Tim Burton Wiki

James Dale was the President of the United States in the movie Mars Attacks!. Toward the end of the movie, he tried to persuade the Martians to stop attacking, but the Martians never listened and end up killing President Dale. James Dale is played by veteran actor Jack Nicholson. He is 59-years-old. James was very sure that the Martians were kind and peaceful and wanted to make a first contact with them, which failed, along with all his attempts to befriend the Martians. He was the husband of Marsha Dale and father of Taffy Dale. The Martians considered him as a fool coward in his insistence to turn them peaceful and friendly with humanity. After the Martians killed his wife, he was forced by General Decker to allow nuclear warfare, to attack the hostile race. James also tried to alert the other presidents of other countries to avoid contact with the Martians, just as Paris was destroyed. He was killed by the Martian Leader when he made a touching speech with a plea for peace in attempt to make them stop attacking. The Leader seemed to be touched and cried. When they shook hands, the Martian's hand was a robotic hand with a long sharp tail which impaled the president with the Martian flag.


  • He was presumably elected in 1992, as Bill Clinton was in the real world. (However, the film is replete with contradictory clues as to when it takes place, to preserve its universality.) Assuming that this film takes place in 1996, this means he’s still in his first term. None of this truly matters, seeing as he alongside everyone else in the United States Government (sans his daughter Tafyy) was killed during the invasion.
  • He shares a name with British actor Jim Dale, who later became known for narrating Harry Potter audiobooks. Prior to 1996, Dale was known for acting in numerous comedy films including Disney's 1977 fantasy epic Pete's Dragon. It is unclear whether the character's name is a tribute.
  • This is the only Presidential character Jack Nicholson has ever played.