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Legislative Branch (Congress) Movies & TV

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)

Director Frank Capra's earnest feel-good classic tells the story of one good man transforming Washington's corrupt politics through his resolute honesty and integrity. The film made star Jimmy Stewart into one of the major Hollywood stars of the mid-twentieth century and provided a fictional model invoked by good-government reform candidates ever since.

Advise and Consent (1962)

An underrated classic from director Otto Preminger, Advise and Consent turns the Machiavellian backroom dealings of Congress into high drama. The story revolves around the contentious confirmation process required for a controversial nominee for secretary of state to take office. Who could have imagined that Article II, Section, Clause 2 would make for such brilliant cinema?

The Candidate (1972)

A young Robert Redford stars in the title role as a political idealist convinced to make a hopeless run against a popular incumbent for a supposedly unwinnable US Senate seat. As the campaign drags on, Redford's character finds himself more and more corrupted by the political machine and the partisan system. In the film's most iconic moment, Redford stares blankly into the camera just after learning he has unexpectedly won his election, asking "What do we do now?"

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