The true story of reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein,
who uncovered the conspiracy behind the Watergate scandal.
All the President's Men (1976)
Directed by Alan J. Pakula
Written by William Goldman
Starring Robert Redford, Dustin Hoffman, Jason Robards,
Jack Warden, Martin Balsam, Hal Holbrook, Jane Alexander
Based on the book by Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward
Oscar Wins - Best Supporting Actor (Jason Robards),
Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Art Direction, Best Sound
Oscar Nominations - Best Picture, Best Supporting Actress
(Jane Alexander), Best Director, Best Film Editing
History is very much shaped by the individual. At the time, they may not even know they are contributing to the larger story. I doubt very much that Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein knew what they were getting into when they decided to follow up on some inconsistencies over a break-in at the Watergate Hotel in 1972. Their meticulous research and investigation uncovered the most infamous conspiracy in American history and led to the resignation of President Nixon in 1974. American politics were never the same again. The corruption had been revealed, and the American people never looked at their government the same way again. This film tells the story of the investigation that swept the nation.
Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman are fantastic as Woodward and Bernstein respectively. The script reflects an accurate portrayal of journalism and the way journalists talk. That's paramount to getting into this story. The entire film consists of the two journalists interviewing potential witnesses, gathering corroborating evidence, and digging deeper and deeper into the vast conspiracy that was Watergate. I love the inclusion of Woodward's conversations with his super secret informant codenamed Deep Throat (Holbrook), who was revealed decades later to be former Deputy Director of the FBI, Mark Felt. Unreal. Every second of this film is tense, engaging, and exciting, particularly for a history buff like myself.
All the President's Men is an American classic that tells the story of one of the most corrupt moments in American history. The pace of the film, the content of the story, and the patience of the storytelling all reinforce a particularly enjoyable viewing experience. My only gripe is that I wanted more. I wanted to see the fallout, the resignations, the trials, all of it. But that wasn't what this film was about. This was about the power of the press and the first domino that caused the rest to fall.