Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...

10 Great Debate Scenes Listed by Time: Tracy Flick, Woody Allen, 'The Candidate' & Frank the Tank Make the Cut

Photo of Beth Hanna By Beth Hanna | Thompson on Hollywood October 25, 2012 at 1:09PM

Now that the Presidential debates have wrapped up for the 2012 election, Time has compiled a list of the ten best debate scenes in film history. Included in the comedy-heavy list are Woody Allen's Fellini rant in "Annie Hall"...
2
Reese Witherspoon as Tracy Flick in "Election"
Reese Witherspoon as Tracy Flick in "Election"

Now that the Presidential debates have wrapped up for the 2012 election, Time has compiled a list of the ten best debate scenes in film history. Included in the comedy-heavy list are Woody Allen's Fellini rant in "Annie Hall," Alicia Silverstone's gum-popping Haitian refugee speech in "Clueless" and Reese Witherspoon's brittle overachiever Tracy Flick opposite slacker Jessica Campbell in "Election." Full list below, along with a few clips.

What debate scenes has Time left out that should be added to the list?

1. Tim Robbins opposite Gore Vidal in "Bob Roberts"

2. Denzel Washington's Wiley College debaters opposite the all-white Harvard team in "The Great Debaters"

3. Will Ferrell's Frank the Tank opposite Jeremy Piven in "Old School"

4. Robert Redford as Bill McKay in "The Candidate"

5. Alicia Silverstone's Cher expounding on Haitian refugees in "Clueless"

6. Anna Kendrick and Reece Thompson as high school debaters in "Rocket Science"

7. Raymond Massey's Abraham Lincoln opposite Gene Lockhart's Stephen Douglas in "Abe Lincoln in Illinois"

8. Chris Rock as Mays Gilliam in "Head of State"

9. Reese Witherspoon's Tracy Flick opposite Jessica Campbell's Tammy in "Election"

10. Woody Allen opposite the obnoxious Fellini-naysayer in "Annie Hall"

This article is related to: Time magazine, Classics, Politics, Video


E-Mail Updates








Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.