The rants and raves of a teenage cinephile who is just a little bit obsessed with Catherine O'Hara and Hayao Miyazaki.

Friday, April 23, 2010

All the President's Men (1976)

It's rare when a movie comes along with the perfect combination of having an amazing cast, a fascinating source material, and impeccable direction. Needless to say, "All the President's Men", which has all three of those things, is a nearly perfect film.

The story of the film, which is based on a true story, is extremely interesting. It follows two Washington Post journalists (Dustin Hoffman and Robert Redford) as they fight the odds to reveal the truth behind the Watergate Coverup.

Their investigation leads them into a world of secrets, nobody wants them to publish their story, nobody wants to go on record, and they have to deal with all of this in order to get the truth to the world before it's too late.

Perhaps the best thing about this film is how natural it all feels. The lines are delivered (or written?) with just enough pauses and "ums" that it feels perfect, like you're watching the events actually unfold. Every actor completely inhabits their roles and the editing make the actions quick, exciting and sharp. I especially liked Dustin Hoffman. He really, really stole the show in my opinion.

The only performance I wasn't completely convinced by was Jane Alexander...she wasn't bad, I think she just underwhelmed me because of her Oscar-Nominated status. Plus, her character wasn't given a lot to do.


But I haven't even mentioned the intense art direction...that Washington Post Office has got to be one of the most well designed sets in movie history!

The issue...if there is one, with this movie, is that everything happens so fast that it's often hard to follow. Thus, it sort of alienated me. Its emotional content isn't really deep either, so on an emotional level I had a hard time connecting.

However, the story is just so fascinating. The fact that all of this stuff actually happened, that these two reporters basically single handedly brought the truth about Watergate to the public, is just amazing. It really makes me want to read the book.

So, by taking an absolutely engrossing story, making it completely natural and turning what could have been a boring office drama into an exciting political thriller, "All the President's Men" is certainly a must see film, despite its low emotional content.



  1. I can't look at Dustin Hoffman without seeing an old guy, okay?

  2. Robert Redford is so underrated, I don't LOVE this film though but it's cultural significance (for the Americans particularly) is obvious and it's worthy of praise.

  3. Simon: You've got a point. It's odd to think that he was once young. Haha

    Andrew: Robert Redford really is fantastic. And I don't really feel like I "love" this film either, like I said it doesn't really try to bring the viewer in. But it's hard to find fault in it technically and it is certainly significant.

  4. Two words: Gordon. Willis.

    Three more words: Best. Cinematographer. Ever.

    This is one of those infectious sort of movies that strikes you with the realism and lingers with you because of the true story it's based on. Great flick - fo sho.


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