Tyler Cowen: The top classic movies and books about American politics and DC.

The estimable Chug asks me:

Curious what you consider the top classic movies and books about American politics and DC.

Today let’s do movies, the following come to mind:

1. All the President’s Men.

2. No Way Out: Gene Hackman at his peak. The Conversation also might count as a DC movie.

3. The Exorcist, set in Georgetown. Maybe The Omen too?

4. The Manchurian Candidate.

5. Wedding Crashers.

6. The Day the Earth Stood Still.

7. Born Yesterday.

8. Contact.

I don’t really like Independence Day, but it deserves some sort of mention. The Oliver Stone Nixon movie I’ve yet to see. I like Being There, and it is set in DC, but it doesn’t feel like a “Washington movie” to me. Legally Blonde, Logan’s Run, and Minority Report are all worth ponders, and have their cinematic virtues, but I am not sure they are true to the spirit of the question.

The real question, in my mind, is which of these captures the unique way in which Washington is the world’s epicenter for extreme productivity (don’t laugh) in the areas of economics, public policy, law/lobbying. What is special but also sometimes despicable about DC area culture? Might this be a mix of Contact and No Way Out? I’ve yet to see anyone fully explain the DC micro-culture, as extreme and hyper-specialized as that of say Hollywood or Silicon Valley.

By the way, all the movies you thought I forgot to mention I didn’t, rather I don’t like them.

For comments, see the post on Tyler’s blog, Marginal Revolution.

Check out our list of classic books and movies about politics and government.

 
 


NIXON Original Theatrical Trailer

 
 


All the President’s Men

All the President’s Men


No Way Out

No Way Out


The Conversation

The Conversation


The Exorcist

The Exorcist


The Omen

The Omen


The Manchurian Candidate

The Manchurian Candidate


Wedding Crashers

Wedding Crashers


The Day the Earth Stood Still

The Day the Earth Stood Still


Born Yesterday

Born Yesterday


Contact

Contact


Independence Day

Independence Day


Being There

Being There


Legally Blonde

Legally Blonde


Logan’s Run

Logan’s Run


Minority Report

Minority Report


Nixon

Nixon

 
 

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