kind of befuddled President you definitely don’t want in office if something like an alien invasion actually happened. Hey, he gives it his best shot — unfortunately, so do the Martians.

The Missiles of October (1974) / Viacom Enterprises ; produced by Herbert Brodkin and Robert Berger ; written by Stanley R. Greenberg ; directed by Anthony Page.  [Orland Park, IL] : MPI Home Video, 2004, c1974.  1 DVD videodisc (150 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.  E841 .M57 2004 VideoDVD : Without becoming didactic, The Missiles of October does an outstanding job of presenting many points of view on the Cuban missile crisis. The film humanizes Kennedy's near impossible task of avoiding war without compromising national security. The earnestness of this 1974 made-for-television dramatization may briefly remind one of social studies class--indeed it is at times difficult to maintain consciousness while the extensive cast of characters is being introduced at the opening. Not to worry, though--soon the power plays begin and The Missiles of October becomes completely gripping. Actual news footage is spliced in with the action, nicely serving as exposition and driving home just how very close the world came to nuclear war. A crew of excellent character actors flesh out the story and reveal the psychological games behind the language of diplomacy. William Devane takes on the difficult task of playing John F. Kennedy. While he doesn't quite capture Kennedy's charisma, he does occupy the role comfortably and effectively conveys the president's deep worry and determination to avoid war. Martin Sheen plays an engaging Robert Kennedy and Michael Lerner, oddly enough, manages to make Pierre Salinger absolutely fascinating.

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939) / Columbia Pictures Corporation ; screen play by Sidney Buchman ; directed by Frank Capra.  Burbank, CA : Columbia TriStar Home Video, c1997, 1939.  1 VHS videocassette (ca. 125 min.) : sd., b&w. ; 1/2 in.  PN1997 .M7 1997 Videocassette : A naïve Washington outsider gets appointed to the Senate and causes havoc. James Stewart is the idealistic junior senator and Jean Arthur is the savvy insider. Director Frank Capra holds the film in perfect balance between his charming "Capra-corn" and a clear-eyed view of American politics. When a ban on American films was imposed in 1942 in German-occupied France, this film was chosen as the last movie to play in theaters.  Cast : Jean Arthur, James Stewart, Claude Rains, Edward Arnold, Guy Kibbee, Thomas Mitchell, Harry Carey.

Nixon (1995) / from Hollywood Pictures, Andrew G. Vajna presents an Illusion Entertainment Group/Cinergi production ; an Oliver Stone film.  [S.l.] : Hollywood Pictures Home Video ; Burbank, Calif. : Distributed by Buena Vista Home Video, [1996], c1995.  2 VHS videocassettes (191 min.) : sd., col. ; 1/2 in.  E860 .N59 1996 Videocassette  pt.1-2 : Oliver Stone's controversial drama about the Nixon years in the White House stars Anthony Hopkins in a genuinely great performance as the scandal-plagued president. The film attempts to wed suggestions of Nixon's formative experiences as a boy to his political connections with shady movers and shakers and finally to his self-destructive tenure in the Oval Office. The Watergate scandal is revisited rather impressionistically--it may be hard for viewers who weren't alive then to get a sense of what the crisis was about. The parade of stars playing figures in Nixon's orbit--J.T. Walsh as John Ehrlichman, James Woods as Bob Haldeman, David Hyde Pierce as John Dean, etc.--is fun if a tad distracting. Joan Allen got a well-deserved Oscar nomination as First Lady Pat Nixon, and Hopkins got one as well. Cast : Anthony Hopkins, Joan Allen, Powers Boothe, Ed Harris.

Nixon  / Hollywood Pictures ; Andrew G. Vajna presents an Illusion Entertainmnet Group/Cinergi production ; an Oliver Stone film ; director, Oliver Stone ; producers, Clayton Townsend, Oliver Stone, Andrew G. Vajna ; writers, Stephen J. Rivele, Christopher Wilkinson, Oliver Stone.  [Calif.] : Hollywood Pictures Home Video ; Burbank, Calif. : Distributed by Buena Vista Home Entertainment, [2000]  2 DVD videodiscs (212 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.  Rovi Movie Collection AJ4 D0017400 VideoDVD  discs 1-2 or CS4 D0100048 VideoDVD  discs 1-2 : A riveting look at a complex man, Richard Nixon, whose chance at greatness was ultimately destroyed by his passion for power--when his involvement in conspiracy jeopardized the nation's security and the presidency of the United States.

