Movies for Midterm: 5 Election Films Worthy of Your Vote

Midterm elections often lack the hoopla of presidential elections.

So if on Tuesday you find your political motivation lacking when it comes to heading to heading out to the voting booth, check out one of these movies about elections and campaigning. There sure to win your approval.


Based on the novel recounting events from President Bill Clinton’s 1992 White House bid by journalist Joe Klein, "Primary Colors" stars John Travolta stars as an affable southern governor with a roving eye for the ladies. Released less than two months after the Monica Lewinsky scandal rocked American politics, the movie was directed by Mike Nichols and also starred Emma Thompson as Governor's wife, and Billy Bob Thornton, Kathy Bates, Maura Tierney and Larry Hagman. According to the Hollywood Reporter Travolta said he based his character primarily on Clinton, while Thompson said her role was not Hillary Clinton-inspired.


In this suspense thriller based on the 1959 novel of the same name and subsequent 1962 movie adaptation about the possible brainwashing of U.S. soldiers, "The Manchurian Candidate" stars Denzel Washington as a Gulf War veteran who begins to harbor doubts about a former war hero member of his unit Raymond Shaw, now a U.S. Representative from New York vying to become a Vice Presidential candidate. Liev Schreiber plays Shaw, Jon Voight stars as Tom Jordan, a U.S. Senator and challenger for vice president, and Meryl Streep plays manipulative senator Eleanor Prentiss Shaw, who is Raymond's mother.

"ELECTION" (1999)

Nothing to do with voting for members of Congress or the House of Representatives, "Election" satirizes both politics and small town high school life as it follows overachieving junior Tracy Flick (Reese Witherspoon) as she attempts to convince her fellow students to elect her student body president. In attempt to ensure Flick doesn't win due to being the sole candidate, teacher Jim McCallister (Matthew Broderick) enlists the help of popular football player Paul Metzler (Chris Klein), to enter the race. "Election" won best film at the Independent Spirit Awards in 1999.


Like "Election," this film is not a true voting day movie as it portrays the events surrounding the Watergate scandal, which led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon and inauguration of President Gerald Ford in 1974. Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman star as Washington Post journalists Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein whose investigation uncovers Nixon's connection to a burglary at Democratic National Committee headquarters. Jason Robards tackles the role of recently deceased Post executive editor Ben Bradlee and Hal Holbrook is Deep Throat, the informant who passed on the information to Woodward and Bernstein. Robards won a Best Supporting Actor Academy Award for his portrayal.

"WAG THE DOG" (1997)

When a sex scandal involving breaks just before a presidential election, a spin doctor is brought in to manufacture a fake war to divert the public’s attention from the philandering Commander in Chief. Robert De Niro is the spin doctor, who  enlists the services of a Hollywood producer (Dustin Hoffman) to orchestrate the fictional diversion. Directed by Barry Levinson the movie hit theaters a mere month before President Bill Clinton’s affair with Monica Lewinsky was exposed, and had Clinton’s adversaries claiming his subsequent bombings of targets in Afghanistan and Sudan as political misdirection just like the film.

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