Top 10 Presidents in Film

#10 – Arnold Schwarzenegger (Harry Shearer), The Simpsons Movie

We love Arnie. We truly do. How could we not when Kindergarten Cop exists? When the very thought of him masquerading as a woman at a mothers and babies clinic in Junior sends shivers of pure delight up our collective spines? In fact, we love him so much that we’re a little sad he didn’t voice the role of “President Arnold Schwarzenegger” in The Simpsons. Wouldn’t that have been awesome? Whatever the case, though, we wish Schwarzy really was the Prez. Look at him devouring this naan.

And now imagine that that naan is made of poverty, inequality and gun crime. YOU’VE GOT OUR VOTE, NAANIE.

#9 – Thomas J. Whitmore (Bill Pullman), Independence Day

This guy. Whatta guy. President of the United States? Try President of the United GREATs. Can you imagine Calvin Coolidge taking to the skies with his men to fight the enemy aliens? Can you see Martin Van Buren coping with the death of his wife and adjusting to single parenthood with such élan? Fuck Martin Van Buren, Thomas J. Whitmore is the one for us.

#8 – Tom Beck (Morgan Freeman), Deep Impact

Wouldn’t the world would be a lot nicer if Morgan Freeman was president? Just imagine it for a moment. Somehow he would arrange it so that there were meadows and crystal clear streams everywhere. With Morgan in power, no child would go to bed without being set beside a flickering log fire and read to by Morgan Freeman. Also, his name is Free-Man. FREE-MAN. Americans love being free! Clearly it’s meant to be.

#7 – Abraham Lincoln (Robert V. Barron), Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure

Abraham Lincoln has been reincarnated on screen many a time, including upcoming biopic Lincoln starring method actor Daniel Day Lewis, who presumably got into character by going around the set asking for “four score M&Ms” for his dressing room.

Of all the onscreen incarnations, though, Robert V. Barron’s portrayal in Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure has to be the most memorable.

Watch from five mins in:

Lincoln so craaazzy.

#6 – James Dale (Jack Nicholson), Mars Attacks!

We have a feeling that if Jack Nicholson was actually president he’d be a bit like Richard Nixon or one of the other dodgy ones (we’re looking at you, Andrew Jackson). Don’t get us wrong, we love the guy. But he does always look like he’s planning something. We want a president with lovely blank eyes. Or at least one who can devour a giant naan.

#5 – Merkin Muffley (Peter Sellers), Dr Strangelove

Alongside being one of the greatest films of all time, Stanley Kubrick’s 1964 satire Dr Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb features one of the most famous lines of dialogue EVER, delivered in this scene by Peter Sellers’ fictional president, Merkin Muffley:


#4 – James Marshall (Harrison Ford), Air Force One

“President THIS, Evil Gary Oldman!”

#3 – Richard Nixon (Frank Langella), Frost/Nixon

Oh Nixon. You and your ways. Despite his naughty schemes and very loose interpretation of the word “illegal”, we can’t help but feel a little sorry for poor ol’ Dicky. That’s probably largely due to Frank Langella’s complex, nuanced portrayal of the infamous president in the 2008 film Frost/Nixon.

Look at him in this scene. He’s all lonely and shit.

Now all we want to do is sit on his knee forever.

#2 – George W. Bush (James Adomian), Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo

Countless comedians have tried their hand at impersonating Dubya, but none have executed it quite so well as Harold & Kumar‘s James Adomian.

Having escaped from their titular prison and made their way back to the States, Harold and Kumar end up crashing through the roof of George Bush’s house (it makes sense in the context, obviously). The trio take refuge from Dick Cheney in George’s games room and subsequently get high together. I mean, do you really need any more information on this? Just go watch it already.

#1 – Thomas “Tug” Benson (Lloyd Bridges), Hot Shots! Part Deux

Long before George W. Bush was making the nation laugh with his whole “inept yet hilarious” shtick, Lloyd Bridges was playing Thomas “Tug” Benson in the Hot Shots! films. And by gum was he doing it well e.g.

Topper Harley: President Benson?
President Thomas ‘Tug’ Benson: No you’re not. He’s an older fella, about my height.

Sadly, we couldn’t find any relevant footage so instead, here’s Saddam Hussein getting blinded with some Post-Its:


About The Author