Saturday, April 24, 2010

All the President's Men (1976)


After the Watergate break in, up and coming reporters Bob Woodward (Robert Redford) and Carl Bernstein (Dustin Hoffman) team up to track down the real story. Leading the dynamic duo to break one of the biggest scandals in US history.

What first struck me as I sat there watching All the President's Men for the first time wasn't the story, it wasn't the amazing cast, but rather the impeccable realism. All the President's Men is as much a tale about Watergate as it is a tale about the ups and downs of being a reporter in the 1970's. Through the scope of this riveting scandal we see their lives, the constant battles with other papers and networks. We see how they struggle to stay awake, and at the same time must travel all over the country to find just one more clue.

Old school reporting in the set of one of the most shocking scandals in history, well, let's just say the movie just plain works. Hoffman and Redford are a wonder to see. They play to their strength perfectly blending in to the office, never overreaching for more screen time. Supplying their characters with the strongest of wit, emotion, and human flaws to make them oh so real.

Jason Robards, Hal Holbrook, Martin Balsam, Jack Warden, and a supporting cast that just never ends, are all sights to see as the supporting players to our Redford/Hoffman duo. Robards and Holbrook especially stand out as Washington Post editor Bradlee and Deep Throat respectively. They have a sort of unmistakable presence that captures at the heart of the film so well.

To bring that heart to life Pakula and Goldman go the extra distance for that little bit of added realism. You really feel apart of the journey, the trails, and the tails. It doesn't heighten tension or scenes with unnecessary soundtracks, it plays to the beat of the typewriter. To the pace of the pen. The movie moves exactly as fast as the important conversations take, and not a moment faster, or slower. Sure there's some added tension towards the end, but for the most part, it's the gripping conversations written, and captured, so marvelously, you can't help but feel apart of something.

Gripping, smart, and oh so true, All the President's Men is an unmistakable classic, brimming with a fondness for in depth reporting, and an insight to how one of the greatest scandal's in history came to be.

3 better thoughts:

Marcy said...

I love this movie. Hoffman and Redford's performances are so underrated. I was forced to watch it at school for two different classes within a month (after already seeing it once before) and now I feel some sort of bond with this film. As strange as that may sound...

And this movie makes journalists cooler than typical action heroes.

This Guy Over Here said...

I love these "process" thrillers, like this and Zodiac and only a handful more that exist. They're great reminders of how un-realistic the rest of the Hollywood fare is, as entertaining as they may sometimes be.

Univarn said...

@Marcy I don't think I've ever seen a movie that much in such a short timespan, except for maybe The Departed which I saw 3 times at the theaters.

@This Guy I love me some Zodiac, if they had cut about 20 minutes out of it, it'd be a top 100 10/10 film.

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