All the President's Men (1976) / Drama-Thriller
MPAA Rated: PG (on appeal, originally rated R)
Running Time: 138 min.
Cast: Robert Redford, Dustin Hoffman, Jack Warden, Martin Balsam, Jason Robards, Jane Alexander, Meredith Baxter, Ned Beatty, Stephen Collins, F. Murray Abraham, Lindsay Crouse, Polly Holliday (cameo), Doug Llewelyn (cameo)
Director: Alan J. Pakula
Screenplay: William Goldman (based on the book by Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward)
Review published November 29, 1997
All the President's Men is the well-known dramatic account about the cracking of the Watergate scandal and the reporters who scooped it, Woodward (Redford, Three Days of the Condor) and Bernstein (Hoffman, Agatha) of the Washington Post. What started out as an investigation of a burglary in the offices of the National Democratic Committee ends up having much higher and deeper implications, involving scandals and cover-ups that lead straight to the Oval Office.
This is a brilliantly directed and acted drama all the way. It's quite amazing how effective the film is when most of the "action" is of Woodward and Bernstein on the phone or sitting and talking to people. Of course, the Watergate scandal is fascinating in and of itself, and probably always will be due to the fact that it involved the one and only resignation of an American president.
Although the events are well-known, All the President's Men plays out like a gripping mystery. It's absorbing, not just due to the newsworthiness of the scandal, but as an inside look at the newspaper reporting industry and how it operates. Although it's definitely not for everyone, as it is fairly dry and talky, for political and historical junkies, this is grade-A entertainment of the highest order.
©1997 Vince Leo