Nixon  / an Illusion Entertainment Group/Cinergi production ; an Oliver Stone film ; produced by Clayton Townsend, Oliver Stone and Andrew G. Vajna ; written by Stephen J. Rivele & Christopher Wilkinson & Oliver Stone ; directed by Oliver Stone ; co-producers, Eric Hamburg, Dan Halsted.  Burbank, Calif. : Buena Vista Home Entertainment, 2012.  1 DVD videodisc (approximately 212 min.) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in.  E860 .N59 2012 VideoDVD  : Takes a riveting look at the complex man whose chance at greatness was ultimately destroyed by his passion for power. His involvement in conspiracy jeopardized the nation's security and the presidency of the United States.  Originally released as a motion picture in 1995

Paris 1919 : inside the peace talks that changed the world (2009)/ produced by the National Film Board of Canada in co-production with 13 Production in association with Galafilm in co-production with Arte France in association with TVO ... [et al.] ; producers, Gerry Flahive, Paul Saadoun ; written and directed by Paul Cowan. Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada : Distributed by BFS Entertainment & Multimedia, [2009]   1 DVD videodisc (ca. 94 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.  D644 .P37 2009 VideoDVD  : In the wake of 37 million casualties at the end of World War I, President Woodrow Wilson took his dream of a League of Nations to Paris to seek "peace everlasting," joining over 30 international delegations who descended upon the city for the most ambitious peace talks in history. Helmed by the Big Four (the United States, France, Great Britain and Italy), the Paris Peace Conference ultimately and ironically sowed the seeds of resentment that led to World War II....In a remarkable feat of filmmaking, director Paul Cowan expertly blends re-enactments with archival footage to transport us to one of the most important summit meetings of the 20th Century. Inspired by the award-winning bestseller by Margaret MacMillan, Paris 1919 chronicles an extraordinary historical event that dissolved empires, redrew maps, engineered the Treaty of Versailles - and created far-reaching consequences that continue to afflict and trouble our world today.

Path to War (2002) / HBO Films presents an Avenue Pictures/Edgar J. Scherick Associates, Inc. production, a John Frankenheimer film ; producer, Guy Riedel ; writer, Daniel Giat ; director, John Frankenheimer.  New York, NY : HBO Video, [2003], c2002.   1 DVD videodisc (164 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in. DS557.6 .P37 2003 VideoDVD : The quagmire that was the Vietnam War comes to vivid life in this HBO film--not in the jungles of Southeast Asia, but in the offices of the White House, where a disastrous U.S. policy was forged. From Lyndon Johnson's landslide 1964 victory to his weary withdrawal from the 1968 race, Path to War charts the disappearance of LBJ's "Great Society" domestic dreams into the bramble patch of war. The bungled decisions are forcefully directed by John Frankenheimer, whose expertise at political intrigue shines in his final film. Donald Sutherland and Alec Baldwin do some of their best work in years (as Clark Clifford and Robert McNamara), although the great actor Michael Gambon, while impressive, doesn't quite capture the honey lilt of LBJ's beguiling style. Among the many superb scenes: Johnson intimidating an outmatched George Wallace (an unbilled Gary Sinise, re-creating a role from another Frankenheimer HBO film) on civil rights.  Cast : Michael Gambon, Donald Sutherland, Alec Baldwin, Bruce McGill, James Frain.

The Pentagon Papers (2003) / Paramount Pictures presents a City Entertainment production ; producer, Stephen J. Turnbull ; written by Jason Horwitch ; directed by Rod Holcomb.  Hollywood, Calif. : Paramount, [2004]  1 DVD videodisc (92 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in. PN1997.2.P46 P46 2004 VideoDVD : Expose a nation's treachery...or protect it as a matter of national security? It's the dilemma facing Daniel Ellsberg (James Spader) when he stumbles across "The Pentagon Papers." Based on a true story, this compelling film traces the story of Ellsberg, an ambitious, Harvard-educated ex-Marine assigned to the top position at the Pentagon. As an analyst assigned to monitor the information coming out of Vietnam, Ellsberg is shocked to discover a 7,000-page, top-secret report that reveals the true extent of America's clandestine involvement in the conflict. And his decision to expose the stunning truth behind the government's active participation will either label him as national hero...or a seditious renegade, intent on damaging the nation's security and best interests. "The Pentagon Papers" is a powerful political drama, hailed by critics. Also starring Emmy Award-nominee Alan Arkin.

