Customer Reviews for

All the President's Men

Average Rating 5
( 12 )
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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

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    Finding a Haystack in a Needle

    "All the President's Men" manages to do several things at once. As a piece of history, with minor dramatic additions (usually in the dialogue), it hones closer to, not only the facts of the story, but the moral tone of the story (more about this later) than most cinematically depicted historical events, especially one as fresh in the mind of the audience at the time of it's release (The events depicted began a mere four years before the release of the film!). As a representation of the non-fiction source book by Washington Post journalists Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein the film manages, through an uncharacteristically intelligent, straightforward piece of screenwriting by William Goldman, to clarify an intensely complex mystery into a linear narrative without skimping on the labyrinthine permutations of the investigation. Also, it was a magnet for a generation of would-be and already practicing journalists to consider there were new rewards possible in the profession: designation as "superstar" celebrity journalists. (This was an important turning point with ramifications still being felt globally, the irony being that a solid piece of reportage would lead to the continuing erosion of quality journalism in the shadow of shallow media self-glorification; more ironically still, this being one of the many prescient warnings in that same year's remarkably prophetic "Network") What may be lost in all of these considerations, is that this Alan J. Pakula film is by any standard a smashing entertainment. Rarely has a Hollywood film treated it's subject and the intelligence of it's audience with equal respect. Without a false move, the film follows the two intrepid reporters (solidly portrayed by Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman) as they arduously unravel a "third-rate burglary" at the Watergate into a national scandal, always under the intimidating watch of the senior editorial staff, played by Martin Balsam, Jack Warden and especially Jason Robards in an Oscar-winning turn as editor Ben Bradlee. (Some of the most satisfying moments in the picture involve Robards JUST LISTENING; this fine actor revealing a virtual Thespian's textbook on the art of conveying thought onscreen, something taken for granted by audiences but a genuine rarity in practice.) The myriad points of revelation depicted in the film unceasingly depict a moral corruption as a result of the investigation; not by the reporters, or even the direct perpetrators of the vast conspiracy, but of the targets of their daily personal interviews. Digging out each individual detail begins resembling chipping away at a boulder with a dull spoon. Rarely if ever are they ever given a straight answer, with increased games of evasion, as if "hinting" at a confessional detail carries the same moral weight as open honesty.(This is especially true of Bernstein's encounters with his confidential source, the mysterious "Deep Throat".) This is a rather dispairing point to make but one that rings with clarion truth. This is not to say the film is a downer; on the contrary it is stimulating and witty and absorbing with a catalogue of outstanding performances from the entire cast especially Jane Alexander, Penny Fuller, Lindsay Crouse, Robert Walden, Stephen Collins and Hal Holbrook. Technically the film is flawless with a dead-on representation of the Post press room and a spare but effective score by the gifted and underrated David Shire.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

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    An American Classic

    The wounds of the Nation's Watergate scandal had barely closed when the Politically savvy,Robert Redford,bought the rights to the definative book written by the 2 Men who took down the U.S. Government.Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein wrote the book and the biggest Box Office draws wanted in...<BR/>Robert Redford as Woodward and Dustin Hoffman as Bernstein.Jason Robards as Ben Bradlee all bring the Nation's headlines to the big screen.<BR/>The Film should be required viewing of all Reporters, as it plays out like a Documentary.Who knew that 2 Reporters following leads could be so tense and exciting.Especially ...since You know how it turns out !

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Follow the money...

    It's a testament to the film's creative people [particularly director Alan Pakula, producer Robert Redford, and screenwriter William Goldman] that they stuck to the story and didn't make this some sort of paranoid, foaming-at-the-mouth political drama [if you want that, go rent Oliver Stone's ''Nixon'']. There's more than enough drama to go around in the story of Woodstein's reporting on the Watergate scandal, as it gradually evolved from a 'third-rate burglary' to the far-reaching campaign of personally destructive politics that toppled the Nixon administration. Only a writer as gifted as Goldman and a director as solid as Pakula could make the mundane bits of reporting -- like flipping through thousands of library slips -- seem as dramatic as the clandestine meetings between Woodward and Deep Throat. The performances are outstanding, especially Jason Robards' Oscar-winning turn as the Washington Post's Ben Bradlee. A definite modern classic, and a damn good film about how good journalism used to be.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Thanks Mr. Redford

    As I watched and listened to the news;Deep Throat revealed; Nixon's voice came over the tapes questioning whether a person is a Catholic and learning he was a Jew! It made the movie more important than ever. That the newspaper heads and 2 unknown reporters had the guts to stick it out;but more importantly Redford had the guts to bring the American people a superb movie.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Historical Drama at the Highest Level

    Superb acting from total cast along with great direction make this movie in the all-time ''must see'' category. This movie tells a complex story in such a way that viewers are glued to the screen even though the outcome is known by all. Not only is the story well told, but we are all able to get a good view of the inner operations of a major newspaper and appreciate the hard decisions that have to be made daily.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Wonderful Political thriller

    This is a tremendously far reaching story, the story that toppled a presidency, but this film appropriately reflects the uncertainty that Woodward and Bernstein went through to get this story (and the courage they summoned to ultimately bring down an administration), their struggles, and their triumphs. A brilliant reminder of the importance of journalistic integrity and grit.

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    Posted June 19, 2009

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    Posted July 23, 2013

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    Posted January 9, 2010

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    Posted January 19, 2009

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    Posted July 21, 2011

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    Posted September 22, 2009

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