7.3/10
283
8 user 30 critic

Horns and Halos (2002)

This movie captures the unlikely connection of three men. An ex-con biographer, a janitor turned publisher and U.S. President George W. Bush whose paths to power and popularity become tangled in the controversial book Fortunate Son.

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Cast

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James Hatfield ...
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Stewart Bagwell ...
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Randall Beek ...
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The Rev. Billy ...
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...
Himself (archive footage)
Jay Butterman ...
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David Cogswell ...
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Todd Colby ...
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Pamela Colloff ...
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Nick Colt ...
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Richard Curtis ...
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Ron English ...
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Zack Exley ...
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Jim Fitzgerald ...
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Storyline

This movie captures the unlikely connection of three men. An ex-con biographer, a janitor turned publisher and U.S. President George W. Bush whose paths to power and popularity become tangled in the controversial book Fortunate Son.

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Fortunate Son. See more »

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1 June 2002 (USA)  »

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Horns and Haloes  »

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Did You Know?

Goofs

Title incorrectly states 7 November 2001 instead of 2000 as date of Presidential Election See more »

Connections

Features 60 Minutes (1968) See more »

Soundtracks

God is Kick Ass
Music and Lyrics by Sander Hicks
Performed by White Collar Crime
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User Reviews

 
Interesting, though not necessarily how you might think
31 July 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This documentary actually turns out to be quite a lot more than a political polemic, and it's all the better for it. Naturally, extreme lovers of Bush will be put off immediately, but no surprise there. And, people looking for straight Bush bashing may be disappointed as well. This is not an expose into the darker side of the Retard King, and it purposely goes easy on the conspiratorial tone. There is a significant, though not entirely fleshed out, subtext about media control and the consequences of that, but mostly this is a story about some fascinating, driven, rather demented people and their travails amongst the big fish. In other words, it's most entertaining and enlightening on a human level, not a political one.

I will say that the 'revelation' at the end is so extreme that it changes the perception of the entire narrative, and it's something which the movie itself never entirely comes to grips with. The way it's structured does give the momentum of the drama a naturalistic feel, but I wonder if there wasn't a better, more upfront way to rework it and maintain the impact.

However, the sense of howling into the wind is subtle and well played, and the real human drama of people striving to be more than they actually are (even by duplicitous means) opens up a whole range of connections between GWB, the author and the publisher. The idea that the publisher and the author are to some extent frauds, or at the very least unabashed showmen, would call into question the validity of the whole documentary if the approach didn't feel genuinely vérité, which is why it works much better as a depiction of flawed humanity than as an investigation into the (also interesting) issues with the book, media, etc.


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