IMDb > President Hollywood (2008) (TV)

President Hollywood (2008) (TV) More at IMDbPro »


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Release Date:
15 September 2008 (UK) See more »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
A bit too populist to be really engaging or insightful but a reasonably entertaining little documentary despite the weaknesses See more (1 total) »


  (in credits order)
Jonathan Freedland ... Himself - Presenter
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Eli Attie ... Himself
Tad Devine ... Himself

Ken Duberstein ... Himself
Geoff Garin ... Himself
Wynton Hall ... Himself
Mary Jordan ... Herself

Rod Lurie ... Himself
Stryker McGuire ... Himself (as Stryker Maguire)

Lawrence O'Donnell ... Himself (as Lawrence O'Donnell Jr.)
Jennifer Palmieri ... Herself
Joe Queenan ... Himself
David Schwartz ... Himself

Jimmy Smits ... Himself (also archive footage)

Alan Alda ... Senator Arnold Vinick (archive footage) (uncredited)

James Brolin ... Governor Robert Ritchie (archive footage) (uncredited)
Scott Burkholder ... Danny Scanlon (archive footage) (uncredited)

George W. Bush ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)

Jimmy Carter ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)

Jude Ciccolella ... Mike Novick (archive footage) (uncredited)

Bill Clinton ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)

Hillary Clinton ... Herself (archive footage) (uncredited)

Geena Davis ... President Mackenzie Allen (archive footage) (uncredited)

Michael Douglas ... President Andrew Shepherd (archive footage) (uncredited)

Kevin Dunn ... Alan Reed (archive footage) (uncredited)

Henry Fonda ... Abraham Lincoln (archive footage) (uncredited)

Gerald Ford ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)

Harrison Ford ... President James Marshall / Jack Ryan (archive footage) (uncredited)

Allen Garfield ... Klein (archive footage) (uncredited)

Paul Guilfoyle ... Howard Ferguson (archive footage) (uncredited)

Tom Hanks ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)

Dennis Haysbert ... President David Palmer (archive footage) (uncredited)

Dustin Hoffman ... Stanley Motss (archive footage) (uncredited)

Allison Janney ... C.J. Cregg / Miss Walsh (archive footage) (uncredited)

Lyndon Johnson ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)

Moira Kelly ... Mandy Hampton (archive footage) (uncredited)

Jacqueline Kennedy ... Herself (archive footage) (uncredited)

John F. Kennedy ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)

Kevin Kline ... Dave Kovic / Bill Mitchell (archive footage) (uncredited)

Frank Langella ... Bob Alexander (archive footage) (uncredited)

Adrian Lester ... Henry Burton (archive footage) (uncredited)

Monica Lewinsky ... Herself (archive footage) (uncredited)

Rob Lowe ... Sam Seaborn (archive footage) (uncredited)

Karl Malden ... Father Thomas Cavanaugh (archive footage) (uncredited)

Joshua Malina ... Will Bailey (archive footage) (uncredited)
Cindy Hensley McCain ... Herself (archive footage) (uncredited)

John McCain ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Joseph McCarthy ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)

Donald Moffat ... President Bennett (archive footage) (uncredited)

Robert Montgomery ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)

George Murphy ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)

Richard Nixon ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)

Barack Obama ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)

Michelle Obama ... Herself (archive footage) (uncredited)

Gary Oldman ... Ivan Korshunov (archive footage) (uncredited)

Princess Diana ... Herself (archive footage) (uncredited)

Bill Pullman ... President Thomas J. Whitmore (archive footage) (uncredited)

Nancy Reagan ... Herself (archive footage) (uncredited)

Ronald Reagan ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)

Robert Redford ... Bill McKay (archive footage) (uncredited)

Ving Rhames ... Duane Stevenson (archive footage) (uncredited)

Richard Schiff ... Toby Ziegler (archive footage) (uncredited)

Martin Sheen ... President Jed Bartlet (archive footage) (uncredited)

John Spencer ... Leo McGarry (archive footage) (uncredited)

James Stewart ... Jefferson Smith (archive footage) (uncredited)

Barbra Streisand ... Herself (archive footage) (uncredited)

Donald Sutherland ... Nathan Templeton (archive footage) (uncredited)

Maura Tierney ... Daisy Green (archive footage) (uncredited)

John Travolta ... Governor Jack Stanton (archive footage) (uncredited)

Bradley Whitford ... Josh Lyman (archive footage) (uncredited)

Directed by
Janette Ballard 
Produced by
Janette Ballard .... producer
Steve Bradshaw .... development producer
Elizabeth Byrne .... assistant producer
Darren Kemp .... executive producer
Louise Norman .... executive producer
Kiran Soni .... development producer
Film Editing by
Dolores Shields 
Art Department
Andrew Davidson .... graphic designer
Sound Department
Andrew Sears .... dubbing mixer
Camera and Electrical Department
Craig Loveridge .... additional camera
Mark McCauley .... lighting camera
Editorial Department
Dominic McMahon .... on-line editor (as Dom McMahon)
Other crew
Laura Burns .... production team
Gerry Healy .... archive researcher
Fiona Johnston .... archive researcher
Norma McEwan .... production team (as Norma McEwen)
Peter Morrow .... production team
Ian Scott .... film consultant

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details



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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful.
A bit too populist to be really engaging or insightful but a reasonably entertaining little documentary despite the weaknesses, 8 February 2009
Author: bob the moo from United Kingdom

Assuming that a) you are outside the UK and b) anyone is actually reading this, it is worth starting this review with a little introduction to the channel that showed this documentary. With the tagline "everyone needs somewhere to think", BBC4 has generally done two things. The first is to produce interesting films with a cultural value and something to say that does make it different from other channels and get closest to being the channel that most justifies the use of the license fee. Unsurprising perhaps the second thing it has generally done is fail to get many viewers. The reason I mention this is that it is a fair expectation that a documentary on BBC4 will be worth watching and that sentiment is relevant here because President Hollywood is barely that – it is a film that could easily have been made for any channel.

It is not the idea that is bad though because that is interesting on the face of it. The relevance of the media in regards the Presidency is unquestionable in this recent campaign (the film was made before the election while the winner was still to be decided by American voters) and this film offers something along those lines by seeing how reality and Hollywood have both influenced one another down the years. It starts with the West Wing and the way that Jimmy Smits character was based on Obama and the way that the fictional character would parallel the path the man himself would take before the film then steps back with the roots of the idealised President as seen in films. This part makes good points as it highlights where things have perhaps grown from and how the campaigns have mirrored this perception, feeding it and making it become a reality and norm (morally pure, humble background, Washington outsider etc). It then goes further, tracing the changes in Hollywood's presentation and linking it to key events such as Nixon, Clinton, 11th September etc. All potentially very insightful, interesting stuff that could appeal to a larger audience by being based in popular culture as a subject.

Problem is that the documentary is far too populist and seems to have more clips than anything else. At a quite lean 60 minutes (for what it covers) the film could have benefited from being another 30 minutes longer and using that extra time for more discussion and insight and fewer clips. As it is the film makes mostly general points that, while valid are nothing that amazing or insightful – they are not quite "well, duh" moments but they are nothing that surprising either. It is a shame because I had hoped for more but it isn't really there. Don't get me wrong though, the weaknesses disappoint but they do not destroy the film. The recognisable clips and generally interesting points do make it serve as an accessible, unchallenging and entertaining documentary – that doesn't inform a great deal but makes you feel like it is while also delivering clips of movies and show many viewers will recognise.

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