Presidents Under Pressure or how fictional presidents handle situations of extreme crisis in the movies 'Deep Impact', 'Independence Day', and 'Mars Attacks!'
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Seminar paper from the year 1999 in the subject American Studies - Culture and Applied Geography, grade: 2,0 (B), LMU Munich (Amerika-Institut), course: Proseminar: The Representation of the American Presidency in Contemporary Hollywood Movies, 6 entries in the bibliography, language: English, abstract: The President of the United States has been a subject of many movies in Hollywood history. From the earliest days of cinema, in films such as The Birth of a Nation (1915), The Fighting Roosevelts (1919) or Young Mr. Lincoln (1939), to the present day, in films such as Nixon (1990) and Dick (1999), many real-life U.S. presidents have been portrayed in the most different ways. In the years before crises like Watergate, Vietnam and the growing media coverage have demystified the presidency, most of these reallife portrayals have shown the President as a wise heroic man, almost like a saint (Edelman 323). In the years after these events, Hollywood lost its respect for the presidency discovering that the man in charge was human and that he also makes mistakes (323). Since Hollywood likes to adapt politics, it is no surprise that politics adapted Hollywood, too. The simple fact that Ronald Reagan was elected president in 1980 was subject for several jokes in one of the most successful movies of 1985, Back To The Future. In this time-travel film, Marty McFly (Michael J.Fox) accidentally travels to the year 1955 where he tries to find the inventor of the time machine, Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd), to help him get back to 1985. After having found him, Doc Brown does not believe Marty's story. In order to find out, if Marty's story is true, Doc asks him the following question: Doc Brown: Then tell me, Future Boy, who's President of the United States in 1985? Marty McFly: Ronald Reagan. Doc Brown: Ronald Reagan? The actor? Ha! Then, who's Vice President? Jerry Lewis? I suppose Jane Wyman is the First Lady and Jack Bennetty is Secretary of Treasury ! Marty McFly: Doc, you gotta