Review

  • This movie retells the role of two young reporters in the downfall of president Richard Milhous Nixon. It is now 40 years since this movie first appeared and it still strongly resonates with me. The reporters, played by Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman as Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, show the tenacity and courage it took to expose the crimes and misdemeanours of Nixon and the people in his administration that resulted in the ruin of lives and careers. The movie couldn't cover the range of misdeeds that marked this administration in its use of power, unprecedented in the history of the United States. However, once they smelled a rat, the government bloodhounds couldn't stop them in their mission. I was riveted by how they sought out the people they needed to question to get at the truth. The information they received was often volunteered unaware by those who revealed names and other information. At one point after interviewing a book-keeper, played superbly by Jane Alexander, Bernstein came back to the newsroom with notes scribbled on bits of paper, napkins etc. One lead followed another with personal contacts, phone calls, door knocking and combing through lists. Trying to be coy, they used the technique of raising "just one more thing" to elicit key bits of evidence without appearing too inquisitive. The two young men were supported, questioned relentlessly, and watched closely by older newsman and boss, played by Jack Warden. Jason Robards shined in the role as the iconic Ben Bradlee, the managing editor. This movie gives a real taste of the legwork, digging and intuitive journalism that led to one of the most dramatic stories in US. political history.