When it comes to historical figures in history, we often learn about them via books, movies; the internet, or story-telling. From the view of normal people, we only know what these notorious did and how they changed their country or even the world’s history. Indeed, a country leader, who makes a huge impact on a nation or even the world, can be regarded as a dictator or a hero depending on different points of view. However, we’re not interested in discussing politics here. We just acknowledge history and events and are stunned at how these historical figures changed the world.
To understand a person, researchers often study his or her interests and tendencies. Don’t ignore a normal activity like watching a movie. It can tell us a lot of things. Like, if you were a ‘notorious dictator’, what kind of movie would you like to watch? The Godfather? Yes, it sounds relatable and it, in fact, happened to an Iraqi leader.
Below are some favorite films of iconic people in history that will leave you in awe. Scroll down and check them out!
#1 Adolf Hitler – ‘Gone with the Wind’
Source: Wikimedia Commons / Loew’s Inc.
Gone with the Wind is a more well-known potential favorite of Adolf Hitler. He watched it three times, according to Rochus Misch, the leader’s bodyguard at the time. Hitler reportedly told Goebbels that Gone with the Wind “is something our own people should also be able to do” in Bill Niven’s Hitler and Film: The Führer’s Hidden Passion.
#2 Saddam Hussein – ‘The Godfather’
Source: National Archives Catalog / Paramount Pictures
It makes sense that a dictator would be drawn to the infamous yet admired Corleone Mafia family in The Godfather. According to reports, Saddam Hussein thought that movie was his favorite. He supposedly chose to control Iraq through a purge that made Michael Corleone’s look like a leisurely weekend in Chicago. In 1972, the year The Godfather was released, journalist Adel Darwish met Hussein at a festival in Baghdad. He said that “for 90 minutes [Hussein] sat chatting about The Godfather.” Hussein learned that Vito Corleone valued his family above all else and that ladies admired strong men like Vito’s son and successor, Michael.
#3 Mao Zedong – ‘Fist of Fury’
Source: Wikimedia Commons / Golden Harvest
According to an account attributed to Liu Qingtang, the founder of the People’s Republic of China Mao Zedong in his old age developed a taste for movies, which Liu, then Vice Minister of Culture, provided him with.
Although he often watches movies at a slow speed, cut short, the chairman still goes through Bruce’s catalog. He is said to have seen The Big Boss, The Way of the Dragon and Fist of Fury, which appears to be his favorite movies. It made him cry and exclaim. “Bruce Lee is a hero!” Liu recalled hearing from Mao. The President watched Fist of Fury twice more, a personal record.
#4 Kim Jong-il – ‘Friday the 13th’
Source: Wikimedia Commons / Paramount Pictures
Kim Jong-il loved movies so much and he owned a collection of 15,000 films, with Friday the 13th, James Bond, Rambo, and Hong Kong action movies among his favorites. Still, he loves Friday the 13th the most. Sean Connery and Elizabeth Taylor were two of his favorite actors.
#5 Richard Nixon – ‘Patton’
Source: Wikimedia Commons / 20th Century Fox
Rogers informed Patton executive Richard D. Zanuck that the president brought up the movie in every conversation. Has anyone seen the movie, Patton? he once questioned a group of 45 financial executives. He continued by praising the movie and the determination of the title general. Nixon’s national security advisor at the time, Henry Kissinger, wrote, “When he was pressed to the wall, [Nixon’s] romantic streak surfaced and he would see himself as a beleaguered military commander in the tradition of Patton.”
When asked about the Patton connection by David Frost, Nixon responded, “It had absolutely no influence on my actions.” However, he acknowledged that “the character sketch of Patton was fascinating.”
#6 Joseph Stalin – ‘Tarzan’
Source: Picryl / Metro Goldwyn Mayer
Many favorites were listed for the Communist leader, including The Great Waltz, Volga-Volga, It Happened One Night, Charlie Chaplin and American Westerns.
Joseph Stalin was also said to have loved Tarzan. Joseph Brodsky, the Russian-American Nobel laureate, writes: “The Tarzan series alone, I daresay, did more for de-Stalinization than all Khrushchev’s speeches at the 20th Party Congress and after.”
#7 Vladimir Putin – ‘The Shield and the Sword’
Source: Wikimedia Commons / Mosfilm
Vladimir Putin particularly mentioned that The Shield and the Sword, a 1968 film about a Soviet agent who infiltrates the Third Reich, put him on a path few people wanted him to take, namely his parents. They hoped their son would have an academic career.