The Writers’ Room

Power Disfigured: The Most Deviant Political Figures in the Movies

Corruption and politics go hand in hand. But in the movies, matters get even more extreme with senators who mind-control and presidents who unleash diseases on the populace. Clearly, House of Cards‘ Frank Underwood would fit right in with the top ten deviant politicians ever to hit the big screen. Find out more about Underwood on THE WRITERS’ ROOM: “House of Cards,” Fri., May 2 at 9PM/8c. Until then, consider his back-stabbing cohorts.

1. Adam Sutler (John Hurt), V for Vendetta
By releasing a plague intended to wipe out “social deviants,” Sutler secures power for his oppressive political party and establishes a fascist regime.

2. Bob Alexander (Frank Langella), Dave
It’s not enough that Chief of Staff Alexander replaces the comatose prez with a lookalike. He also frames the dupe for an S&L scandal he orchestrated.

3. Dolores Umbridge (Imelda Staunton), Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
What makes this Ministry of Magic member so twisted? How much she enjoys tormenting the Hogwarts staff/students while she rises in the ranks!

4. Eleanor Prentiss Shaw (Meryl Streep), The Manchurian Candidate
Shaw’s a ruthless senator with no qualms about using a brain-implanted chip to control the actions of her son, a congressman (Liev Schreiber).

5. Greg Stillson (Martin Sheen), The Dead Zone
Stillson has all the makings of a future president. Well, a president who dreams of starting WWIII and will use a baby for a shield when bullets start flying.

6. Jay Bulworth (Warren Beatty), Bulworth
A longtime Democratic Senator decides to commit suicide by taking out a contract on himself, then gets thoroughly loaded and spews all sorts of dirty secrets.

7. Mike Morris (George Clooney), The Ides of March
One way to destroy the idealism of a young press secretary (Ryan Gosling) is to cover up affairs and a suicide while running for the presidency.

8. Stanley Motss (Dustin Hoffman) and Conrad Brean (Robert De Niro), Wag the Dog
A spin doctor (De Niro) and a Hollywood director (Hoffman) concoct a war to divert public attention from the president’s sexual indiscretions.

9. Tracy Flick (Reese Witherspoon), Election
Too pert, too eager, too “perfect,” this student-body president candidate blithely destroys people’s professional and personal lives on her way to the top.

10. Zaphod Beeblebrox (Sam Rockwell), The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
The President of the Galaxy is so incompetent, he doesn’t even realize he’s signed orders for Earth’s destruction. (He thinks it’s just an autograph!)

Click here for the full on-air schedule of Bulworth on SundanceTV.

Need some more political deviance? Take the House of Cards Quiz.