HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
American Fiction
Poor Things
Thunderclap
Zeiram
Legend of the Bat
Party Line
Night Fright
Pacha, Le
Kimi
Assemble Insert
Venus Tear Diamond, The
Promare
Beauty's Evil Roses, The
Free Guy
Huck and Tom's Mississippi Adventure
Rejuvenator, The
Who Fears the Devil?
Guignolo, Le
Batman, The
Land of Many Perfumes
Cat vs. Rat
Tom & Jerry: The Movie
Naked Violence
Joyeuses Pacques
Strangeness, The
How I Became a Superhero
Golden Nun
Incident at Phantom Hill
Winterhawk
Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City
Maigret Sets a Trap
B.N.A.
Hell's Wind Staff, The
Topo Gigio and the Missile War
Battant, Le
Penguin Highway
Cazadore de Demonios
Snatchers
Imperial Swordsman
Foxtrap
   
 
Newest Articles
3 From Arrow Player: Sweet Sugar, Girls Nite Out and Manhattan Baby
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
   
 
  All the President's Men Truth, Justice And The American Way
Year: 1976
Director: Alan J. Pakula
Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Robert Redford, Jack Warden, Martin Balsam, Hal Holbrook, Jason Robards Jr, Jane Alexander, Meredith Baxter, Ned Beatty, Stephen Collins, Penny Fuller, John McMartin, Robert Walden, Frank Wills, F. Murray Abraham
Genre: BiopicBuy from Amazon
Rating:  9 (from 2 votes)
Review: On June the first, 1972, at the Watergate Hotel in Washington, a security guard was doing his rounds when he noticed something suspicious in one of the offices and investigated. It turned out there was a burglary taking place, with a number of men who were caught redhanded, which would not necessarily have been important news except that the offices there were being used by the Democratic Party as a base of operations as they were trying to get their candidate elected to President to topple Richard Nixon. At the Washington Post newspaper, it sounds interesting but nothing major, so one of the lower level reporters, Bob Woodward (Robert Redford), went along to the courts to find out more...

The first thing that struck him was to wonder why a powerful lawyer was sitting in on the court as the charges were being applied to the burglars, and when he noticed one of them claimed to have connections to the C.I.A., his interest was further piqued. Back in 1976, everyone knew what happened next, the story of the Watergate scandal was one of the most sensational crimes of the latter half of the twenty-first century and rocked the United States to its foundations, as seen in the way a paranoia, a mistrust of the authorities, bled into the pop culture. It had been there before in the counterculture-friendly movies and those works trying to appeal to the younger generation, but when it became clear the President himself had been heavily involved in the conspiracy, the idea spread like wildfire.

So what would you do when the time came to tell the story of the actual events, rather than simply alluding to them in your thrillers or comedies or whatever? Robert Redford was very keen to get that tale onto the world's movie screens, and he encouraged the two journalists who had broken the story, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, to get their experiences down in print so he could option the book and produce the film. Fair enough, said the studio, but we want you to star, and who could they get to appear alongside him as Bernstein? Step forward one of the other megastars of the seventies, Dustin Hoffman, a dream team of celebrity charisma that you can't imagine the actual men they were portraying had any issue with whatsoever. Some felt this tendency to feed a number of huge egos harmed the film, but they were wrong.

That was because by making Woodward and Bernstein appear as the big hitters they thought they were, we in the audience could buy into that as well, and we needed two stars we could rely upon, to embody that dogged search for truth, that rendered their crusade understandable: heroic movie stars do heroic things, after all, and director Alan J. Pakula was careful to make the importance of their investigation as weighty as possible. Who are these sinister forces who would try to break those idols? Not the journalists, the movie stars. This was brilliantly handled by Pakula who drew on the skills of generating unease, that feeling you know something is very wrong but you cannot place your finger on it, nowhere more so than in his depiction of the villains of the piece.

Or rather, the non-depiction, for the massed menaces of the Republican Party, the White House and the Secret Services are glimpsed on television, or occasionally make threats on the telephone as the protagonists try to get them to admit to their wrongdoings, which made them come across as a vast network of intimidation and outright fear, as seen on the faces of the actors who play the reluctant sources for the story. William Goldman wrote the script, and claimed it was one of the worst professional experiences of his life such were the pressure and interference he was lumbered with, but it was worth it (if not for his frayed nerves) for it took an extremely complicated story and made sense of it, mostly because he has Redford and Hoffman give other characters a rundown of where they are in the investigation which serves to keep us up to speed.

Emphasising the sheer crushing need to gather the facts at as deliberate a pace as you can, whether that be going through files and records or those endless interviews, it left you in no doubt that it took a special kind of dedication to bring something this shadowy into the light, and Pakula used that darkness impeccably, with a lot of scenes shot at night, including Woodward's famous talks with his anonymous contact Deep Throat (Hal Holbrook) in an underground car park, to contrast with the brightness of the Post newsroom set. Not one actor put a foot wrong, from the big stars to the support, with Jason Robards Jr a superb Ben Bradlee, pedantic but when his boys finally get hold of the facts, willing to back them all the way when he realises they are genuinely on to a huge story. Some complained the film ended prematurely, but it actually ends with stark finesse, we knew what happened next and it was all over bar the shouting - and what a lot of shouting there was. A real classic dedicated to the truth at no expense to itself, no matter the desperate consequences. Music, sparsely used, by David Shire.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 4197 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Alan J. Pakula  (1928 - 1998)

Smart American director and producer who started out producing Robert Mulligan dramas such as Fear Strikes Out, To Kill A Mockingbird and Inside Daisy Clover. He turned to direction with The Sterile Cuckoo, but really hit his stride in the seventies with the conspiracy-flavoured trio Klute (for which Jane Fonda won an Oscar), cult classic The Parallax View and Watergate thriller All The President's Men. Other films from the era included romance Love and Pain and the Whole Damn Thing, western Comes a Horseman, and Burt Reynolds comedy Starting Over.

As the eighties dawned, Pakula had a hit with Holocaust drama Sophie's Choice, but seemed to lose his touch thereafter with middling efforts such as the odd drama Dream Lover, expensive flop Orphans, hit thriller Presumed Innocent, failure Consenting Adults, Julia Roberts vehicle The Pelican Brief and Harrison Ford-Brad Pitt team up The Devil's Own. He was once married to actress Hope Lange and died in a road accident.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Enoch Sneed
Darren Jones
  Louise Hackett
Mark Le Surf-hall
Andrew Pragasam
Mary Sibley
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: