An examination of the political film genre contributes increased knowledge into the relationship between those who govern and those who are governed. Eleven political films from the turbulent time span of 1968 to 1980 are used here to chart the changing landscape of American history. Political films of this era reflected and abetted the erosion of the American political consensus of the post World War II era. These films found fault with politicians and the political process, offered harsh critiques of the pace of social reform,and questioned the value of existing economic and media structures. As a result, an era of American self- confidence was replaced by an era of ironic detachment and political cynicism. All of those interested in understanding the roots of modern American political culture should be interested in its portrayal in popular motion pictures. The transformative films of this era still provide a template by which modern politicians are judged and the electorate envisions legitimate governance.