Watch: The First Political Ad in Movie Form Pits Woodrow Wilson Against Howard Taft 100 Years Ago

Why Watch? Televised political ads were something of a revolution in their time and a necessary evil today, but decades before TV swept the nation, political ads were often made as short films. The first known motion picture political ad came during the heated 1912 election fight between Woodrow Wilson and Howard Taft.

Wilson was the challenger who came from a divided Democratic Party (he didn’t earn the nomination until the 46th ballot of the convention) promising smaller government and to fight monopolies. Here, in The Old Way and the New, the theme of the story is that Taft – shown as a literal fat cat – is a slave of the interests while Wilson is a servant of the little man.

What will it cost you? Only 8 minutes.

Skip work. Watch more short films.

A veteran of writing about movies for nearly a decade, Scott Beggs has been the Managing Editor of Film School Rejects since 2009. Despite speculation, he is not actually Walter Mathau's grandson. See? He can't even spell his name right.

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