Thursday, November 8, 2018

Thursday Movie Picks- Political Comedy


Considering what has been happening the last 2 years, it has been and still is, quite the comedy..how sad. Politics is usually quite comical from Khrushchev banging his shoe on the table to Orange Man and his tweets plus Ford falling, Bush Snr throwing up and Eisenhower needing to show his operation scar. It’s all a comedy so let’s get to it. I will be curious to see what the others have chosen this week so you can head on over to Wandering Through The Shelves to see what other films have been picked. Here are my 3...

1. MEET JOHN DOE-1941


Frank Capra did love the common man but he also seemed to like politics and the corruption that ran through it. This film stars Gary Cooper as a baseball player down on his luck who accepts to be John Doe..a make believe man dreamed up by a reporter played by Barbara Stanwyck. At first, it’s just a story to drum up publications but soon Cooper believes in the values and slowly, so does Stanwyck, but the political bosses don’t like this so they set up a trap. Very well acted and directed about the ideals that we should never lose but is often lost by corruption and money. What is interesting is how the common man become a mob, easily swayed by words.

2. CANADIAN BACON-1995


The president of the United States has an all time low rating so what is he to do? He takes the advice of his numb-nut staff and creates a “war” with the peaceful neighbours to the north...me...well, us Canadians. Of course one goof takes it to a whole new level and this goof is played by the brilliant John Candy. Alan Alda plays the president and you have a number of stars in this funny comedy. It’s not brilliant but if you want a good laugh, watch this.

3. BULWORTH-1998


This is a brilliant comedy by Warren Beatty as a jaded Senator who is disliked by everyone including his wife so he decides to put a hit out..on himself. At that point, he says exactly what is on his mind angering, especially, the insurance companies and gun lobbyists...which I love! He finds an unexpected friend in Halle Berry and becomes quite adept at rapping which is a great scene that skewers the money men. This film is not well known which is a shame because I think it’s brilliant.

What films would you choose?

51 comments:

  1. Wag The Dog? A US government setting up a fake war in Albania to distract the public from something that might lose votes. Would Dave count? Basically The Prisoner Of Zenda set in the White House.

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    1. I still have to see Wag the Dog. Yes, Dave counts and I almost chose this one

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  2. Huh-I haven't seen any of these either Birgit. I really need to catch up on my movies watching I think. (grin) Hugs-Erika

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    1. When one doesn’t feel well is an excellent time to watch movies

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  3. Hi Bridgit, have only seen Bulworth, and yes it's worth the watching, don't know either of your other two choices at all.
    We are eagerly awaiting the release of Peterloo, which is a Spike Lee film about the Peterloo massacre here in the UK in the 1800s, where the military were sent out quell the riots of the protesters about the corn laws..standards of living. It was a terrible time. However Churchill sent the troops into George Square during the General Strike in 1926, and many there will murdered. So these awful things happen probably more than the citizens know about. Good choices, Kate x

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    1. Peterloo sounds good as I like historical dramas. Yes, I like Churchill but that doesn’t mean he is not controversial

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  4. How Sad... Were you quoting the POTUS? LOL. Have not seen any of these but have heard of them. Some of our Board meetings used to be pretty funny. One resident used to come and take videos to post on YouTube. A couple of trustees were a little delusional. Remind me of anybody?

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    1. That is so sad when grown people act like idiots...basically orange man

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  5. We have a match on Bulworth! It is well worth the time. I hope we inspire more folks to check it out.

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    1. I know and I hope more people will find Bulworth

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  6. I haven't seen any of these but the last two sound pretty funny.

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    1. Canadian Bacon is stupid and so fun while Bulworth is intelligent and fun and dark

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  7. Great choices! Canadian Bacon is just a silly little throwaway comedy but thanks to the cast better than it should be. Bulworth looks to be popular today and justly so. A sharp incisive comedy. While Meet John Doe goes to a darker place than the other two it makes many trenchant observations and has that amazing cast that raises it above the crowd.

    I chose a Capra political film as well and two daffier comedies.

    State of the Union (1948)-Successful businessman Grant Matthews (Spencer Tracy) is convinced to run for president by newspaper publisher Kay Thorndyke (23 year old Angela Lansbury believably playing a controlling 40ish shrew), his politically ambitious longtime girlfriend. At the instigation of his cynical campaign manager Spike McManus (Van Johnson), Grant and his long-estranged wife, Mary (Katharine Hepburn-who stepped in for Claudette Colbert at the last minute), attempt a reconciliation to increase his changes of a win. But when the idealistic Mary learns of Kay's behind-the-scenes role and sees how the campaign is changing Grant, it throws everything into turmoil. Frank Capra directed comedy/drama is one of Tracy & Hepburn’s best.

