This is “Recommended Viewing”, section 10.9 from the book 21st Century American Government and Politics (v. 1.0).
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Advise and Consent (1962). This political thriller depicts hardcore partisan politics when a president seeks Senate confirmation of a candidate for secretary of state in the Cold War era.
America’s Political Parties: The Democratic Party, 1960–1992 (1992). Documentary beginning with the swearing in of President John F. Kennedy and following developments in the Democratic Party through the years of reform to the election of President Bill Clinton.
America’s Political Parties: The Republican Party, 1960–1992 (1992). Documentary tracing the evolution of the Republican Party and its various constituent groups from the candidacy of conservative Barry Goldwater through the Nixon, Reagan, and first Bush presidencies.
Daley: The Last Boss (1995). Award-winning documentary of mayor of Chicago Richard J. Daley, who reigned from 1955 to 1976 and was considered to be the last of the big-city bosses affiliated with the Democratic machine.
Gangs of New York (2002). Director Martin Scorsese’s depiction of the Five Points section of New York during the reign of Boss Tweed.
Head of State (2003). Chris Rock stars as a Washington, DC, alderman who is recruited to run for president by party leaders who want to gain support from minority groups.
Perot: The Rise and Fall of a Presidential Contender (1992). A CNN-produced film that explores the third-party presidential bid of millionaire businessman Ross Perot in 1992; the film includes compelling interviews and news footage.
Power, Politics and Latinos (1992). A documentary focusing on efforts by Latinos to promote political awareness and participation in the United States; the film includes an examination of the development of the La Raza Unida party.
The Last Hurrah (1958). The last stand of a venerable political boss in a northeastern city is explored in this classic film based loosely on the last race run by famous Boston mayor James Michael Curley.
The People and the Power Game—the Elected: The Presidency and Congress (1996). Author Hedrick Smith’s production focuses on the difficulties faced by President Bill Clinton and the Democrats in enacting their policy agenda after the Republican takeover of the House of Representatives in 1995.
Tea Party: The Documentary Film (2010). A pro–Tea Party film investigating the grassroots bases of Tea Party support.
A Third Choice (1996). A documentary exploring minor parties over the course of over two hundred years.
The Time of the Lincolns (2001). A documentary based on biographies of Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln that spends significant time exploring the evolution of the political party system from 1836 to 1864.