Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Ever since President Woodrow Wilson attending a private presentation of The Birth of a Nation in 1915, special screenings of the latest motion pictures has been a regular part of life in the White House. Narrated by Martin Sheen, the cable-TV documentary All the President's Movies looks at the movie going habits of America's chief executives, from Dwight D. Eisenhower to George W. Bush. The bulk of the program is based on the personal logs of Paul Fischer, who served as White House projectionist from 1953 to 1986, unspooling more than 5000 first-run films. Among the nuggets of information dispensed are the particular favorite films of certain presidents (Eisenhower loved the 1951 baseball yarn Angels in the Outfield, while Richard M. Nixon hauled out Patton in moments of crisis) and a number of White House "firsts" (What was the first X-rated movie shown before a president? The answer: Midnight Cowboy -- and the president was Jimmy Carter). Also covered are the years following Fischer's retirement, wherein we learn that the second President Bush was a fan of the Austin Powers films, among other things. Originally designed as a three-part miniseries, All the President's Movies debuted as a single, three-hour special courtesy of the Bravo channel.
motion-pictures, movie-buff, President, projectionist, retrospective, White-House