From a classic Cold War thriller to a TV showdown between Richard Nixon and David Frost, these movies offer plenty to think about regardless of your political leanings
If you're so hooked by the current presidential campaign that your remote control has MSNBC or Fox News on speed dial, don't forget there are plenty of movies you can check out about politicians, both real-life and fictional.
This list is by no means complete, but here are a few worth watching:
Director Michael Ritchie's 1972 film about a fictional campaign for U.S. Senate from California starred Robert Redford as the candidate, Peter Boyle as his campaign manager and veteran actor Melvyn Douglas as Redford's father, a former California governor.
Screenwriter Jeremy Larner won an Academy Award for the movie's screenplay.
In real life, Douglas' wife, Helen Gahagan Douglas, was a Democratic congresswoman from California. She lost a bitter race in 1952 to Republican congressman Richard Nixon for a U.S. Senate seat.
"The Seduction of Joe Tynan"
Alan Alda played the title role in this 1979 film that's as much a domestic drama as it is a look at the lure of political power.
Alda, who wrote the script, plays a nice-guy U.S. Senator from New York with aspirations of running for president. At the same time, he's trying to juggle the demands of his family back home in New York, including his wife, played by Barbara Harris in an understated and terrific performance.
"The Manchurian Candidate"
John Frankenheimer directed this creepy Cold War thriller in which Laurence Harvey plays a former Korean War POW brainwashed by the Soviets and Chinese into becoming a political assassin.
Frank Sinatra plays an Army intelligence officer trying to stop Harvey. Angela Lansbury, in a chilling performance, plays Harvey's cold-blooded mother, who'll stop at nothing to get her husband elected president.
The film was released in 1962, in the middle of the Cuban Missile Crisis, a time when many Americans were worried about the Communists spreading their influence. It was remade in 2004 starring Denzel Washington and Liev Schreiber.
A sexting scandal cost Anthony Weiner his Brooklyn congressional seat. But that didn't stop him from running for mayor of New York a few years later.
This 2016 documentary directed by Josh Kriegman and Elyse Steinberg is a fascinating, behind-the-scenes look at Weiner's failed 2013 bid to win the Democratic nomination.
It's also a poignant look at Weiner the person and the stress his juvenile shenanigans puts on his marriage to Huma Abedin, a top aide to Hillary Clinton when Clinton was Secretary of State.
Michael Sheen plays David Frost, a lightweight TV host who lands the interview of a lifetime with former President Richard Nixon.
Millions of TV viewers watched the interviews as Frost tries to get a wily Nixon to admit to Watergate wrongdoing.
Frank Langella gives an eerily uncanny performance as Nixon, who sees the interview as a chance to resurrect his image, and collect a fat check in the process. Little does he realize how tough an interviewer Frost would turn out to be.
John McCain was down 20 points in the polls to Barack Obama in 2008 when he went for what he thought would be a political game-changer, naming Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin his running mate.
The 2012 HBO Films movie, based on Mark Halperin and John Heilemann's book, is an inside-the-campaign look at what happened when McCain put Palin on the ticket despite knowing very little about her.
Julianne Moore has Palin's speech and mannerisms down to a T. Ed Harris turns in a solid performance as McCain and Woody Harrelson is terrific as Steve Schmidt, one of McCain's top campaign aides.
Director Jay Roach has a knack for directing films about politicians. He also directed HBO Films' 2016 movie "All the Way," about Lyndon Johnson.