In this, the last days of a shambolic government that's like something out of a Marx Brothers film, I thought it would be fun to think of 5 great movies about politics. Yes, they do exist.
So tonight Brian, on what might be your swansong, here they are for your delectation:
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
A political innocent comes to the Capitol full of ideals, and meets with corruption and dirty dealings. What it has to say about politics is as relevant now as it was in 1939 and should be studied by all wannabe representatives. All this and one of Jimmy Stewart's best roles.
Robert Redford in his 70s prime as a would-be liberal politician with a killer smile. "Too Handsome. Too Young. Too Liberal. Doesn't have a chance. He's PERFECT!" screamed the tagline for a film that doesn't flinch at showing the nastier side of politics.
The Nineties version of The Candidate, Bob Roberts is an even more cynical affair, tracing affable folk singer-turned-politician Bob's journey from bar room to Senate, with dirty trick after dirty trick befalling his opponents along the way.
The president can die and a double take his place, and no one notices, not even the First Lady? This is a film that's alarming in its believablity, not least for the scene where Dave invites his accountant friend Murray Blum to the White House to help him balance a budget. "THE Budget?" Murray gasps. Maybe the two Brians should have tried this...
All the President's Men
You can't have a top five about politics and not mention this one. The ultimate film about corruption and secrecy, ATPM now seems to depict a more innocent time. The Watergate burglars would now simply install a tiny pinhole camera and most likely, get away with it. In these ever more paranoid times, how do we know who's watching? (In Brian Cowen's case, Caoimhin O Caolain, apparently).
Any more Deep Throat gems I've missed?