Tomorrow (8 November), the United States of America heads to the polls to decide the next leader of the free world. Whoever wins between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump - it’s safe to say a lot of people will be left upset.
Never before have the two front-runners for the US presidency been so enormously unpopular, so we thought we’d take a look at some of the excellent fictional presidents we’d sooner vote for.
Thomas Whitmore (Bill Pullman) - ‘Independence Day’
The speech. We all know the speech. When Bill Pullman’s President Whitmore gives the pep talk to end all pep talks, as the fate of humanity hangs in the balance, it’s a classic Hollywood moment.
It works because the speech strikes a balance between ridiculous and sincere, just like the film as a whole. For this scene alone, Whitmore is considered one of the best ever movie presidents.
James Sawyer (Jamie Foxx) - ‘White House Down’
Roland Emmerich’s preposterously fun 'White House Down’ is dumb in the best possible way, and one scene exemplifies that perfectly.
When President Sawyer and Channing Tatum’s vest-and-freedom-loving police officer find themselves on the White House lawn in a limo looking for an escape, Foxx’s character finds a solution.
With Tatum egging him on, the President of the United States is soon hanging out the limo blowing up a gate with a rocket launcher. Fantastic.
Arnold Schwarzenegger (Harry Shearer) - ‘The Simpsons Movie’
A celebrity who is often a source of mockery, as President? Ridiculous…
Back in 2007, Arnie had just started his second term as governor - sorry, governator - of California, but the idea of him becoming president was ridiculous enough to be a joke in 'The Simpsons Movie’.
It’s a cameo more than anything (and Shearer is basically using his Rainier Wolfcastle voice) but the line “I was elected to lead, not to read” is a classic.
Merkin Muffley (Peter Sellers) - 'Dr Strangelove’
Given the state of the world, Stanley Kubrick’s biting 60s satire about bickering politicians and nuclear might soon become relevant again.
One of the character’s at the centre of it all is President Merkin Muffley, one of several characters played by the legendary Peter Sellers. He’s a meek and naive man, but one of few in the film who (at some stage at least) wants to avoid war.
Tom Beck (Morgan Freeman) - 'Deep Impact’
In 'Deep Impact’ Morgan Freeman’s president is caught in a difficult position when - in the face of Armageddon (the world-ending event, not the Michael Bay movie) - he’s presented with a plan that will only save some of the American people.
It’s a plan that angers many, but Freeman’s glorious voice is a constant reassurance, and there’s no word in the English language that man can imbue with my drama than “messiah”: the name of the spaceship hoping to split the incoming asteroid.
James Dale (Jack Nicholson) - 'Mars Attacks!’
It’s Jack Nicholson as the leader of the free world, and his performance is as over-the-top and charismatic as you’d expect. Even in Tim Burton’s certifiable alien invasion spoof, Nicholson stands out for his unabashed scenery-chewing.
The highlight for Nicholson is his take on the classic, rousing presidential speech, in which he tries to reconcile with the invading martians. It almost seems to work, but then they impale him.
Was worth a shot though.
James Marshall (Harrison Ford) - Air Force Once
In the UK it’s not often we have a Prime Minister who looks like they’d win a fight or even stand steadfast in a strong breeze (Gordon Brown probably could have), and that’s an underrated quality in a leader.
Of all the Hollywood presidents on this list, Harrison Ford’s James Marshall is the best equipped to deal with an immediate crisis/taking back a plane from terrorists.
Also, he’s Harrison Ford.
Picture Credits: Colombia Pictures / Warner Bros / Paramount Pictures /