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 »spectively) Washington Post reporters Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward, whose investigation into the Watergate scandal set the stage for President Richard Nixon's eventual resignation. Their bestselling exposť was brilliantly adapted by screenwriter William Goldman, and director Alan Pakula crafted the film into one of the most intelligent and involving of the 1970s paranoid thrillers. Featuring Jason Robards in his Oscar-winning role as Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee, All the President's Men is the film against which all other journalism movies must be measured. --Jeff Shannon« less
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."
One of the Best Political Movies Ever
Joshua Miller | Coeur d'Alene,ID | 04/25/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman deliver Oscar worthy performances, while Jason Robards won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in this movie which is (in my opinion) one of the best "political" films ever made. I'm not even sure if it was nominated for Best Picture, but I have to say...This movie was better than "Rocky" OK. The movie won four Academy Awards; The one I mentioned above, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Art Direction, and Best Sound. It's also rated PG, which is strange because they use the word f**k at least 8 times in this movie and nowadays, two uses can get you slapped with an R rating. But the movie opens as we witness four men breaking into the Watergate Building, which we all know was the setting for Democratic National Headquarters. The police show up and catch the men in the act of setting up survelliance/bugging the place and the story shows up Bob Woodward's (Redford) desk. Woodward is a reporter at The Washington Post who reports the story and then begins to see oddities about it. Why would men break into the Democratic National Headquarters? Who sent them? Etc. Eventually joining in the act of helping him is Carl Bernstein (Hoffman) who begin a thorough investigation of the scandal that begins to turrn up names very high up in government and eventually even The President of the United States, Richard Nixon. Bernstein and Woodward worked their a$$es off to get this story, through apparent death threats and when people wouldn't talk to them, and they got it all right. Robards plays their boss, Ben Bradlee and deserved his Oscar. Another performance that was really good, although his face is almost entirely hidden in shadow is Hal Holbrook as the mysterious Deep Throat. Deep Throat was one of Woodward's informants who apparently worked high up in the government and seemed to know everything about the Watergate cover-up. Except he refused to just give up and information, only hints and could never be directly quoted or even referred to. Woodward, to this day has not given up the identity of Deep Throat or even gave the vaguest idea of who he might've been. Anyway, for a movie about reporters trying to unravel a cover-up, this movie was incredibly entertaining and exciting. It's never boring, it's never dull; both Hoffman & Redford play their parts extraordinarily well, which causes us to like the movie even more. And it's strange too, the movie doesn't end with Nixon resigning; but instead ends with Nixon taking his 2nd Oath of Office. We're given the remainder of the details as they're typed up on a Typewriter. I though the ending was abrupt, but perfect.