How did you celebrate Presidents' Day? If you celebrated it like I did, you worked. Not many people get Presidents' Day off anymore, it seems. But, since the President doesn't seem to get the day off himself, I guess that's OK.
If I had gotten a holiday, though, I would've almost certainly probably celebrated it by watching a movie with a president in it. And I would've had plenty to choose from.
According to the Internet (which is, as you know, never wrong), at least 180 have been made that feature American presidents (not counting fictional presidents, like Thomas J. Whitmore from Independence Day). Of the 44 presidents the United States has had thus far, 38 have gotten their own movies--or, at least, some fictionalized cameos. Abraham Lincoln has addressed the most screen time: A total of 25 actors in 28 separate movies have played our 16th president, from Joseph Henabery in D.W. Griffith's classic (but horrifically racist) The Birth of a Nation to Tom Amandes in this year's Saving Lincoln (now in very limited release). He's backed up Bill and Ted in an Excellent Adventure and spent some time as a vampire hunter earlier this year. And in a week, doppelganger Daniel Day-Lewis could take home an academy award.
It got me thinking about my favorite Presidents--not politically, but cinematically. Here, in the order you would've found them in your American History class, are my top five.
a thing or two about this movie. But let me say one thing more: While Day-Lewis has earned plenty of accolades for his work before, this role may make his memorable turns as Christy Brown (My Left Foot), Bill the Butcher (Gangs of New York), Daniel Plainview (There Will Be Blood) and all the rest look like mere preamble to this towering achievement.