The President's Lady (1953) : Please notify the page editor if you have a copy for sale.  : Retells the story of President Andrew Jackson and his wife.  Cast : Audrey Hepburn, Charles Heston.

Primary Colors (1998) / Universal Pictures and Mutual Film Co. present an Icarus production ; screenplay by Elaine May ; directed and produced by Mike Nichols.  Universal City, CA : Universal Home Video, 1998.  1 VHS videocassette (144 min.) : sd., col. ; 1/2 in. MSU College of Law Library Reserve Video P : Mike Nichols directed this Elaine May screenplay adapted from the 1996 bestseller by "Anonymous" (Joe Klein), who fictionalized Bill Clinton's first presidential campaign. In the New Hampshire primary, Governor Jack Stanton (John Travolta) convinces Henry Burton (Adrian Lester), grandson of a respected civil rights pioneer, to become his deputy campaign manager. Stanton's smart wife Susan (Emma Thompson) always comes through with public support for her philandering husband. The film's parallel for James Carville is Stanton's redneck advisor Richard Jemmons (Billy Bob Thornton), who knows every strategy and tactic but worries, "The woman thing, that's the killer." Sure enough, problems during the New Hampshire primary include charges of adultery. To get a handle on past peccadillos, Stanton's staff brings in an old family friend, lesbian Libby Holden (Kathy Bates), who knows how to clean up dirt. Stanton, a strong debater, moves on to Florida and New York. When one opposing candidate drops dead of a heart attack, he's replaced by Florida's Governor Fred Picker (Larry Hagman), but Holden holds the skeleton key to the skeleton in Picker's closet. Just how the Stantons put this information to use reveals whether they are ruthless politicians or inspirational leaders with ideals.  Cast : John Travolta, Emma Thompson, Billy Bob Thornton, Adrian Lester, Maura Tierney, Paul Guilfoyle, Larry Hagman, Kathy Bates.

Selected Feature Films, S-T

Schindler's List  / an Amblin Entertainment production ; directed by Steven Spielberg ; produced by Steven Spielberg, Gerald R. Molen, Branko Lustig ; screenplay by Steven Zaillian.  Universal City, CA. : MCA Universal Home Video ; [New York : Jewish Media] ; 1994.  2 VHS videocassettes (197 min.) : sd., b&w & col. sequences ; 1/2 in. PN1995.9.H5 S356 1997 Videocassette Also available on 12 inch discs : The true story of the enigmatic Oskar Schindler, a member of the Nazi party, womanizer & war profiteer, who saved the lives of more than 1,100 Jews during the Holocaust.  Not about campaigns or elections, but about human indecency, suffering, cruelty, and at the same time courage against a political regime.  Recommended by Todd Delorenzo, Poliflicks.  Liam Neeson, Ben Kingsley, Ralph Fiennes, Caroline Goodall.

Secret honor : a political myth / Sandcastle 5 Productions, Inc. in cooperation with University of Michigan Department of Communication and the Los Angeles Actors Theatre ; written by Donald Freed and Arnold M. Stone ; produced and directed by Robert Altman.  [United States] : Criterion Collection : Janus Films, 2004.  1 DVD videodisc (90 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in. PS3556.R383 S44 2004 VideoDVD :  Portrays a disgraced President Richard Nixon recording memoirs in an attempt to defend himself and his political legacy.

