Nixon

Nixon

5.0 2
Director: Oliver Stone

Cast: Anthony Hopkins, Joan Allen, Powers Boothe

     
 

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Director Oliver Stone brings the life of the infamous president Richard Nixon to life in Nixon: Special Edition. This disc includes both the "director's cut" and the original "theatrical cut" of the film. Both are presented in 1.85:1 non-anamorphic widescreen and don't look half as good as they should. While the main problem is the fact the transfers are… See more details below

Overview

Director Oliver Stone brings the life of the infamous president Richard Nixon to life in Nixon: Special Edition. This disc includes both the "director's cut" and the original "theatrical cut" of the film. Both are presented in 1.85:1 non-anamorphic widescreen and don't look half as good as they should. While the main problem is the fact the transfers are non-anamorphic, each cut also suffers from an excessive amount of brightness and grain. Some of the black levels and details are sharp, though overall, these transfers could have been cleaned up to look a lot better. The soundtrack is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround in English. Leaps and bounds over the video portions of this disc, this 5.1 mix is very full and dynamic. There are some great uses of music here as well as directional effects when needed. While this isn't the perfect soundtrack, overall, it aptly supports the film. Also included on this disc are English subtitles. The extra features on this two-disc set are plentiful, starting off with 11 additional non-anamorphic deleted scenes from the film. Each of these scenes should add just a little more into the insight of Stone's filmmaking and work. Two separate commentary tracks by the director are included, though there are far too many gaps of silence to make them both worthwhile listens. While Stone does share some fascinating information on the production, overall, they are repetitive and somewhat dull. A one-hour interview with Charlie Rose fares much better as Stone chats away with the famed interviewer about the making of the film and what it was like working on the story of such a notorious historical figure. Finally, there is a brief and fluffy featurette on the making of the film (which includes interviews with Anthony Hopkins and other cast members), as well as a shoddy-looking theatrical trailer for the film.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Todd Kristel
Nixon is not a subtle movie, but at least Oliver Stone tries to depict the former president as a tragic character instead of a one-dimensional villain or victim. As the film switches haphazardly between different points in Richard Nixon's life, viewers see that his cold and demanding parents helped shape him into a stiff, socially awkward adult who resented the more charismatic people around him. Feeling unloved and misunderstood, he eventually became undone later in life by his own resentment and paranoia. Anthony Hopkins manages to convey these aspects of Nixon's personality while bringing some pathos to his role, but he's not totally convincing as the former president. He doesn't look like the real-life Richard Nixon and his speaking voice doesn't resemble Nixon's famous unmodulated baritone. Furthermore, he doesn't convey the "stronger" elements of Nixon's personality, such as the craftiness and ambitiousness that enabled him to become a successful politician. Even though this film is ostensibly a character study of Richard Nixon, he often seems like a passive cog in the political machinery. This may be compatible with Stone's belief that the "Beast" (the forces of big business and government that control our lives) is so powerful that even Nixon himself wasn't able to dominate it; however, Stone undermines the credibility of his viewpoint by laying it on too thick and adding too many questionable conspiracy theories (e.g., linking a cabal of Texas millionaires to the JFK assassination). The fact remains that the real-life Richard Nixon was a driven politician who rebounded from several career setbacks to achieve the highest office in the land; this film makes it too easy to forget that he could act decisively and effectively. Indeed, he seems less astute than his wife Pat, who is portrayed as more cagey and articulate than her public persona. Allen's performance is quite good if you accept her interpretation of the role; likewise, James Woods seems fine if you accept that his portrayal of H.R. Halderman seems less imposing than his real-life counterpart. Paul Sorvino does an impression of Henry Kissinger that's both impressive and somewhat creepy, while Bob Hoskins camps it up as J. Edgar Hoover (Stone seems to enjoy drawing attention to Hoover's sexual orientation). Although the actors might not be exact duplicates of the real-life characters they portray, the cast is solid enough to carry much of the film. Unfortunately, Stone's heavy-handed filmmaking style undermines the human elements of his movie. Neither intimate nor tightly paced, Nixon feels like a visual assault with jump cuts, superimposed images, jarring shifts between camera angles and film stocks, and changes between color and black-and-white; borrowing from real-life incidents (e.g., the Lincoln Memorial scene) as well as films such as Citizen Kane (e.g., the scene in which Richard Nixon argues with his wife at the dinner table), Stone tries unsuccessfully to compensate for a disjointed narrative structure with sheer filmmaking bravado. Consequently, the movie seems ham-fisted, which is admittedly not surprising quality for an Oliver Stone film. It is more disappointing in this particular instance, however, since it appears that Stone was attempting to present a more nuanced view of politics.

