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The Presidents (2005)

TV Movie  |   |  Documentary, Biography, History  |  18 January 2005 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.5/10 from 189 users  
Reviews: 7 user | 3 critic

A historical compendium of the 42 men who have served as the chief executive of the United States taking us from George Washington to George W. Bush. Each segment discusses the highlights and often lowlights of the men who have served.

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Credited cast:
Calvin Coolidge ...
Himself (archive footage)
Himself (archive footage)
William M. Fowler Jr. ...
Himself - Commentator (as William Fowler)
Warren G. Harding ...
Himself (archive footage)
Benjamin Harrison ...
Himself (archive footage)
Rutherford B. Hayes ...
Himself (archive footage)
Himself (archive footage)
Zachary Karabell ...
Himself (archive footage)


A historical compendium of the 42 men who have served as the chief executive of the United States taking us from George Washington to George W. Bush. Each segment discusses the highlights and often lowlights of the men who have served.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


For a job that's only been around for 200 years it's seen a wide range of personalities. See more »





Release Date:

18 January 2005 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Presidents: The Lives and Legacies of the 43 Leaders of the United States  »

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Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(9 parts)


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User Reviews

Thanks To Shows Like This, History Is Finally Becoming Interesting & Fun!
5 November 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

If only history was this interesting 50 years ago, I might have learned a few more things as a kid. Well, better late than never because TV shows like this will teach you more about history than you learned in years of being half-asleep in school. The subject with this TV "special" was a brief look at all the United States Presidents.

It was broken up into four or five one-hour segments and I found the earlier ones to be the most interesting, probably because I knew a lot more about 20th century Presidents.

For a few examples: The first U.S. President, George Washington, was perhaps the most amazing man who has ever stepped in office and the only one elected unanimously (twice). He was a tough act to follow, especially for a weak leader like John Adams, who was then followed by a stronger man in Thomas Jefferson. Too bad Jefferson hated the job so much he refused to note that he was a President on his gravestone.

The fourth President, James Madison, was the first to actually face enemy fire at the White House and his successor, James Monore was the last of the "Revolutionary generation." His legacy was the "Monroe Doctrine," which he didn't even write. That was written by the next President, John Quincy Adams, who did little except be miserable most of the time. He and the next President, Andrew Jackson, fought the dirtiest Presidential campaign in history, it was said on this TV program.

The program continues on with a lot about the complicated nature of Jackson, and goes on with the rest of the Preisents all the way to George W. Bush. Most of the leaders get 5-10 minutes of air time. I noticed Abraham Lincoln's segment lasted almost a half hour, so not everyone is treated equally. But since it's Abe and my favorite President of them all, I wasn't complaining.

Generally speaking, though, we hear many of the good and bad points of most of the Presidents and much of the stuff, I presume, are facts we didn't know. It's all extremely interesting material and this program is highly recommended. One thing you can't help noticing: many of the negative aspects of politics that are around today have always been there. In that regard, nothing has changed: just the names, faces and scandals.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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