Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Commentary: Historical DVDs ... a Look Back at Presidents

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Commentary: Historical DVDs ... a Look Back at Presidents

Article excerpt

Sometimes we like them, sometimes we don't.

History and Hollywood don't always treat past presidents the same way.

But in many cases, the entertainment value truly is there.

This month's collection of DVDs is a look back at presidents and some of the various ways they've been revisited. Naturally there have been dozens, possibly hundreds, of movies and documentaries regarding the highest office in the land. Some are much better than others, and for your enjoyment, here is an example of some of the better ones:

Dave (1993)

Movies regarding presidents don't necessarily have to be serious business.

Dave, directed by Ivan Reitman, is a prime example of that, and it gets my vote as the funniest and most memorable comedy about the White House.

Kevin Kline has a dual role of Dave Kovic and president Bill Mitchell. As Kovic, he heads an agency that deals in temp workers. As President Mitchell, he's a self-absorbed philandering type that has a spotty-at-best relationship with the country and an even worse relationship with his wife, Ellen, who is played by Sigourney Weaver.

Kovic, because he looks exactly like Mitchell, is forced into doubling for the prez at various events. His new job takes a serious turn when Mitchell has a stroke and Kovic is forced into the Oval Office, where he takes it upon himself to make the country a better place.

So many laughs in this one, and added to the stellar work of Kline and Weaver is the excellent showing of Ving Rhames, who plays a Secret Service agent in charge of Kovic.

Truman (1995)

This is an HBO biopic of Harry Truman and his ascent from small town Missouri to the White House, and you'd be hard-pressed to find a better presidential acting job than the one forwarded by Gary Sinise.

Truman's rise to the presidency was really like no other, and the decisions he made during and after World War II were are difficult as any ever made by the country's top executives. …

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