All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1177. An easy way of seeing how…
All the President's Men
At times it looked like it might cost them their jobs, their reputations, and maybe even their lives.
In the run-up to the 1972 elections, Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward covers what seems to be a minor break-in at the Democratic Party National headquarters. He is surprised to find top lawyers already on the defense case, and the discovery of names and addresses of Republican fund organizers on the accused further arouses his suspicions. The editor of the Post is prepared to run with the story and assigns Woodward and Carl Bernstein to it. They find the trail leading higher and higher in the Republican Party, and eventually into the White House itself.
All the President's Men is primarily a staggering display of a perfectly paranoid craftsman. Alan J. Pakula pulls tensity and fascinations out from an otherwise excruciating process - investigative journalism. He observes facts, meticulous dates, times and names, closer than facile characters or broadly stroked stakes. Yet so closely watched is each victory, processed step and intensity of two men's integrity in the face of uncovering a web of mystery that it is impossible to turn away. As each aspect of a seemingly simple burglary piece thickens into political intrigue, it's purely gripping.
The murky, shadowy and paranoid city scapes of Washington brighten the meticulous details of mapping out a potential giant-ranged political corruption case. Most will know the outcome,…
Allow me a moment of nerdery.
Back in the days when Empire magazine was good and I used to buy it, I used to pretty often snip bits out of their magazines and stick them on my wall. Usually they were just ads for films or maybe the occasional picture of Julia Ormond, Cameron Diaz or Winona Ryder. But sometimes I would snip out their Classic Scene section.
This was basically just the screenplay version of a classic scene from a great movie from years gone by. One of the ones I took out was a scene from All The President's Men, a film I had only just seen and loved a few months before. It was this scene:-
This is perhaps one of the best procedural films ever made and what I respect about it is that it approaches its subject matter without frills and added fictional distractors to spice up the story. It sticks to the task at hand and, much like the journalists featuring in the story, it is intent on presenting the account as close to the truth as possible.
Alan J. Pakula seems to understand one thing very well here and that is that if you want to tell a story as intricate as this one, you have to make sure that the audience will listen to those telling it. He does that brilliantly by allowing for a lot of dialogue, not forcing himself…
I remember, during waning of the nineteen sixties, and the waxing of the seventies, that my American Aunt and Uncle, Republicans both, would refer to their leader as ‘Tricky Dick’.
Aside from my Aunt and Uncle, news of the Watergate scandal flowed across the border to my teenage self via Walter Cronkite, Harry Reasoner, and John Chancellor. While I wasn’t glued to the TV, it somehow was an interesting soap opera taking place south of the border. Like any news story, I expected it to die down … but it didn’t. I remember being shocked at how, at the endgame, it moved so quickly, and that Nixon resigned.
Despite seeing the real story unfold in real-time on TV, I remember…
Amazing what you can get away with when the subject is so recent and momentous that a general audience can be trusted to respond to minutiae. Zodiac actually seems concise by comparison (it also has a killer to cut away to for a while, whereas this is 100% investigation after the break-in), and Pakula continually makes choices that would be considered daft in almost any other Hollywood context: introducing his protagonists with zero fanfare, as if they were bit players; training the camera on notes and doodles in order to foreground a slow accumulation of bewildering detail; letting actors shout at each other over the sound of an airplane passing overhead, when neither the plane nor the shouting has…
Pakula at his paranoid peak crafts a sharp, lean aggressive film that builds tremendous anxiety and tension regardless of whether you know the facts of Watergate or not. An all-star cast delivers from both leads to the smallest role. Fantastic camera work from Gordon Willis, and inspired editing from Robert Wolfe create iconic moments in one of the best films ever made about journalism or American history.
Great film with amazing performances but sadly was weakened by some uneven pacing. I found it very interesting too.
I watched this in completely the wrong way - in a hotel room, with a cold, having difficulty focussing. That said, this is one of those great 70s movies where everyone's wearing corduroy suits and typing furiously and sweating over important leads. Hoffman and Redford are great, and have excellent chemistry. President's MEN is the right word - seeing as this is a very male dominated movie - Woodward and Bernstein don't even seem to have any love interests (which I was thankful for, nothing I like less than a shoehorned in love interest.) Married to the job I guess, or totally into each other? Whatever - you take your pick.
Blisteringly 70s. I frequently lost track of the politics,…
The very definition of intelligent film making. Redford and Hoffman star as Woodwood and Bernstein, investigative reporters who broke the Watergate scandal.
A superb script manages to be dramatic but also explain the complexities of the biggest scandal in US politics.
There is not a single bad performance in this from the leads down to Robards and Holbrook.
As relevant today as in 1971.
This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
A no-frills movie exhibiting little in the way of style, the story was neverthless told expertly. The characters were believable and I was quickly behind them. The narrative was full of effective suspense, highs and lows. Solid filmmaking.
The only thing that threw me is that the climactic revelation by Deep Throat seems like it could have been given at any time, and was only offered then because Woodward desperately pressed for it. We don't see Woodward or Bernstein track down corroborating sources for the record as done after other Deep Throat conversations, so either they skipped over part two of the story, or the climactic accomplishment--Deep Throat's full revelation--was kind of random. Not great for the narrative, especially when…
An engaging work of detective fiction with a few great performances (particularly Robards as Ben Bradlee), a piece of candy for political junkies like me.
quite possibly one of the greatest movies ever made about american politics. the performances are solid. every. single. one.
Capolavoro immenso. Inarrivabile.
Uno di quei film che non credi possibile. Non esagera mai, non sfora mai. Sottilissimo. Incredibile.
A really smart film, that manages to make the banalities of journalism entertaining, in their own way. Pakula certainly deserved the Oscar direction award (it was won by John Avildsen for "Rocky"). I really love Hoffman and Redford as the leads, as they communicate their characters in a script that stays admirably plot-focused, and Hal Holbrook, Jason Robards and Jane Alexander turn in some great supporting turns.
Journalism has been an incredibly principle part of this nation since it's formation, starting with the declaration of Independence. With each major event in our history, you can probably vividly remember what medium broke the story for you, whether it be newspaper, radio, television, or now more commonly: the internet. Yes, the face of journalism has changed much over the years, but the first amendment still rings true and people fight for it daily. In 1976, a film called "All the President's Men" dramatized one of the most famous accounts of journalism in our country. I was able to watch the film for the first time recently and I was pleasantly surprised to find that the film still holds up…
All the way from 'The Land Before Time' to 'The Social Network'.
(Read notes for dates.)
Work in progress, will…
The first 1012 films are from The 1,000 Greatest Films list, and maintain the original order. The films that follow…