By SJWNY, a Trail Mix Contributor
Spring is in the air, thoughts of daffodils, robins & Hollywood Awards. Earlier this month I watched Wilson (1944) which really is longer than Woodrow was President. The featured actor, Alexander Knox, is as wooden as they come. I am no fan of the real Wilson but he got the fuzzy end of the lollipop in regards to cinematic biography.
This sorry waste of film made me think of the good portrayals of Presidents in movies & on TV. So for your consideration, my list of winners:
Jeff Daniels, The Crossing (2000)
Yes I know this episode in Washington’s life predates his Presidency. Jeff Daniels’ performance of quiet strength & complexity is amazingly good. Why did a ragtag army of farmers & backwoodsmen follow Washington into seemingly unwinnable odds? If Daniels’ portrayal is close to the real man, you have a clue why.
This TV film was made by A & E back when the A actually meant art & the E equaled thoughtful enriching entertainment. It is sad how far that network has fallen.
George Grizzard, The Adams Chronicles (1976)
William Daniels, 1776 (1972)
Grizzard captured the Adams Abigail wrote those Love Letters to & Daniels captured the hard headed visionary the rebelling Colonies needed.
Lyndon Baynes Johnson
Bryan Cranston, All The Way (2016)
Cranston set the bar so high in LBJ portrayals I pity the fool who tries to top this.
And the overall winner is …..
John Quincy Adams
William Daniels, The Adams Chronicles (1976)
Mr Daniels was born to portray JQA. It is in his dna. He is this President. I honestly cannot see a picture of the actual President & not think of William Daniels’ performance.
Wait … was the wrong winner announced?
Nah. Just tweaking you. But I do have a bonus winner.
The Absolute Best Portrayal of a First Lady
Joan Allen, Nixon (1995)
Anthony Hopkins did not impress in this film but Ms Allen blew everyone off the screen as Pat Nixon. She made this woman human. Watch it for her performance alone.
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