7 Other Political Biopic Ideas

After seeing Clint Eastwood do a decent job tinging J. Edgar with legitimate drama, and after the first full trailer of Iron Lady dropped, I starting thinking which politicians would make for good biopic subjects…

7. Sarah Palin

Why? Anyone that knows anything knows why. It could be a drama, a comedy, a dramedy? Casting would be easy.

6. William Henry Harrison

 Why? After 30 days in office, President Harrison (people probably never even got used to calling him that) died of pneumonia, due to a lengthy inaugural address, in freezing temperatures, without a coat. The movie would be based mostly on his address and his death, because surely hearing that your President has died after 30 days might seem crazy. Conspiracy theorists probably thought that was the plan all along. Did John Tyler steal his petticoat? If Anonymous can say that Shakespeare is a fraud, why not? I think James Cromwell could pull off the role, if they gave him a wig. I mean, it wouldn’t be the first time he was commander in chief (Lyndon Johnson in RFK, H.W. Bush in W., as well as fictional Pres’s in at least two other shows).

5. John Tyler

Why? Being called “His Accidency” probably didn’t strike a chord with him, and he was largely disliked as President. All but one of his original cabinet members resigned, and judging by his “smile,” he probably didn’t take these things lightly. I would pay to see a movie about John Tyler’s dramatic term, his cabinet abandoning him, but continuing to fight the good fight…but admittedly, casting would be difficult. Who would you pick to play John Tyler?

4. James Buchanan

Why? Now I’m just getting these from Time’s list of the Top 10 Forgettable Presidents. While these guys may not be Washingtons and Lincolns, it doesn’t mean their stories aren’t worth knowing. In fact, just the opposite. Do you know how many books have been published about Abraham Lincoln? One website says 16,000. Sixteen thousand! How many about James Buchanan? No one knows that one. Probably about seventeen. He needs a movie. Played by none other than…obviously, look at him…Anthony Hopkins.

3. Chester A. Arthur

Chester Alan Arthur

Why? Look at those munchops. Will Ferrell can play him if given the right mutton chops. He allegedly (a good word for biopics) had a fatal kidney disease that he hid from the public, and may have thrown the election because he knew he wouldn’t have lived through another term. He lost, and died two years later. Great movie stuff there.

 2. William McKinley

Wiliam McKinley

Why? I was surprised to see him on the list. I’m sure there’s been a movie about him, but he needs a better one. At the 1901 World’s Fair, McKinley was shot by a Russian nationalists as he was shaking hands with a long line of people. It was an insane situation. Robert Duvall could play him.

1. Alexander Hamilton

Why? Secretary of the Treasury, Hamilton was eventually shot in a dual with the Vice President Aaron Burr. The kicker? When Hamilton shot, he missed right above Burr’s head…on purpose. A letter he wrote the night before detailed his intentions to miss. The face on the $10 bill is my favorite politician of all time, and such a death can be extremely heart-breaking to viewers, even those who know exactly what will happen. I think Patrick Wilson has the look, and I’ve always been a fan of his. I don’t want cheap, unpopular, independent movies. I want Eastwood-directed films. I demand it. People, look at their stories.

[This was posted in 2011, years before Lin-Manuel Miranda brought “Hamilton” to a stage. “Who lives, who dies, who tells your story.”]

5 thoughts on “7 Other Political Biopic Ideas

  1. Love this list. I’m a great fan of Paul Giamatti so I nominate him to star in the biopic of John Tyler. Maybe he doesn’t look anything like him but nobody knows what he looks like anyway. And with prosthetics nowadays, who knows.

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