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Presidential peril

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A look at movies where the POTUS is targetedBy David WalkerSpecial to MSN MoviesSome people don't know this, especially as witnessed by the behavior of some on the Internet, but it is a federal crime to threaten the life of the president of the United States. The one exception, of course, is in the world of film, where placing the POTUS is peril -- and even killing him -- isn't a federal offense, but merely a plot device to further the story. Political leanings notwithstanding, in movies, the president of the United States is a symbolic representation of the American ideal of freedom and democracy, a personification of great power that is under constant protection. In other words, when it comes to film, the POTUS is not the cinematic everyman, or even the cinematic superman; he is the embodiment of America in the form of a human being. And this is why films that threaten the president are meant to be more than man-in-peril movies; they are movies that are supposed to symbolize a threat to the American way of life, because if the president is hurt, it means America has been hurt. Bing: More about 'White House Down' | More about Aaron Eckhart"White House Down" is out in theaters Friday, June 28.What's your favorite presidential movie? Tell us on our MSN Movies Facebook and Twitter pages.(Columbia Pictures)
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