Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|All the President's Men|
Actors: Dustin Hoffman, Robert Redford, Jack Warden, Martin Balsam, Hal Holbrook
Director: Alan J. Pakula
Genres: Drama, Mystery & Suspense
It helps to have one of history's greatest scoops as your factual inspiration, but journalism thrillers just don't get any better than All the President's Men. Dustin Hoffman and Robert Redford are perfectly matched as (re... more »
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Their obsession for a good story brought down a president
Linda Linguvic | New York City | 08/16/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This Oscar winning 1976 film is about Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward, the two Washington Post reporters who broke the biggest story of the 1970's - that of the Watergate scandal. It originally seemed like a small story, a break-in at the Democratic headquarters, but because of these two young men doggedly going after the facts, it brought down a president.Starring Dustin Hoffman as the chain-smoking and quirky Bernstein, and Robert Redford as the more sophisticated Woodward, there is a chemistry between them which gave them the impetus to push way beyond the limits of what the story required, and as one discovery led to another, build on the accumulated details to go even further. Both the men were good at sizing up people, and the film shows how, in one interview after another, they got each interviewee to reveal those details that could fit into the king-size puzzle that they had taken on. Martin Balsam, cast as the managing editor, wanted to give the job to more senior reporters, but as Jack Warden, the metro editor, pointed out, the two young men had a passion for the story that was very special. Jason Robards, the executive editor, was quick to question all their facts, but generally supported them all the way.Throughout, there are lots of shots of the massiveness of the tall buildings in contrast to the smallness of the men. And, when it came to the secret informer who they called "Deep Throat", those scenes were cast in shadow. The pacing was excellent and the there was tension throughout, which kept me fascinated even though I knew the eventual outcome. This story became an obsession with the two reporters and it seemed as if nothing would stop them. Occasionally, it got a bit repetitive, but that is the nature of good reporting, which can also be called good detective work.The film brought back the reality of the 1970s, from the hairstyles to the manual typewriters. I found myself thinking about the cell phones and computers we take for granted today, as I watched them pour through phone directories as well as thousands of library take-out slips as they followed up on every clue. The acting, of course, was excellent as well the screenplay, which focused entirely on the news story, rather than becoming maudlin with the personal lives of the men. I give this film a high recommendation. It's definitely worth seeing."
An authentic American classic
Chris K. Wilson | Dallas, TX United States | 01/04/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The enduring brilliance of the 1976 film "All the President's Men" is not due to the handful of great performances by legendary actors. It's not due to the shockingly true story it documents. What sets "All the President's Men" apart, making it one of the great suspense thrillers of all time, is its utter authenticity. The film does not make a single misstep. Each low key scene after another, solidly crafted, realistically portrayed, slowly builds a growing sense of dread. Like reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, we discover each clue. With great apprehension, we begin to realize this peculiar Watergate burglary is leading to one of the great scandals in American history.I have seen "All the President's Men" at least 10 times, and each time my respect for this film grows. I am amazed by the camaraderie during the editorial meetings, so realistically portrayed. Equally impressive is how two larger-than-life actors Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman (as Woodward and Bernstein) disappear into their roles. Rarely noted, these two superstars give what is arguably the finest performances of their storied careers. By film's end, they are no longer Redford and Hoffman but two young reporters, intensely on the trail about to break the story of the century.One of the great supporting casts of all time is important to the success of this film. Jason Robards, Jack Warden and Martin Balsam as the Washington Post editors who grudgingly guide and support their young reporters, are nothing short of brilliant. And then of course, you have Hal Holbrook, Jane Alexander, Ned Beatty, Robert Walden, Stephen Collins and Lindsay Crouse in crucial, but memorable supporting cameos.The late director Alan J. Pakula was the perfect choice for this film. An expert in paranoid thrillers ("Klute," "The Parallax View," "Presumed Innocent"), "All the President's Men" must be considered his crowning achievement. Hollywood has a history of changing true stories for dramatic embellishment, and Pakula should be applauded for sticking to the facts (as should William Goldman, who wrote the tight screenplay based on the Woodward/Bernstein novel of the same name) and creating an authentic recreation. It must have been an incredible challenge to make a film with so little action (no explosions, murder or gun fire). In "All the President's Men," the pounding of the typewriter key is akin to the firing of a cannon. Eventually, as we see Woodward and Bernstein furiously typing away while on the television Richard Nixon is sworn in for his second term as President, we realize just how great a country the United States is. We are all accountable for crimes, even our highest elected leaders. This is a free country, perfectly personified by our free press. "All the President's Men" flawlessly documents this."
A 5 star film given a 1 star treatment for DVD transfer
jayhawkhoops | Roseville, MN USA | 11/04/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"All the Presidents's Men is a truly wonderful film.Unfortunately, it was also one of the first films to be released on the DVD format. Because the format was experimental, the studios were not willing to spend lavish amounts of money to create a DVD when the format might not even sell to the public (see Sony's Mini-Disc). So in what was a sound business decision, but a horrible decision for fans of the film, All the President's Men was given the bare bones treatment. Why spend the money is nobody is going to buy the machine to play the disc? That means both no special features (which still plagues some new releases) as well as making the quality of the film transfer just plain bad. Is it better than VHS? Yes, but not by much. A couple of the other reviews have mentioned that the picture and sound quality is fine. I'm guessing that these folks either lack the technology to exploit the marvels of DVD, or simply have not viewed enough DVDs to know what is good from bad.Unfortunately, this is simply bad. The report from Widescreen Review speaks for itself, but I think it important to restate that fact that the positive reviews about the DVD transfer are wrong. All the President's Men doesn't have the action-packed scenes that take full advantage of Dolby Digital sound. But the 2.0 Dolby that is used isn't good. There is too much background noise and there isn't much difference between using your home theatre system vs. the speakers from your television. And compared to the picture quality, the sound is great. As I watched the DVD, I couldn't believe how bad the picture quality is. I know that a 25 year old film isn't going to be as crisp and clear as a film made last summer. But film restoration projects have made films that were shot in the 30's look way better than this DVD does. The film is grainy, the colors are not sharp, and the images aren't always too clear.Warner Brothers has started to re-release some of its early releases and has given them better handling. Nothing has been anounced about All the President's Men, but one would hope that it too will receive a make-over in the near future. I'd save my money until that happens -- this disc is such a small upgrade from VHS that it isn't worth it."
It's better now than it was then
Paul MacKinnon | Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada | 11/19/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The beauty of this film is it is a better watch today than it was in the 70's. Remember that this movie was made only a couple of years after the events it chronicled. My favourite moments were those that obviously inspired the X-Files television series, and the wonderful depiction of a 70's newsroom with its scruffy reporters (or at least its attempts to make pretty-boy Robert Redford look scruffy) and incessant clickety-clack of a multitude of typewriters. Those not familiar with the Watergate players (as I was not) may get lost in the names, but fortunately you don't have to understand it all to appreciate what a great film this is. I missed a lot the first time, and I'll probably miss a lot the next time, but it'll be worth watching again and again. It ranks up there with The Russia House as a political thriller, but is even more engrossing because it is true! The DVD picture and sound was crisp, but any sort of extra would have been nice. Who can figure out Warner Bros? Some of their DVDs are excellent (Contact, L.A. Confidential), but this one is bare-bones. Still, it is priced to own."