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Product Details

Release Date:
03/12/2002
UPC:
0786936166750
Original Release:
1995
Rating:
R
Source:
Walt Disney Video
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[DTS 5.1-Channel Surround Sound, Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround]
Time:
3:32:00

Special Features

Closed Caption; Deleted scenes; "Charlie Rose Interviews Oliver Stone" featurette; Audio commentaries introduced by Oliver Stone; Theatrical trailer; Widescreen edition; Dolby Digital 5.1 audio; French and Spanish subtitles

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Anthony Hopkins Richard M. Nixon
Joan Allen Pat Nixon
Powers Boothe Alexander Haig
Ed Harris E. Howard Hunt
Bob Hoskins J. Edger Hoover
E.G. Marshall John Mitchell
David Paymer Ron Ziegler
David Hyde Pierce John Dean
Paul Sorvino Henry Kissinger
Mary Steenburgen Hannah Nixon
J.T. Walsh John Ehlichman
James Woods H.R. Haldeman
Brian Bedford Clyde Tolson
Kevin Dunn Charles Colson
Fyvush Finkel Murray Chotiner
Annabeth Gish Julie Nixon
Tony Goldwyn Harold Nixon
Larry Hagman 'Jack Jones'
Edward Herrmann Nelson Rockefeller
Saul Rubinek Herb Klein
Tony Lo Bianco Johnny Roselli
Corey Carrier Richard M. Nixon at 12
Tom Bower Frank Nixon
David Barry Gray Richard M. Nixon at 19
Tony Plana Manolo Sanchez
Dan Hedaya Trina Cardoza
John Cunningham Bob
John C. McGinley Man in newsreel
John Diehl G. Gordon Liddy
Robert Beltran Frank Sturgis
Lenny Vullo Bernard Barker
Ronald Von Klaussen James Mccord
Victor Rivers Cuban Plumber
Drew Snyder Moderator
Sean Stone Donald Nixon
Jack Wallace Football Coach
Julie Condra Young Pat Nixon
Howard Platt Lawyer At Party
Harry Murphy Fan #1
Michael Kaufman Fan #3
Bridgette Wilson Sandy
O'Neal Compton Texas Man
John Bedford Lloyd Cuban Man
Michael Chiklis Tv Director
Wilson Cruz Joaquin
James Pickens Black Orator
Robert Marshall Spiro Agnew
Marley Shelton Tricia Nixon
James Karen Bill Rogers
Richard Fancy Mel Laird
Joanna Going Young Student
Chuck Preiffer Secret Service Agent #2
Ric Young Mao-tse-tung
Bai Ling Chinese Interpreter
Jon Tenney Reporter #1
Julie Araskog Reporter #2
Clayton Townsend Floor Manager #1
Donna Dixon Maureen Dean
John Stockwell Staffer #1
Charles Haugk Staffer #2
Boris Sichkin Leonid Brezhnev
Fima Noveck Andre Gromyko
Marilyn Rockafellow Helen Smith
Bill Bolender Bethesda Doctor
George Plimpton President's Lawyer
Oliver Stone Voice-over during credits [uncredited]
Madeline Kahn Martha Mitchell

Technical Credits
Oliver Stone Director,Producer,Screenwriter
Henry Alberti Set Decoration/Design
Brian Berdan Editor
Merideth Boswell Set Decoration/Design
Hank Corwin Editor
Dan Halsted Co-producer
Eric Hamburg Co-producer
Billy Hopkins Casting
Richard Hornung Costumes/Costume Designer
Peter Kelly Set Decoration/Design
Victor Kempster Production Designer
Heidi Levitt Casting
David MacMillan Sound/Sound Designer
Richard Mays Art Director
Robert Richardson Cinematographer
Stephen J. Rivele Screenwriter
Richard Rutowski Associate Producer
David Sardi Asst. Director
Clayton Townsend Producer
Andrew G. Vajna Executive Producer
Charlie Vassar Set Decoration/Design
Mary Vernieu Casting
Christopher Wilkinson Screenwriter
John Williams [composer] Score Composer
Don Woodruff Art Director
Margery Zweizig Art Director

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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Opening Credits [6:06]
2. No Pistol [2:47]
3. White House Involvement [7:20]
4. Stolen Fair and Square [4:53]
5. Pat and Dick: On Losing [5:54]
6. A Little Man [3:16]
7. Marriage on the Rocks [6:43]
8. Last Press Conference [9:07]
9. Much in Demand [5:56]
10. A Terrible Loss [5:16]
11. The Old Nixon Charm [6:29]
12. At the Races [10:31]
13. Harold's Death [7:54]
14. Bold Moves [4:31]
15. Nudging History [5:08]
16. Just Kids [1:21]
17. Meeting With Helms [10:42]
18. Nightcap [1:59]
19. The Beast [6:42]
20. Nixon and Hoover/The Wedding [5:04]
21. No More Mr. Nice Guy [4:41]
22. Meet Mr. Liddy [2:50]
23. Playing for Keeps [7:08]
24. The Enemy of the Enemy [5:11]
25. Texas Strong-Arms [9:54]
26. Playing With Power [3:50]
27. Getting Personal [8:50]
28. An Hors D'oeuvre [5:01]
29. Whitewash [1:45]
30. No Discussion [8:13]
31. Drunken Words [6:08]
32. No Tears [8:50]
33. Smoking Gun [5:05]
34. A Prayer [5:18]
35. In the Dark [2:42]
36. Closing Remarks/End Credits [10:40]
Side #2 -- Bonus Features
1. Introduction by Oliver Stone [8:16]
2. Nixon's Limousine Through Protesters [1:55]
3. CIA Building: Richard Helms & Nixon [11:54]
4. Hoover & Nixon (Second Meeting)/Tricia's Wedding (Expanded) [8:24]
5. Cabinet Meeting [2:57]
6. Air Force One (Expanded) [3:57]
7. Jones Ranch Bull Ring [1:42]
8. Oval Office: Nixon, Dean, Haldeman & Ehrlichman (Expanded) [5:00]
9. Haldeman/Erlichman Walk (Expanded) [3:37]
10. The Rockefeller Party (Expanded) [5:42]
11. The Jones Ranch Barbecue [1:59]
12. The Director's Closing Remarks [3:04]

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