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

by Beth Hanna
October 25, 2012 1:09 PM
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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"

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More: Time magazine, Classics, Politics, Video


  • Brian | October 25, 2012 2:50 PMReply

    When I saw "Tracy Flick" in the header, I thought you were referring to a Spencer Tracy/Katharine Hepburn film (STATE OF THE UNION?) in a shockingly casual manner. I stand corrected.

  • Beth Hanna | October 25, 2012 3:17 PM

    @Brian -- Ha! That's hilarious. Maybe in the future we should mention all classic actors and their films in our headlines that way: Olivier Flick, Brando Flick, Deneuve Flick... ;-)

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