    The Mouse That Roared (1959)-The Duchy of Grand Fenwick, the world’s smallest country, decides that the only way to get out of their economic woes is to declare war on the United States, lose and accept foreign aid. But things do not go as planned and suddenly it seems they are going to be the victors! What to do now? Cold War satire with Peter Sellers in a trio of roles was followed by the sequel The Mouse on the Moon.

    Dick (1999)-Teenage airheads Betsy (Kirsten Dunst) and Arlene (Michelle Williams) accidentally stumble into the middle of the infamous Watergate robbery in 1976. Anxious to keep them quiet Nixon (Dan Hedaya) appoints them honorary dog walkers at the White House. While doing so their innocent actions start a chain of events that may eventually lead to Nixon's resignation as president of the United States.

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    1. Oh, yes, The Mouse That Roared! Incidentally based on a novel I’ve read and despite the humour, there was a serious message: that when big countries get into wars, small countries have no control over it and are likely to suffer. So in the book, the bomb is kept by a group of countries known as the Tiny Twenty.

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    2. I had no idea the Mouse that Roared is from a book...very interesting and....I was so close to picking this one too. I just recently rewatched this movie and it is so funny. I have not seen Desk Set yet...shame on me. Dick has been floating around and I didn’t give it much thought but I think I will see it now

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  8. Mary and I actually went to see "Wag The Dog" in the theater (i.e. we paid money to see it) twice. It was that good. The president is trying to get re-elected, but naturally something in his past comes to light, and he and his staff decide they have to divert the press's attention, so they stage a war with Albania. Hilarity ensues.

    Almost as good, covering essentially the same subject matter but not staging a war, was "Primary Colors."

    Both movies came out during the Clinton administration and paralleled the madness that entailed there, even though the book on which "Wag The Dog" was based was actually based on the Bush Senior administration.

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    1. Many here, have mentioned Wag The Dog and I do want to see this. I thought of Primary Colors which is quite a good movie actually.

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  9. Wow, I... haven't seen... ANY of these! Thanks for putting Meet John Doe back on my radar - it's been on my list for years but I had kinda forgotten about it.

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    1. Meet John Doe and Bulworth is worth a look

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  10. Hi Birgit - I haven't seen these ... but they 'sound fun' ... so I'll keep them in mind when I look to watch a film somewhere ... cheers Hilary

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  11. Politics in the "real" world is a bit comical; truly don't know why anyone would want to run for public office. But I digress, LOL. These movies, of which I haven't seen, do sound good though. Got to laugh about something, don't we?

    betty

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    1. It’s so comical that we almost forget it’s reality and not a reality show! ThNk heavens for some comical movies

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  12. I don't recall having seen any of these, but political comedy doesn't draw me in that much. I recall going to see Wag the Dog in the theater when it came out, but I didn't care much for it.

    By the way, do you think you were confusing Eisenhower with LBJ? DDE doesn't seem like the type of person who would have showed off a scar from an operation, but I do remember the often uncouth and boorish LBJ showing off his gall bladder operation scar.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

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    1. I still have to see Wag the Dog. No, Ike showed his scar..I saw it in a LIFE magazine book and it was from the 1950's. I forgot about LBJ but it's a thing many people do...I can attest as many have shown me their scars when they come to my office. I talk about their debts!

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  13. I've seen Wag the Dog.
    I'd pick Dave, The Distinguished Gentleman, and Dr. Strangelove.

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    1. Dave is great, I don’t know The Distinguished Gentleman..I will have to look that up. Dr. Strangelove is still on my must see list

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  14. I haven't seen the movies, but I've heard of them. Typical for me. And Canadian Bacon is feeling sadly prescient.

    Did I see that you have an Instagram (that you commented on some other blog yesterday)? How come I'm not following you? I'll have to look for you.

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    1. Yes, it is sad and yes I am on Instagram and will look for you too.

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  15. Ahhhh, Barbara Stanwyck! When I was a kid, she was just "that old lady on The Big Valley." Later I got to see some of her '30s and '40s films and I've had a crush on her ever since.

    I thought Bulworth was a fairly good film, but one thing bothered me. SPOILER WARNING. Paul Sorvino's character Graham Crockett shoots Bulworth. As I recall, Crockett was far too well-to-do to do something like that himself. Of course, it was a necessary "cheat" cinematically, because if they just showed some hired thug as the assassin, the audience would have no way of knowing he was hired by Crockett. (Kinda like the "cheat" in Ghost, where Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze shared a dance. He was actually possessing Whoopi Goldberg, so technically, Whoopi and Demi should have been dancing and snuggling... which would have totally screwed up the audience.)

