It may come as a surprise to learn only one film revolving around politics has ever won the Academy Award for best picture: 1949's "All the King's Men." Based on the novel by Robert Penn Warren, the Robert Rossen-directed drama (unsuccessfully remade in 2006) followed the rise and fall of a Southern U.S. politician, said to have been inspired by 1930s Louisiana Gov. Huey P. Long. It also won that year's Oscars for lead actor (Broderick Crawford) and supporting actress (Mercedes McCambridge).
And, although political themes may have infused — subliminally or otherwise — such best picture Oscar-winning war movies as "All Quiet on the Western Front," "Patton," "The Deer Hunter" and "Platoon," in addition to such socially relevant top academy picks as "Gentleman's Agreement," "In the Heat of the Night" and "Crash," they could hardly be classified as political films.
Politics, however, did play a lead role in a number of best picture nominees. So, in honor of this year's Oscar hopeful "The Ides of March," here's a partial list of those previous candidates:
"Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" (1939) — Frank Capra directed James Stewart as an idealistic young junior senator who finds corruption in our nation's capital. Written by Sidney Buchman.