Seven Days in May (1964) / Warner Bros. Pictures ; Seven Arts Productions and Joel Productions, Inc. present ; screenplay by Rod Serling ; produced by Edward Lewis ; directed by John Frankenheimer  Burbank, CA : Warner Home Video, 1964.  1 DVD videodisc (118 min.) : sd., b&w ; 4 3/4 in.  PS3561.N4 S4 2000 VideoDVD :  John Frankenheimer's follow-up to The Manchurian Candidate is as intimate and subdued as its predecessor is flamboyant and energetic. Burt Lancaster is calm and calculating as the steely-eyed military hawk General Scott, who opposes the president's (Fredric March) plan to end the cold war with a bold nuclear disarmament plan. Lancaster's longtime friend and frequent costar Kirk Douglas is his smiling, joking right-hand man, Colonel "Jiggs" Casey, whose easygoing manner is jolted by evidence of a possible plot to overthrow the American government. Scripted by Rod Serling from the novel by Fletcher Knebel and Charles W. Bailey, the film plays much like a classic live TV drama (the medium that spawned both Frankenheimer and Serling), with the drama arising from conversations and confrontations and the action largely limited to scenes within the Pentagon and the White House. An ominous undercurrent of danger seeps through the realistic (and often real) settings of the film, conveyed chiefly through the intensity of the excellent ensemble performances. Notable among the supporting cast are Ava Gardner as a lonely Washington socialite who was once the general's mistress, Edmond O'Brien as an amiable alcoholic senator, Martin Balsam as the president's shrewd but skeptical secretary, and underrated character actor George Macready as the wily presidential advisor.

Suffragette / Focus Features, Pathé, Film4 and BFI present in association with Ingenious Media ; a Ruby Films production ; with the participation of Canal+ and Ciné+ ; directed by Sarah Gavron ; written by Abi Morgan ; produced by Alison Owen and Faye Ward.  Universal City, CA : Universal Studios Home Entertainment, [2016]  1 dvd videodisc (approximately 107 min.) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in. JN979.P26 S84 2016 VideoDVD : Inspired by true events, a moving drama exploring the passion and heartbreak of the women who risked everything in their fight for equality in early 20th century Britain. The story centers on Maud, a working wife and mother whose life is forever changed when she is secretly recruited to join the U.K.'s growing suffragette movement. Galvanized by the outlaw fugitive Emmeline Pankhurst, Maud becomes an activist for the cause alongside women from all walks of life.

Sunrise at Campobello (1960) / Schary Productions Inc.  Burbank, CA : Distributed by Warner Home Video, 2009.  1 DVD videodisc (144 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in. PN1997 .S83 2010 VideoDVD : The story of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's struggle with polio, and the devotion of his wife, Eleanor.

Tanner '88 / Home Box Office ; producer, Scott Bushnell ; written by Garry Trudeau ; directed by Robert Altman.  Irvington, NY : Criterion Collection ; Chicago, IL : Distributed by Home Vision Entertainment, [2004]  2 DVD videodiscs (ca. 353 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in. PN1995.9.P6 T366 2004 VideoDVD : During the 1988 presidential campaign, Democratic hopefuls spiritedly canvass the country, jostle for their party's nomination and the honor of opposing Republican Vice President George Bush. Then Senator Jack Tanner suddenly emerges from the shadows of a lengthy political hiatus to challenge candidates such as Al Gore, Jesse Jackson, Gary Hart, and Michael Dukakis. Tanner is a fictitious presidential candidate who goes out on the campaign trail to shed light on America's political process and landscape.  Contains all 11 episodes of the 1988 mock-documentary television mini-series.

Thirteen Days / presented by New Line Cinema in association with Beacon Pictures ; a Roger Donaldson film ; produced by Armyan Bernstein, Peter O. Almond and Kevin Costner ; written by David Self ; directed by Roger Donaldson.  [United States] : New Line Home Entertainment, [2001], c2000.  1 DVD videodisc (147 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.  PN1995.9.D65 T55 2001 VideoDVD : For thirteen extraordinary days in October 1962, the world stood on the brink of an unthinkable catastrophe.  After the discovery of Soviet weapons in Cuba, events and tension escalate between the two military superpowers and within the White House.  

