All the King's Men (1949)

Approved   |    |  Drama, Film-Noir


All the King's Men (1949) Poster

The rise and fall of a corrupt politician, who makes his friends richer and retains power by dint of a populist appeal.


7.5/10
13,656


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  • Ray Spiker in All the King's Men (1949)
  • Joanne Dru and John Ireland in All the King's Men (1949)
  • Mercedes McCambridge in All the King's Men (1949)
  • John Ireland in All the King's Men (1949)
  • Joanne Dru and John Ireland in All the King's Men (1949)
  • John Ireland and Mercedes McCambridge in All the King's Men (1949)

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11 February 2015 | SnoopyStyle
8
| terrific performances in gritty corrupt politics
Reporter Jack Burden is sent by his editor to Kanoma County to cover political newcomer Willie Stark. Stark is railing against corrupt officials and is arrested by the corrupt police. He is the overwhelming underdog and loses the race for treasurer. He studies law at night to become a lawyer. He rises in fame when he takes on the government for shoddy school construction that killed some children. The governor needs help to win and his handlers pick Stark to split the opposition hick vote. He starts off poorly but eventually becomes a populist who wins it all. In turn, Stark's idealism is corrupted by vanity and greed turning him into yet another corrupt politician.

This is a terrific political drama. The acting is terrific from Broderick Crawford in the lead. Mercedes McCambridge is also terrific as political operator Sadie Burke. It takes a gritty dark look at the political system and its inherit corruption. It's also a character study of an idealistic man falling in love with his own persona. It is a long winding story which may be its only minor drawback. However Crawford's magnetic performance shines through.

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