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…
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.
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…
So many split diopter shots that I thought I was watching a De Palma movie! Really though, All the President’s Men was a great thriller. You know how it's going to end, but Pakula makes the journey to that point fascinating.
One thing I found funny was that I felt myself wanting to take notes while Redford and Hoffman were on the phone. You find yourself thinking, "Aren't you going to write that down?" This rapid flow of bits and pieces of information really helps to build the tension as the story moves along. It would be interesting to see a breakdown of how much of the information shared in the conversations actually doesn't help the two mains. I could…
Film 19 of the 2015 Scavenger Hunt November Challenge!
Task 8. A film about political conspiracy!
November Scavenger Hunt #8
Now I didn't grow up with the Watergate scandal. While I have some knowledge of it, I didn't really get the whole cultural backlash from it. This is the exploration of the discovery of the scandal, starring Robert Redford and Dennis Hoffman. While I don't fully know the history, the utter paranoia in this film slowly creeps up on you, until it is just overwhelming. So while I was fully drawn in by the story, the set up was amazing.
Movies like this become insta-period pieces which is great and makes it timeless.
In one of the most effective biopics and procedurals ever put to film, everything you need to know about the two main characters, journalists Woodward and Berstein, you learn by simply watching them do what they do. To a notably greater extent than is exhibited in the recent Spotlight (2015), here that process of getting at the truth (with a smal "t") is a messy war that can only be won in increments, fraught with demands for redundancy and timeliness as skepticism and intuition duke it out. And with director Alan Pakula's distinctly matter-of-fact approach to showing us just how the sausage is made, All the President's Men is, at times, as grueling to watch as it should be. The…
A pesar de que “All the President’s Men” se enfoca enteramente en la investigación que finalmente reveló al público el escándalo de Nixon y Watergate, esta es una película muy relevante a nuestros tiempos ya que perfectamente nos muestra cómo trabajan los periodistas y como el gobierno intenta encubrir sus abusos (consideren hoy en día el tema del espionaje y a una figura como Edward Snowden).
“All the President’s Men” es un filme que no se detiene a ofrecernos ningún tipo de introspección. En vez, observa intensamente una historia que poco a poco va revelando lo expansivo de su corrupción. Sin duda, es una de las mejores películas que he visto sobre periodismo.
Another one of those brilliant old films that resonates way too much with the present.
If you took a shot every time somebody hung up on somebody, you'd be dead.
Seeing Spotlight in an hour and a half.
Split focus for days...
Fantastic film all around! Feels like a (beautifully directed) detective movie with two great leads. Essential viewing for EVERYONE! (in Gary Oldman voice)
Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!
Combined the average ratings (Critic's & Users) from IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes, Metacritic and Letterboxd, and then weighted and tweaked the results…