Monitor Picks

To coincide with the release of 'Vantage Point,' we highlight five great movies about presidential conspiracy plots.


This brainy blend of paranoia and presidential politics, starring Laurence Harvey and Frank Sinatra (l.) is still fresh and startling more than 40 years later. Speaking of age, Angela Lansbury – as perhaps the most evil mother in all of film – was only two years older than the actor playing her adult son. Don't bother with the inferior 2004 Denzel Washington version.


When the president nominates a new secretary of State, skeletons – and a married senator – come tumbling out of closets. The film, which stars Henry Fonda, is a bit dated today, especially a famously horrific gay-bar scene. But it was groundbreaking and boasts nice performances. Unlike the others on this list, it didn't get any Oscar nominations.


This forgotten cold-war relic stars Burt Lancaster and Kirk Douglas as military brass on the opposite sides of a military takeover plot. While a bit talky and preachy – trademarks of screenwriter Rod "Twilight Zone" Serling – it has some nice moments.

JFK (1991)

Arm yourself with plenty of skepticism and easy access to the fast-forward button for this one. Long and reality challenged, this infamous assassination exposé still manages to captivate.

DAVE (1993)

In this Kevin Kline comedy, an average Joe or, in this case, Dave, so resembles the president that he's tapped to secretly stand in at the Oval Office. Just don't get any ideas.

of 5 stories this month > Get unlimited stories
You've read 5 of 5 free stories

Only $1 for your first month.

Get unlimited Monitor journalism.