“Apparently you don’t get dinged for having the world end on your watch if you die in the movie.”
~Danny Glover in 2012
Are you tired of these intros yet? We’re kind of tired of these intros. This series has been going on every day for the past two and a half weeks, which is a lot. You’ve been like, “Where’s our AFFotD about beer? Or like, beer that’s made with chocolate? Or like, ‘Man, snickers are crazy, are there any weird flavors of snickers?’”
But instead you’ve had to go through just, list after list of President who has never even existed. We understand your pain, but we’re too far along to stop now. HERE ARE MORE PRESIDENTS! NONE OF THEM HAD ANY IMPACT ON HISTORY!
Every Fictional President in Film History: Ranked (#54-31—Doomed Heroes and General Good Guys)
40 and 39(tie): My Fellow Americans (1996)
Jack Lemmon as Former President Russell P. Kramer
James Garner as Former President Matt Douglas
Both Kramer and Douglas served one term as President, but we’re at least given a sense of how each of these former Presidents served their terms. Well, actually we don’t, we just know that President Douglas boinks a bunch of women, and President Kramer is exactly how you’d imagine Jack Lemmon as President. Still, they manage to put aside their partisan differences to save each other’s lives on numerous occasions, while taking down not only a corrupt President but the corrupt Vice-President behind a carefully orchestrated conspiracy. That’s a little something called reaching across the aisle. That’s very Presidential. The movie ends with them both running on the same ticket together as Independents, with Douglas as the President candidate (the two were arguing who should be President versus Vice-President, and Garner announced himself as President after distracting Kramer by throwing a dollar on the floor. This movie did not get great reviews.)
38: Twilight’s Last Gleaming (1977)
Charles Durning as President Stevens
Stevens starts off as a bad President (he had in his possession a secret document that claimed the United States knew all along that they could never win the Vietnam War), but becomes a very good President (he allows himself to be taken hostage to stop a renegade general from starting World War III, and insists that the secret document be released to the people), and then ends up as a dead President (we shouldn’t but, lol).
37: 2012 (2009)
Danny Glover as President Thomas Wilson
President Wilson was able to realize the apocalypse was happening early enough to help develop a plan to save humanity (admittedly, just rich people, but what else would you expect?), made sure his daughter got to survive the whole…2012ness going on, and then went back to Washington D.C. to address the American people one last time while going down with the ship. He wasn’t perfect, but he handled a bad situation with more guts than most presidents on this list, which is why he’s so high up.
Unrelated, but there’s a dedicated wiki page for the movie 2012 (but…why?) which happens to have one of the best sentences we’ve ever read in our lives. “President Wilson is last seen when a gigantic megatsunami floods DC, sending the USS John F. Kennedy crashing into the White House. It can be assumed that he didn’t survive the megatsunami.”
Guys, was 2012 actually good?
(No it was not.)
36: Independence Day: Resurgence (2016)
Sela Ward as President Elizabeth Lanford
Here we get a rare female President, though this one actually ended up being good. While aliens do attack Earth again under her watch, she stands tough against the invading forces, and when she is captured by the alien Queen, she refuses to break under interrogation, and dies a hero.
This is the part of this article where we should point out that, Presidents who saw disasters happen during their administration almost always end up as one of the bad movie Presidents, unless they bravely face their fate like President Wilson in 2012 or go down being a badass, like president Lanford.
35: Chain of Command (2000)
Maria Conchita Alonso as President Gloria Valdez
When the President in this film (who was a bad President) dies, Valdez becomes the President, and actually does a good job. While her predecessor basically lets things near the verge of World War III, she was able to deescalate the situation, and cause China to stand down.
34: Wrong is Right (1982)
Leslie Nielson as President Franklin Douglass Mallory
Mallory was a former President who lost to Lockwood (covered much earlier) and who eventually was re-elected into office despite agents of the White House trying to steal the election. As a President, he had placed five Supreme Court justices, sent a manned mission to Ganymede, and started a fusion energy program. He also tried to bring Western Canada into the United States, but hey, they can’t all be winners.
33: The President Vanishes (1934)
Arthur Byron as President Craig Stanley
On one hand, the President stages his own kidnapping because he’s about to potentially face impeachment over his handling over what, basically, would be World War II (before World War II was happening). So that’s bad. But he also was doing it to thwart a military coup being staged by an army of fascists. Which is good. Th..the thwarting. Not the fascists. Though the whole “he’s the good guy, because he doesn’t want America to go to war” angle works just about any other time in American history…other than, like, pretty much World War II. Still, he’s portrayed pretty positively, and unlike our other entry from this decade, he doesn’t like fascism.
32: Welcome to Mooseport (2004)
Gene Hackman as Former President Monroe “Eagle” Cole
Former President Cole left office after serving two terms in office, and seems to be warmly embraced by the Mooseport, Maine community he moves to while trying to avoid further financial settlements to his ex-wife. So like, he was at least good enough to win two separate Presidential elections. But then again, so did Richard Nixon. All we know is that he’s both likable and kind of a scoundrel, so basically he’s Gene Hackman. Would Gene Hackman be a good President?
At the very least we’ll wager he wouldn’t be a bad one. The only reason he dropped to the 30s on this list is that he barely was able to defeat a plumber in a local election. A plumber who looks and sounds like Ray Romano. That takes away a bit of the presidential sheen, if you ask us.
31: Dr. Dolittle: Tail to the Chief (2008)
Peter Coyote as President Sterling
This is Peter Coyote’s second entry on this list, and we’d forgive you if you forgot his role in the sequel to Behind Enemy Lines. That said, this casting still amuses us. You know. Because his last name is Coyote. And Dr. Dolittle talks to the animals. What? We’re trying too hard? Fair.
President Sterling brings in one of Dr. Dolittle’s daughters (who can also talk with animals) to treat the his dog, but also to help save a forest in Africa. We don’t know how those two are related, and no, we do not want to watch any YouTube clips of the fourth entry in the Dr. Dolittle series to get a better idea of the plot of this film. It’s just not happening.
Are we really going to end this entry on a Dr. Dolittle movie? Apparently so! Stay tuned tomorrow, because Mike Brady is President, and how the fuck did he get this high on this list!?