Movie recommendations for the candidates
With Super Tuesday finally behind us, the presidential candidates hopefully will take a breather, perhaps even catch a movie. After all, the winner will soon have that delicious perk, the White House screening room, at his (or her) disposal. With this in mind, here are some random recommendations:
John McCain will surely be tempted to watch old Ronald Reagan movies, or even the new “Rambo,” but here’s a better idea: “No Country for Old Men.” Even though the title will annoy him, the movie might speak to him.
After exiting the race, Mitt Romney’s reportedly salving his wounds by ordering up a print of “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers” and was also planning to revisit the full season of “Big Love.” We hope his frozen face can crack a smile.
Barack Obama told friends he was rerunning “To Kill a Mockingbird,” but sources say he glommed on to “Hannah Montana and Miley Cyrus” so he could stay tuned to the youth demo. “Mad Money” was his next choice.
Hillary Clinton, meanwhile, reportedly discouraged her husband from seeing “There Will Be Blood” for the third time. She’s revisiting “Sicko.”
As for John Edwards, well, “I’m Not There” turned out to be his inevitable selection.
Mike Huckabee, sources say, displayed the greatest ambiguity in picking his movies. He thought Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ” a bit too grisly, so he’s waiting for the upcoming remake of “The Ten Commandments.” Meanwhile, he quietly arranged for a print of the new Chris Waitt film, “A Complete History of My Sexual Failures,” to be sent to Bill Clinton.
All this is relevant because, in the past, the filmgoing habits of previous presidents have provided a good indicator of their true character. Franklin D. Roosevelt was a sucker for any Disney toon, but took his movies seriously enough to arrange a screening of “Casablanca” just before leaving for the Casablanca Conference of 1943.
Lyndon Johnson, predictably, would run any John Wayne movie available while Reagan, the true Hollywood aficionado, kept rerunning “It’s a Wonderful Life.” JFK favored the big-picture stuff — “Spartacus” was a hot ticket at his White House — but he allegedly never ran “PT-109.”
Bill Clinton’s screening room kept busy, and he especially liked “High Noon,” a movie about a tough old guy who couldn’t escape his former enemies. George H.W. Bush — a career optimist — reportedly ran “The Karate Kid” a few times for friends, while his son has never showed an affinity for movies or pop culture in general. Indeed, at the recent Kennedy Honors presentation, he accidentally pronounced Martin Scorsese’s name as Sarkozy.
For the record, the White House’s biggest movie fan was, of all people, Richard Nixon, who liked “Patton” best of all, screening it three times during the secret bombing of Cambodia. Nixon screened some 500 films during his White House stay, giving rise to the Washington legend as to why he once ran “Deep Throat” twice in one evening. “I wanted to get it down pat,” was his fabled (and apocryphal) explanation.