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Tale of the tape: Bale’s Dick Cheney vs. Crowe’s Roger Ailes

It’s not exactly on the level of the summer that gave us “Armageddon” and “Deep Impact,” or that wacky span of three months in 2013 that produced two major movies about terrorists taking over the White House.

But having a couple of Oscar winners — a Batman and the guy from “Gladiator,” no less — move up a few weight classes to portray Dick Cheney and former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes in high-profile projects within six months of each other, well, that’s still a little on the unusual side.

The men even cross paths in the Oscar-nominated “Vice” and the limited series “The Loudest Voice” (10 p.m. Sunday, Showtime). Sadly, though, there was no effort to have Christian Bale’s Cheney and Russell Crowe’s Ailes appear in both, thus denying us the foundation of a Conservative Cinematic Universe.

Here’s a look at how “Vice” and “The Loudest Voice” compare in their depictions of the Republican heavyweights:

Looks and sounds like

“Vice”: Cheney

“The Loudest Voice”: Russell Crowe in a fat suit

Unflattering opening image

“Vice”: Cheney being pulled over for drunken driving in 1963

“The Loudest Voice”: Ailes lying dead on the floor in 2017

Humble beginnings

“Vice”: Cheney hangs power lines after being kicked out of Yale.

“The Loudest Voice”: Ailes launches Fox News from inside an abandoned Sam Goody.

Lingering ailment

“Vice”: Heart disease

“The Loudest Voice”: Hemophilia


“Vice”: Lynne Cheney (Amy Adams) practically drags her husband to greatness, getting him into Yale, scaring him straight, then campaigning for him during his first congressional race and railing against those “liberal snobs who want us all to lose our jobs to affirmative action.”

“The Loudest Voice”: Elizabeth Ailes (Sienna Miller) is forced by her husband to choose between him and her own news career, where she was the first producer hired by CNBC.

Reaction to 9/11

“Vice”: Cheney assumes control of the government, authorizing Donald Rumsfeld to “shoot down any aircraft deemed a threat” on presidential authority that was never given.

“The Loudest Voice”: Ailes invents the news ticker and, when presented with footage of people jumping to their deaths from the World Trade Center, orders it on the air before other stations can show it.

Speaking directly to the audience

“Vice”: “I can feel your recriminations and your judgment, and I am fine with that.”

“The Loudest Voice”: “I know what people are gonna say about me. I can pretty much pick the words for ya: ‘right wing,’ ‘paranoid,’ ‘fat.’ ”


“Vice”: Ailes asks Cheney to deliver his plan for a Republican TV network to Richard Nixon. “Forget it,” Donald Rumsfeld (Steve Carrell) scoffs. “Roger knows TV, but he doesn’t know politics.”

“The Loudest Voice”: After delivering a fundraising speech Ailes wrote, Cheney tells him, “I wanna thank you for all the work you’re doing. You’re a patriot, Roger.”

Worst thing done to another human

“Vice”: Cheney shoots 78-year-old attorney Harry Whittington in the face with a shotgun.

“The Loudest Voice”: Ailes videotapes humiliating trysts with his longtime mistress, Fox News talent booker Laurie Luhn (Annabelle Wallis), then, when she can’t take it anymore, makes her choose her “replacement.”

Touch of humanity

“Vice”: Cheney dotes on his daughters, Mary (Alison Pill) and Liz (Lily Rabe).

“The Loudest Voice”: Ailes doesn’t shoot anyone in the face — at least not in the four episodes made available to the press.

Contact Christopher Lawrence at clawrence@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-4567. Follow @life_onthecouch on Twitter.

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