“Oh, did you include that movie First Kid”
~Literally everyone’s first question when they heard about this series of articles
Get excited, folks. We’re finally at the point in our listing of every fictional President where we can talk about the classic Sinbad film, First Kid. It’s moments like these that really make everything worthwhile. If you don’t know or care about First Kid, well tough shit, this isn’t about you. It’s about Presidents. Specifically, fictional Presidents from movies that we decided to exhaustively rank for some reason we no longer remember. Were we drunk? Sorry, silly question, we meant to ask if we were absinthe drunk. Because this whole article series feels like it would have wormwood to blame.
Every Fictional President in Film History: Ranked (#60-51—Presidential Dads! And Others!)
60: The Pooch and the Pauper (2000)
Fred Willard as the President
Fred Willard is a great option for a budget President, apparently. All we know about this movie is that it involves two dogs switching places. So one dog accidentally ends up living with the President. So we just know the President’s a dog owner, so he’s probably alright, right?
59: Executive Target (1997)
Roy Scheider as President Carlson
This is the third movie where Roy Scheider has appeared as President, and none of those movies were particularly good, and none of his Presidents were particularly good. Why are so many people casting him as mediocre Presidents? He’s way too short to be President, who was he running against, a child? Like, just look at him. This is Scheider’s best President, meaning that he’s running for re-election with the promise to cut back on defense spending and invest in health care and education, and as a result (?) he’s the subject of a kidnapping plot. He at least follows the proper protocol of “letting the film’s hero save the day.” (In this case, the hero is Michael Madsen as a stunt driver convict? The 90s were weird.) He also manages to not actually get kidnapped, which has him a leg up on the preceding kidnapped entries on this list.
58: Majority Rule (1992)
Blair Brown as General and President Katherine Taylor
Katherine Taylor was a Medal of Honor winner who became the first female President in American history. According to the one IMDB user review this movie has (which was written by a dude who definitely is not a supporter of Obamacare) she is a big proponent of universal health care? Anyway, she’s a war hero and is meant to be the hero of the movie that you root for, which we’ve determined at least makes her decent at what she does.
57: First Kid (1996)
James Naughton as President Paul Davenport
The only thing you know about the President in First Kid is that he’s kind of a crappy dad. We’re going to go ahead and say that being a crappy dad is good enough to get you to about the 50% mark for Presidents. We’re sensing that you really wanted us to talk about First Kid a lot more than what we have here, considering how hyped up we were about this movie at the start of the article, but we’re not going to. That’s not to say we won’t leave you empty handed. Here’s Sinbad roller skating in a Coca-Cola-and-pizza mascot costume.
56: Chasing Liberty (2004)
Mark Harmon as President James Foster
How does a president even get elected with a haircut like that? Oh, right. Anyway, we know next to nothing about how he is as a President, which means he’s fine, probably. We mostly know how he is as a dad. A biiiiit overprotective.
55: First Daughter (2004)
Michael Keaton as U.S. President John MacKenzie
You guys. Did you know First Daughter was directed by Forrest Whitaker? Like, just two years before he won his Academy Award for The Last King of Scotland? We have so much to think about right now. Anyway, this came out the exact same year as Chasing Liberty and essentially is the same movie, except with Katie Holmes instead of Mandy Moore, and honestly, in 2004, gun to your head, could you definitively tell the difference between the two films? Or the two actresses for that matter? But yeah, you have the overbearing-but-well-meaning father, the First Daughter falling in love with a hot secret service agent undercover, that’s the actual plot for both movies, they’re the same. This gets the slight edge here because, come on. Michael Keaton.
54: My Date with the President’s Daughter (1998)
Dabney Coleman as President George Richmond
Chelsea Clinton inexplicably inspired an entire genre of films that were just “omg could you imagine dating the post-pubescent daughter of a President?” Honestly, we should all take a moment to appreciate the fact that she didn’t end up going full Fatal Attraction because of that shit. But at least with this Disney Channel movie, the President isn’t a total putz about the whole thing—of the previous three Presidents, he’s the one who is the most supportive of his daughter’s love life by the end of the movie, which honestly is pretty Presidential if you ask us. It’s like the dad version of reaching across the aisle.
53: Swing Vote (2008)
Kelsey Grammer as President Andrew Carington Boone
Swing Vote was a ridiculous movie where Kevin Costner plays an unemployed, uninformed voter who has to recast his vote to break a Presidential tie. Like, we had a whole election, and it was a tie, and one vote glitched, so he gets to choose the President. Try not to think too hard about the impossible odds at play for that to happen. Anyway, Kelsey Grammer plays the incumbent President, a Republican, who, like his opponent, begins flip-flopping on his views in order to get that final vote before deciding to be true to what he believes in, while still coming to an understanding and a mutual respect with Costner’s clueless voter, Bud Johnson. We don’t know if he succeeded in winning Bud’s vote, since the movie ends before they reveal who he voted for, but he’s at least presented in a way that we’d not be upset if he ended up winning. And hey, he managed to do all that without one attempted kidnapping or nuclear bomb mishap or anything.
52: First Daughter (1999), First Target (2000), First Shot (2002)
Gregory Harrison as President Jonathan Hayes
Okay, so this film called First Daughter is way different than the previous one in this article, in such a way that we don’t really understand why they gave it that title. But anyway. Mariel Hemingway played a Special Agent in the first and third made-for-tv movie in this series (Daryl Hannah took on the role in First Target), and man, the main thing we know about this President is that he sure does get shot at a bunch. He’s the subject of three assassination attempts, one by a domestic terrorist group, one by a cabal of special interest groups working for the Vice President (#draintheswamp), and he’s finally shot while speaking at a memorial service by angry members from the terrorist group in the first movie. We’re not here to say if he’s a good President or not, but he does seem to piss off a lot of bad guys, so we’ll error on the side of “good at being President, bad at avoiding assassination attempts.”
51: Air Force One Is Down (2013)
Linda Hamilton as US President Harriet Rowntree
Listen, you cast Sarah Connor as the President, we’re not going to be mad about it. Air Force One Is Down was made for TV in two parts, and it essentially involves Air Force One getting hijacked, and a bunch of Serbians holding the President ransom to get a Serbian General released from jail. Rowntree doesn’t play overly helpless here, but man, we are getting kind of tired of all these kidnapped Presidents. Like, you realize that’s not a thing that’s ever happened in real life, right? We’ve had Presidents get shot, hell, we even had a President die from drinking a bunch of milk and eating some cherries, but we’ve never had one kidnapped President. But literally 50% of all movie Presidents are at severe risk of kidnapping? What gives?
Don’t think this is going to be the end of Presidents who find themselves kidnapped. But we’ll wait until next week to continue our series. “Only” 50 Presidents left in our rankings, so stay tuned!