The Best Impeachment-Related Movies to Get You Through Trump’s Hearings
President Trump’s impeachment hearings are in full swing this month, but it can be daunting to try and keep up with the political coverage. Instead of drowning in news segment sound bites and snarky tweets, why not try a different approach? These movies, all award-nominated pieces of art that will no doubt entertain you, will also teach you a little something about impeachment and American history. Just in time for the hearings that are going down in Washington.
There aren’t too many movies that deal with impeachment, probably because the topic is complex and can be controversial. The ones that do exist are mostly about President Nixon’s Watergate scandal. For President Bill Clinton’s impeachment saga, we’ll have to wait until Ryan Murphy’s Impeachment installment of American Crime Story comes out.
However, the focus on Nixon is all the better. President Trump’s relationship to his impeachment inquiry has many more parallels to Nixon’s than Clinton’s. Each of the films listed below dives into the root of Nixon’s downfall: his own arrogance, conceit, and paranoia. Sound familiar, by any chance?
‘All the President’s Men’ (1976): the journalistic process that led to impeachment hearings
Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman play the real Washington Post reporters who blew the lid off the Watergate scandal. Leading up to the 1972 Presidential elections, journalist Bob Woodward covers a seemingly unimportant break-in at Democratic Party headquarters. But once Woodward and fellow Post reporter Carl Bernstein dive into the case, the trail leads (and we’ve been waiting our whole lives to say this) all the way to the freakin’ top! The movie was nominated for several Academy Awards, including Best Picture.
Simply put, Redford and Hoffman are the politically-savvy-but-hunky heroes we need in our impeachment hearings right now.
‘Frost/Nixon’ (2008): the live interview that blew up the former President’s credibility
The film Frost/Nixon tells the story behind the interviews of the same name that aired in 1977.
David Frost, a television journalist trying to make a name for himself, sat down with the disgraced President Richard Nixon in an encounter that often appeared more like a battle than an interview.
Three years after Nixon went under impeachment inquiry and resigned from office, he agreed to Frost’s interview. The former President knew that the questions would deal with his handling of Watergate and his impeachment investigation but Nixon assumed Frost would be easy to outmaneuver. Nixon thought he could remodel his public image, but the cameras caught a different story.
Frost/Nixon was nominated for the Oscars for Best Director and Best Picture.
If Michael Sheen’s brilliant acting isn’t enough to entice you, maybe the raw drama of live television is; you’ll never believe what Nixon really admitted to in a recorded interview.
Well, you will if you know anything about American history. But considering the current political climate we’re suffering through, isn’t it nice to remember that not so long ago, things were almost, if not just as dystopia-novel crazy? Perhaps that’s not comforting so much as it is … relatable.
‘Nixon’ (1995): ‘The Irishman’ of its time
Yes, it’s three and a half hours long. No, you don’t have anything better to do this weekend (especially if you’ve already made time to watch The Irishman).
Oliver Stone’s Academy Award-winning film is a true biopic of Richard Nixon, looking over his life from start to finish, from Quaker upbringings to impeachment hearings. The actress Joan Allen plays Nixon’s wife Pat, who sees Nixon through election defeat after election defeat.
Seemingly completely void of charm throughout his campaigns, Nixon succeeds by other means: being a genius political operator.
But once in the Oval Office, paranoia consumes Tricky Dick.
‘Dick’ (1999): a whole new meaning behind ‘Deep Throat’
This one is pure fun. A palette cleanser after you watch one of the more serious films listed above. The 1999 comedy Dick was directed by Andrew Fleming and included many Saturday Night Live cast members.
The comedy stars Kirsten Dunst and Michelle Williams as two rather air-headed teenage girls who take a high school field trip to the White House, wander off, and run into President Richard Nixon. The girls, Besty and Arlene, initially get hired as Nixon’s dog walkers, but they end up hilariously entangled in the Watergate scandal.
Spoiler alert, but because Dick is pure silliness, the 15-year-olds wind up being “Deep Throat.” You know, the source that had a big hand in bringing Nixon down. The jokes are doofy, the outfits are wild, and two the most respected actresses of our time are at their most adorable; what more do you want from an impeachment parody?