Arts, Culture & Media

The best films for the election season

James_Stewart_in_Mr._Smith_Goes_to_Washington_trailer_2_864109963.jpg

Image from the film "Mr Smith Goes to Washington."

This story was originally covered by PRI's Here and Now. For more, listen to the audio above.

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After a barrage of negative political advertisements and vague, sometimes duplicitous promises, the Frank Capra film "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" may be the perfect antidote. Boston Globe Critic Ty Burr told PRI's Here and Now, "'Mr. Smith Goes to Washington' is the movie that you should see if you want to buy or re-buy into all those noble wonderful ideals about our electoral process."

If, however, you're feeling more cynical, the lesser-known Capra film "State of the Union" may be a better film to watch. Burr describes it as "a movie about what you have to give up to if you want to become President." It's much less hopeful, but because it's still Capra, it still ends well.

In the segment above, Burr and host Robin Young discuss the films:

The Great McGinty
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
State of the Union
Nashville
Tanner '88
Dave

And Burr also recommends:

All the King's Men
The Candidate
All the President's Men
Secret Honor
Nixon
Election
Primary Colors
Wag the Dog
The American President
In the Line of Fire
Bob Roberts
Dick
Syriana
Fog of War
Thirteen Days
Chicago 10
In the Loop
Inside Job

You can watch previews for a few of the films below:

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