Truman (1995)  / HBO Pictures presents a Spring Creek Production.  New York] : HBO Home Video, [1999], c1995.  1 DVD videodisc (131 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.  E814 .T87 1999 VideoDVD : Harry S. Truman had a hard row to hoe as the 33rd president and he never enjoyed popularity while in office. Think about what occurred on Truman's watch: the bombing of Hiroshima, a nationwide railroad strike, the rise of the Southern States' Rights Party, integration of the armed forces, the ascendancy of McCarthyism, the early cold war, and finally the Korean Conflict and Truman's decision to fire General MacArthur. Few American presidents have been faced with more difficult and dangerous times than Truman. It wasn't until some 50 years later that Harry Truman, a farmer from Missouri, got his due appreciation in the history books. Truman follows the man from his beginnings as an artillery officer in WWI through his connections with Missouri's Pendergast political machine and onward to Washington. The always-excellent Gary Sinise is a perfect fit for the Truman character, having obviously studied the President's plainspoken Missouri twang and ramrod-straight bearing at great length. Diana Scarwid is also very good as Truman's long-suffering wife Bess; the film studies the relationship between the two in some depth, and also sheds light on the men who surrounded Truman in Washington. Truman's chief failing is that in its effort to detail 40 years of the man's life, certain historical events are given short shrift in order to fit them all in. Nonetheless, Sinise inhabits the character well; the scene where the President ruminates on dining alone in the White House (while Bess is back in Missouri) is a great, understated comment on the loneliness, isolation, and stress of the job. 

Trumbo / Bleecker Street ; S.H. Pictures ; Groundswell Productions ; directed by Jay Roach ; written by John McNamara ; produced by Michael London [and six others].  Universal City, CA : Universal Studios Home Entertainment, [2016]  1 DVD videodisc (125 min.) : sound, color with black and white sequences ; 4 3/4 in.  PS3539.R928 T78 2016 VideoDVD  : The successful career of 1940s screenwriter Dalton Trumbo comes to a crushing end when he and other Hollywood figures are blacklisted for their political beliefs. It tells the story of his fight against the U.S. government and studio bosses in a war over words and freedom, which entangled everyone in Hollywood from Hedda Hopper and John Wayne to Kirk Douglas and Otto Preminger.

Selected Feature Films, U-Z

W (2008) / Lionsgate, Omnilab Media, QED International and Block/Hanson present a Moritz Borman/Ixtlan production ; directed by Oliver Stone ; produced by Bill Block, Moritz Borman, Paul Hanson, Eric Kopeloff ; written by Stanley Weiser.  Santa Monica, CA : Lionsgate, [2008]  1 DVD videodisc (129 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in  E903.3 .W2 2008 VideoDVD : Oliver Stone's W. is similar to his other movies about American presidents (JFK, Nixon), which is to say these films are much more about Stone's imagined versions of reported events than they are alleged reenactments. As such, W. is Stone's case for what he sees as the absurdity of George W. Bush's ascendance to the White House and especially the arrogant blunder of the Iraq War. Josh Brolin is very good as the miscreant son of George H. W. Bush (James Cromwell), Vice President to Ronald Reagan and 41st president of the United States. Adrift in a sea of booze and squandered opportunities, the younger Bush is largely driven by a need for his disapproving father's love and respect, which never truly arrives. Becoming a hatchet man for Bush Sr.'s administration, "W" (as his wife, Laura--played by Elizabeth Banks--call him) meets Karl Rove (Toby Jones) and heads toward the Texas governorship, despite his father's preference that the more golden son, Jeb, get all the family's support in his Florida gubernatorial bid....Told in broken chronology, W. focuses on Bush's post-9/11 path to waging a "preventive war" in Iraq despite no hard evidence of weapons of mass destruction to justify it. The major players in W's administration--Rove, Colin Powell (Jeffrey Wright), Condoleeza Rice (Thandie Newton), and especially Dick Cheney (Richard Dreyfuss)--all participate in closed meetings that look and sound like every investigative account by the New York Times or Bob Woodward about the administration's inner workings leading up to the war. Much of this is quite fascinating if a little weird (Newton's performance is indeed strange), but the drama is often powerful, particularly around Powell's resistance to the rising tide for a supposedly slam-dunk war. A number of the film's key performances, besides Brolin's, are very strong, especially Cromwell, Jones, Wright, Dreyfuss and Bruce McGill as George Tenet.

