The rise of the great American dictator, coming to a theatre near you

Do you ever get the feeling that you've seen the dizzying rise of Donald Trump before? You're not alone — Hollywood's history of populist politicians on screen and what we can learn from the celluloid of the last century.
Is the rise of a reality TV show host who uses racial scapegoating and fear mongering in his quest for the presidency be Hollywood's fears coming true? (Aaron P. Bernstein/Reuters)
Listen27:21

Read story transcript

Do you ever get the feeling that you've seen the dizzying rise of Donald Trump before?

There have been several films about leaders who rise up and lead the United States down a totalitarian road, and the popularity of a reality show host who uses racial scapegoating and fear mongering in his quest for the presidency sounds just like Hollywood's fears coming true.

Hollywood's warnings of a fascist America on-screen may serve as both a reminder to viewers that such a reality could be as close as an election away, and a prediction pointing out the vulnerability of politics.

What better time to refresh yourself on past films that looked at the fearsome scenario of a totalitarian leader than during the rise of Trump:



Guests in this segment:

This segment was produced by The Current's Howard Goldenthal and Kinsey Clarke.