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All the King's Men (1949)

Approved | | Drama, Film-Noir | January 1950 (USA)
The rise and fall of a corrupt politician, who makes his friends richer and retains power by dint of a populist appeal.

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(based upon: the Pulitzer Prize novel "All the King's Men"), (written for the screen by)
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Won 3 Oscars. Another 11 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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Ralph Dumke ...
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Katherine Warren ...
Mrs. Burden (as Katharine Warren)
Raymond Greenleaf ...
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Grandon Rhodes ...
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Storyline

Jack Burden is a newspaper reporter who first hears of Willie Stark when his editor sends him to Kanoma County to cover the man. What's special about this nobody running for county treasurer? He's supposedly an honest man. Burden discovers this to be true when he sees Stark delivering a speech and having his son pass out handbills, while the local politicians do their best to intimidate him. Willie Stark is honest and brave. He's also a know-nothing hick whose schoolteacher wife has given him what little education he has. Stark loses the race for treasurer, but later makes his way through law school, becoming an idealistic attorney who fights for what is good. Someone in the governor's employ remembers Stark when the governor needs a patsy to run against him and split the vote of his rival. The fat cats underestimate Stark; but Jack Burden, Stark's biggest supporter, overestimates the man's idealism. To get where he wants to go, Willie Stark is willing to crack a few eggs - which ... Written by J. Spurlin

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Pulitzer Prize-Winning Novel Becomes a Vital, Very Great Motion Picture! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Release Date:

January 1950 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Decepción  »

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(copyright length)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In adapting the novel for the screen, Robert Rossen made many changes: While the focus of the film is the character of Willie Stark, Jack Burden is the focus in the novel. Willie's political party is unidentified in the picture, as is the state that elects him to political office. See more »

Goofs

In the locker room scene, the towel draped over Tom's shoulders keeps changing positions. See more »

Quotes

[Madison sends Burden to the backwaters of the state to learn about political upstart Willie Stark]
Jack Burden: What's so special about him?
Madison, the Editor: They say he's an honest man.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in You Bet Your Life: Episode #11.1 (1960) See more »

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User Reviews

 
That's The Way To Handle Politics On Film
10 November 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

You know what I really appreciated about this political story? The filmmakers went overboard NOT to paint the main character as either a Republican or Democrat, Conservative or Liberal. It winds up, then, being more a human-interest story. In other words, there was no political agenda....unlike most films, especially in the last 50 years.

At any rate, Broderick Crawford does an outstanding job portraying the self- proclaimed "hick" Willie Starks, who rises from nothing to become governor of a state and then gets carried away with power and ego.

Mercedes McCambridge is equally riveting as one of his aides. She was a great actress, one of the most intense females I've ever seen on film. I'm sorry she didn't achieve stardom and make more movies than she did. She certainly had the talent. In fact, she won an Academy Award for this performance.

John Ireland also does very well here as another person helping "Willie." Add some good cinematography and you have a fascinating film start-to-finish. I look forward to viewing it again.


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