Wag the Dog (1998) / New Line Cinema presents a Tribeca/Baltimore Pictures/Punch production ; produced by Jane Rosenthal, Robert De Niro, Barry Levinson ; screenplay by Hilary Henkin and David Mamet ; directed by Barry Levinson.  Calif. : New Line Home Video, 1998.  1 VHS videocassette (96 min.) : sd., col. ; 1/2 in.  PN1997 .W32 1999 Videocassette : In a 29-day shoot, Barry Levinson filmed this $15 million political and media satire, adapted by Hilary Henkin and David Mamet from Larry Beinhart's novel, American Hero. Two weeks prior to re-election, the President (Michael Belson) is accused of cornering an underage girl in the Oval Office. To keep the media from learning of this, Presidential adviser Winifred Ames (Anne Heche) brings in political consultant and spin doctor Conrad Brean (Robert De Niro), a specialist in such salvage operations. Brean suggests fabricating denials of non-existent emergencies -- such as denials about the B-3 bomber. The denial, of course, is true, since no B-3 bomber exists. Brean visits the mansion of Hollywood producer Stanley Motss (Dustin Hoffman) and gives him the assignment to create a patriotic campaign centered around a war in Albania. Motss assembles a creative team -- Liz Butsky (Andrea Martin), the trend-setter Fad King (Denis Leary), and songwriter Johnny Green (Willie Nelson). Treated like an ad campaign, the songs and symbols are transmitted directly from a Hollywood soundstage to CNN. The star of their campaign is a "rescued" pilot -- in reality, a psychotic military prisoner (Woody Harrelson), who's a ticking time bomb. The flag-waving song, "The American Dream" was written for the film by Tom Bahler (who co-wrote "We Are the World"). Beinhart's original novel involved a real President (Bush), a real war (the Gulf War), and the premise that George Bush and Saddam Hussein staged it.  Cast : Dustin Hoffman, Robert De Niro, Anne Heche, Denis Leary, Willie Nelson, Andrea Martin, Kirsten Dunst.

Warm Springs  / HBO Films presents a Mark Gordon Company production ; a Joseph Sargent film ; producer, Chrisann Verges ; written by Margaret Nagle ; director, Joseph Sargent.  [New York, N.Y.] : HBO Video, 2005. 1 DVD videodisc (121min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in. E807 .W376 2005 VideoDVD : The inspiring true story about Franklin Roosevelt, left a paraplegic from polio at 39 years of age, who seeks out a miracle cure in the backwoods of Georgia. 

The West Wing (1999-2005 TV Series)   Seasons and Episodes Guide.

The West Wing, Season 1  / John Wells Productions ; Warner Bros. Television ; producers, Kevin Falls ... [et al.] ; writers, Allison Abner ... [et al.] ; directors, Alex Graves ... [et al.].  Burbank, CA : Warner Home Video, [2003]  4 DVD videodiscs (ca. 15 hr., 57 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in. + 1 booklet.  PN1992.8.G6 W474 2003 VideoDVD : Headed by President Josiah Bartlet, demonstrates that office politics are the same everywhere; things just have greater repercussions when your office happens to be the White House. Stories surround the President; his deputy communications director Sam Seaborn; his beleaguered press secretary, C.J. Cregg; the chief of staff, recovering boozehound Leo McGarry, who sacrifices his marriage to his career. Among the global crises Bartlet must finesse are a nuclear showdown between India and Pakistan, an American plane shot down by terrorists, and another downed U.S. plane in Iraq.

The West Wing, Season 2  / John Wells Productions ; Warner Bros. Television ; writers, Aaron Sorkin ... [et al.] ; directors, Thomas Schlamme ... [et al.].  Burbank, CA : Warner Bros. Entertainment : Distributed by Warner Home Video, [2004]  4 DVD videodiscs (ca. 15 hr., 54 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in. + 1 booklet. PN1992.8.G6 W474 2004 VideoDVD : The President and staff have been targeted for disruption by rival politicians, soon after being targeted by would-be assassins. The President heads through midterm elections and into a crisis that leads to allegations of criminal conduct. 22 episodes.

The West Wing. The Complete Third Season  / John Wells Productions ; Warner Bros. Television.  Burbank, CA : Distributed by Warner Home Video, c2004.  4 DVD videodiscs (ca. 954 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in. + 1 booklet.  PN1992.8.G6 W474 2004b VideoDVD : Storylines include the investigation into the alleged cover-up of President Bartlet's illness, the early bid for a second term and confrontations with global terrorism. Reel- and real-life events profoundly intersect in the historic Isaac and Ishmael episode made in the wake of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. And must-see bonus features include a special The West Wing look at the executive branch featuring interviews with former U.S. Presidents and staff.

