This weekend Roland Emmerich’s “White House Down” hits theaters. While it’s a minor romp that will either delight you or cause you to roll your eyes out of your head, it reminds of that old staple of the cinema: the movie president.
One almost imagines playing a movie president is a right of passage for actors. Sometimes it’s a silly walk-on, like Tim Robbins in “Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me” or Tommy “Tiny” Lister in “The Fifth Element.” Other times it’s a well-crafted performance that speaks as profile, like Josh Brolin in “W.” or Phillip Baker Hall in “Secret Honor.” Still others, it can be a wonderful caricature, like Donald Moffat gave us in “The Right Stuff,” or a stalwart fictional Commander-in-Chief facing blockbuster crisis, like Morgan Freeman in “Deep Impact” or Danny Glover in “2012.”
Jamie Foxx gets his turn in “White House Down,” and so I decided to use the occasion to poll a few HitFix peeps and narrow down a list of the very best movie presidents to ever rule on the big screen. Not everyone could make the cut, however. Movie POTUSES (POTUSI?) that just missed include Bill Pullman’s Thomas J. Whitmore from “Independence Day” (I know!), John Travolta’s office-seeking Governor Jack Stanton from “Primary Colors” and the zany antics of Terry Crews and Jack Nicholson in “Idiocracy” and “Mars Attacks!” respectively.
So who DID make it? Click through the gallery below to find out, and tell us YOUR favorite movie president in the comments section below. Also, vote in our poll to let us know which of our picks you would have put at #1.