All the President’s Men

All the President’s Men shows how the work of reporters Bob Woodward (Robert Redford) and Carl Bernstein (Dustin Hoffman) contributed to the public downfall of President Richard M. Nixon. The duo connected a Washington, D.C., hotel break-in with a Nixon “dirty tricks” team assigned to discredit Democratic rivals, launching a series of tense events that forced Nixon to resign. This is the film that launched a thousand journalism school students. This story of the exposure of the Watergate break-in and subsequent cover-up by two Washington Post reporters focuses attention on the inves­tigative journalism that has done so much to make Americans skeptical and even cynical about their nation’s institutions. Hidden government-sponsored criminal activities were going on, and no one was pursuing the story with journalistic diligence except for Woodward and Bernstein. The director has taken what was a dry, confusing story and turned it into a suspenseful, fascinating peek into the newspaper business. Ever wonder how President Richard “Tricky Dick” Nixon really got taken down? This tell-all biopic from filmmaker Alan J. Pakula (Sophie’s Choice) starts with the “Watergate” incident and does its damnedest to keep up with Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward (Robert Redford) and Carl Bernstein (Dustin Hoffman) as they follow an impossible trail to uncover the ultimate American scandal. Adapted from the books written about the investigation by Woodward & Bernstein themselves, all the integral parts and struggles that the tandem battled through are well documented in this journalist’s wet dream of a true tale. Sure it’s a lot of Redford & Hoffman shown asking questions (most of them without answers) and hacking away at typewriters, but the manner in which it is all spread out keeps the viewer interested in seeing how they progress. Redford and Hoffman were inspired choices to play the heroic reporters. Many great 70’s character actors in this flick: Jason Robards (Oscar for best supporting actor), Jack Warden, Jane Alexander, Martin Balsam, Hal Holbrook. This was truly front-page news in its day – the first time in modern history a newspaper exposed a really big story that could conceivably bring down a President. This made everyone realize that the unthinkable was now thinkable. It’s become considerably more run-of-the-mill since, but at the time was highly unusual. Even more fun now that we know who “Deep Throat” was. Government scandals are page 2 news now. We are jaded and cynical. I knew very little about Watergate and the events that led up to Nixon’s resignation. Now I understand it all! It just took Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman to get me interested. This movie remains interesting throughout. The film does a pretty good job of showing what it was like to be a Washington reporter in the 70s. This is when newspapers actually followed and sought out the TRUTH to put in the newspaper. Now the major news media do more to cover up government corruption than anyone else. The left and the right both are the same. Wake up people! Do you really think the major corporations that are in bed with government will report on themselves and their “henchmen” ? It seems too bad that journalism has become the easy & sloppy broadcast news we get now. Does anyone else see the parties now in power crossing the same lines as Nixon? May seem dated to some because of the subject matter is based on events that happened 40 years ago, but I didn’t find that to be the case at all. If you lived through Watergate and the Nixon resignation, this helps you remember the time. If you know nothing about it, you will learn by watching this movie. If you do not remember or know about the Watergate scandal, you may want to read a little background before you watch. Otherwise, it might be hard to follow the story or appreciate the importance of that history. Watch the Bonus Material disc for more information on Woodward and Bernstein, Watergate, and the making of the film. Many interesting interviews (including Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman). Very informative. I had seen it years ago, but it was like seeing it for the first time. Wish there were more films like this. Fantastic movie. Superb understated acting, brilliant writing, and a fascinating story make this one of the best movies of all time. Docudrama 1976 PG 139 minutes.


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