As the curtain rises on this year's debates, candidates for office are trying to generate serious campaign buzz, get in a few zingers, and hopefully bring the audience — their voters — along for the ride.

It's a perennial spectacle — albeit a dry one — and as the stakes rise year after year, Hollywood has jumped in to offer its take on this political tradition. Sometimes serious, sometimes not, it's a way of interpreting our time-honored pre-election candidate tests.

Our film contributor Garen Daly put together a list of some of the best debate films.


Some of Hollywood's debate treatments:

The Candidate (1972)

The Great Debaters (2007)

Man of the Year (2006)

Abe Lincoln in Illinois (1940)