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    1. Actually he represents the insurance companies and he would lose a lot more money...and more importantly, power, to keep everything which is a big problem in the States. The only first world country without healthcare...well, you have a bit now with Obamacare if the Orangeman doesn’t get rid of it.

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  16. John Doe was a great film. Corruption in politics never seems to go away does it?

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    1. It’s been around from the beginning

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  17. Dave is a good one. Wag the Dog I found okay. Canadian Bacon is a silly one, but fun. Bulworth I enjoyed as well.

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    1. Glad you like Bulworth and CB is dumb but funny. Dave is good and still have to see Wag

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  18. I've seen 'MEET JOHN DOE' and it was OK but nowhere near one of my favorite Capra movies.

    My favorite political comedy would definitely be the original 'BORN YESTERDAY' with Judy Holliday, William Holden, and Broderick Crawford.

    'WAG THE DOG' and 'DR. STRANGELOVE' would also be on my Top Three list. I remember liking Woody Allen's 'BANANAS', but it's been so long since I saw it that I can't remember much about it. Just that I thought it was funny.

    'THE DEVIL AND MISS JONES' is fantastic. I would say it's marginally political, because it deals with forming a labor union, but I don't know that it's political enough to fall under this category.

    ~ D-FensDogG
    Stephen T. McCarthy Reviews...

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    1. POSTSCRIPT:

      I just now thought of [Link> 'LIFE OF BRIAN'.

      People who really understand the New Testament also know that the crucifixion of Christ was as much a political maneuver as it was a religious one. The politics are thick and heavy throughout The Bible, and 'LIFE OF BRIAN' is absolutely hilarious.

      ~ D-FensDogG
      Stephen T. McCarthy Reviews...

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    2. Well, you know what my favourite Capra film is. Born Yesterday is excellent and very funny...poor Judy Holliday died too young. Life of Brian is an excellent choice and it was all political.

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  19. I hope Trump doesn't watch that 2nd movie. But like the South Park movie's US-Canada war but even more bizarre and pathetic.

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  20. I would have been by earlier, but I've been offline due to my internet and telephone being down. My friend Scott got my internet going again, but not my phone.

    It's too bad I haven't seen any of these. I'm SO glad the elections are over. I'm so tired of all that mess. Something I found humorous, though. We are a RED state, which means Republican like Trump. The Republican choice for Governor, which was highly debated this year, was a guy named Kobach. BOTH Trump AND Spence, the VP came to KS to help Kobach get elected. Not only did Kobach lose, he lost bigger than many people anticipated to a Democrat FEMALE. I was dancing in the aisles, even though I'm a libertarian.

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  21. I haven't seen any of these but I think I'll check out the Frank Capra flick.

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  22. Still haven't seen Canadian Bacon or Bulworth, but not for lack of interest. A sort of modern Canadian Bacon was Broken Lizard's new movie earlier this year, Super Troopers 2, which I loved. Another recent release, The Death of Stalin, is an instant classic.

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  24. I haven't seen Canadian Bacon but loved Candy and love Alda. I also find the theme interesting considering the number of countries our POTUS is alienating.

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  25. Meet John Doe sounds like something I would like. It saddens me to see how quickly people can be corrupted by money and power.

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  26. I wonder if I've seen Meet John Doe. Wasn't it made around the same time as Mister Smith Goes to Washington with Jimmy Stewart? I was a teenager when I saw it and was surprised that our representatives could be bad. Innocence.

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  27. Haven't seen the other two. Did see Bulworth six times in the movie theater. Does that mean there weren't any other good movies in 1998? Don't know, didn't see 'em. Speaking of John Candy, "Volunteers." When he's captured by the Chinese communists and goes so 180 the Chinese brainwashers tell him to shut up already with the communist rhetoric. Johnny LaRue!
    Americathon. John Ritter was Corey.. Corey Hart.. Feldman.. the other, lead Corey.. .. Corey Haim's favorite actor.

    Big fish in a small pond because Hollywood doesn't do much political comedy movies nor political thrillers. Obviously they don't do any political political movies.

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  28. THanks for the suggestions! I've never seen any of these!

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  29. All new to me- I know- you must be shocked. ;) I am trying to think of other political comedies- but I am drawing a blank.
    ~Jess

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  30. Birgit,

    The only political comedy that comes to mind is 'Dave'. You picked all new movies to me. I'd like to see these, especially the last two. I'm really surprised we haven't seen 'Canadian Bacon'. We liked John Candy. Barbara Stanwyck was a real looker in her younger years, wasn't she? :)

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  31. OMG. I just watched the trailer of Bulworth. I've gotta see that!

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