The West Wing. The Complete Fourth Season  / John Wells Productions ; Warner Bros. Television.  Burbank, CA : Distributed by Warner Home Video, c2005.  6 DVD videodiscs (ca. 1000 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in. + 1 booklet.  PN1992.8.G6 W474 2005 VideoDVD : Follow the reelected Bartlet Presidency as he begins his ambitious second term in The West Wing. The administration has its agenda and mandate but history has a way of imposing agendas and curtailing dreams.

The West Wing, Season 5  / John Wells Productions ; Warner Bros. Television.  Burbank, CA : Warner Home Video, 2005.  6 DVD videodiscs (ca. 19 hr., 46 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in. + 1 booklet.  PN1992.8.G6 W474 2005b VideoDVD : Follow the drama when the government is temporarily passed from a Democratic administration to the Republican Speaker of the House, as President Bartlet copes with the kidnapping of his youngest daughter Zoey.

The West Wing: The Complete Sixth Season / NBC Television. the complete sixth season.  Burbank, CA : Warner Home Video, [2006]  6 DVD videodiscs (ca. 949 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in. + 1 booklet.  PN1992.8.G6 W474 2006 VideoDVD : The presidential race is on, with Senator Arnold Vinick as the Republican frontrunner and Matthew Santos vying for the hotly contested Democratic presidentail nomination.

The West Wing. Season 7  / John Wells Productions ; Warner Bros. Television.  Burbank, CA : Warner Home Video, 2006.  6 DVD videodiscs (ca. 957 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in. + 1 booklet.  PN1992.8.G6 W474 2006b VideoDVD : This season chronicles the transition between the administration of President Bartlet and the race for the new presidency between Congressman Santos and Senator Vinick.

The Wind and the Lion (1975)  / MGM presents a Herb Jaffe production of John Milius ; produced by Herb Jaffe ; written and directed by John Milius.  [United States] : Turner Entertainment Co. ; Burbank, CA : Warner Home Video, 2003.  1 DVD videodisc (119 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.  PN1997 .W563 2003 VideoDVD  : The up-and-down career of director John Milius had no finer moment than The Wind and the Lion, a dandy adventure tale. It's based on fact: An American (played by Candice Bergen) and her two children were kidnapped in 1904 Morocco by a Berber tribe, an international incident settled by President Theodore Roosevelt's "big stick" military muscle. The film's sweep and swagger are unabashedly old-fashioned, even as Milius occasionally pokes fun at the grand characters. Some of the peripheral material is sloppy, but as long as Milius keeps his sights locked on the two powerful protagonists, he's dead-on: Brian Keith makes a gutsy Roosevelt, and Sean Connery is in splendid form (with Scots accent in place--got a problem with that?) as the dashing Berber chieftain.

Young Mr. Lincoln (1939) / 20th Century Fox ; Twentieth Century Fox presents Darryl F. Zanuck's production of ; a Cosmopolitan production ; directed by John Ford ; original screen play by Lamar Trotti.  [Irvington, NY] : Criterion Collection, c2006.  2 videodiscs (DVD) (100 min.) : sd., b&w ; 4 3/4 in. + 1 booklet (25 p. : ill. ; 19 cm.)  PN1995.9.L53 Y58 2006 VideoDVD : In this unforgettable portrait of the early life of the Great Emancipator, young Mr. Lincoln, after teaching himself law, has barely started practicing when an Independence Day celebration ends with a stabbing. Abe first stops a lynch mob from killing brothers Matt and Adam Clay, and then defends them against a seasoned prosecutor and his crafty adviser. As presented here, Lincoln is a strong but peaceful frontier democrat, his quiet, awkward, folksy demeanor the outward manifestation of a deep humility, and a wise sadness at human folly. His awareness that his attempts to reconcile opposing forces--despite the occasional temporary victory--are doomed but necessary, hint at the character that will respond to the destiny that awaits him.  Cast : Henry Fonda, Alice Brady, Marjorie Weaver, Arleen Whelan, Eddie Collins, Pauline Moore, Richard Cromwell, Donald Meek, Judith Dickens, Eddie Quillan, Spencer Charters, Ward Bond.

Subject Guide

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