In today's world, "All the President's Men" is as timely as ever. And it's a great look at the importance of journalistic integrity at a time when it was important to be right, not first.
A meticulously made film, and Redford and Hoffman were at the heights of their careers and both so adorable! The cast was perfect, with Hal Holbrook as Deep Throat, Jason Robards as Ben Bradlee, Jack Warden - all brilliant.
The break-in, as we see, was a mess. In preparation for the break-in, someone had gone around the Democratic headquarters and put tape on all the doors so they wouldn't lock automatically. One of the first things you see is a guard finding one of the taped doors - that was the actual guard, and he was considered the hero of the night.
One of the Republican plans was that during the convention, a yacht with prostitutes would be nearby; the Republicans would lure delegates onto the yacht and then blackmail them later.
The interesting thing is how all of the people involved had no problem committing actual felonies - blackmail, embezzling, perjury, and one of the most powerful moments in the documentary is the TAPE of Nixon saying he knew where he could get a million in cash to pay people off. It was all like something out of The Sopranos, with John Mitchell threatening to put Katherine Graham's tit in a wringer if anything was published about him. Astonishing. And this was The White House.
Woodward and Bernstein were like dogs with a bone, beautifully shown here as they continually pursue a story originally thought of as a waste, later called a witch hunt, and finally above-the-title news.
I'm older now, obviously, than when Nixon resigned. It was hard for me to see him as a person then. Later on, transcribing his speeches and an interview - I realized that he was an amazing speaker, and his career had been absolutely brilliant. I pity him that he felt he had to do what he did. And then I remember his comments about Jews and artists on those tapes. A very complicated man who let his dark side take over.
The film doesn't dwell on that, but on what Redford wanted - the mechanics of the investigation itself, the grunt work that went into getting the story.
Some trivia: After this film, there was a large increase in the number of applicants to journalism schools. I'd like to point out that this took place after the movie - not the book.
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