This Wednesday, the movie The Fall of the President , with Morgan Freeman in the role of the American president in danger, is released in France. Hundreds of American films have a president, real or fictional. Sometimes the hero, sometimes mocked, the White House tenant is a recurring figure.Jack Nicholson and Robert Redford as fiction presidents, flanked by two very different versions of Lincoln (Gregory Peck and Benjamin Walker) © Getty / Bettmann / Sunset Boulevard / John Springer Collection / Lars Niki
After The Fall of the White House and The Fall of London , Morgan Freeman embodies the President of the United States this Wednesday in The Fall of the President , third part of this saga of action films. He takes over from Aaron Eckhart, who played the role of president in the first two films.
Morgan Freeman is one of many actors (and actresses) who has embodied a president of the United States who really existed or did not exist. In total we counted more than 430 American films in which the tenant of the White House is incarnated. In the United States, the & # 39; president movie & # 39; almost a genre in itself.Lincoln, the cinema's favorite president
Of all the films involved, there is a majority (278) in which the staged president actually existed. And these are divided into two categories: biopics and historical films on the one hand, and pure fiction on the other.
A big gap that gave birth same year (2012), to the very sober Lincoln by Steven Spielberg and to the much more surprising Abraham Lincoln, vampire hunter from Timur Bekmambetov.
With 44 films, Abraham Lincoln is by far the most represented president on the screen, followed by George Washington, Theodore Roosevelt and Ulysses S. Grant (found in particular in The Conquest of the West ). Excluding the current president, they were all worn on the big screen at least once … except one, John Tyler, in operation between 1841 and 1845. And although some actors have specialized in one role (Sidney Blackmer has been Theodore Roosevelt six times), no actor has played more than two different presidents. Among the few actors who have camped two presidents are Robin Williams (Roosevelt and Eisenhower) and Anthony Hopkins (Nixon and John Quincy Adams)Less holy and more current presidents
Several books and academic articles are devoted to the issue of POTUS in the cinema (of which Presidents in the films from the history teacher of America Iwan Morgan). They show globally that the image of presidents, which was often glorified in the 1960s, began to fall apart after the death of John F. Kennedy and especially the Watergate affair with Richard Nixon. Spielberg & # 39; s Lincoln shows for the first time an Abraham Lincoln who uses illegal means to change the constitution.
And in addition, a time lapse that is increasingly shortened between the mandate and the cinematographic performances of the presidents: Oliver Stone realizes, for example, & # 39; JFK & # 39; in 1991, 28 years after Kennedy's death; then Nixon in 1995, 21 years after the Watergate, and W: The Unlikely President in 2008 … while George W. Bush is still in office.Handling and ridicule
The works of pure fiction are, for their part, more avant-garde: 11 female presidents of the United States have already been to the cinema, while nobody has reached this position. And long before Barack Obama, the first black presidents of the United States existed on the big screen, such as Tommy Lister Jr. in 1997 in The Fifth Element .
However, the role of fiction is not necessarily greater: in films where politics is the main subject, from Vote McKay with Robert Redford to Steps of power George Clooney, it is about manipulations, fights, stratagems and lies. Sometimes the president (or aspiring president) becomes clownish, like in Mars attacks where Jack Nicholson ends … perforated, after a monologue with heroic accents.
In recent years – and especially since September 11, 2001, the Express notes, the presidents have taken over a heroic spring, especially in action movies such as Air Force One in 1997, where Harrison Ford, president, rescues his plane, Independence Day: Resurgence in 2016 or the trilogy The Fall , the third episode of which shows a strong president despite a situation of adversity.