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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

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Ralph Dumke ...
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Katherine Warren ...
Mrs. Burden (as Katharine Warren)
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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:

He Might Have Been A Pretty Good Guy . . . If Too Much Power . . . And Women . . . Hadn't Gone To his Head ! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

January 1950 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Decepción  »

Filming Locations:

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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

Al Clark did the original cut but had trouble putting all the footage that Robert Rossen had shot into a coherent narrative. Robert Parrish was brought onboard by Rossen and Harry Cohn, to see what he could do. Since Rossen had a hard time cutting anything he shot, after several weeks of tinkering and cutting, the movie was still over 250 minutes long. Cohn was prepared to release it in this version after one more preview, but this threw Rossen into a panic, so Rossen came up with a novel solution. Rossen told Parrish to "[s]elect what you consider to be the centre of each scene, put the film in the synch machine and wind down a hundred feet before and a hundred feet after, and chop it off, regardless of what's going on. Cut through dialogue, music, anything. Then, when you're finished, we'll run the picture and see what we've got". When Parrish was done with what Rossen had suggested, they were left with a 109-minute movie that was more compelling to watch. After the film won its Academy Award for Best Picture, Cohn repeatedly gave Parrish credit for saving the film, even though Parrish only did what Rossen told him to do. See more »

Goofs

Near the end of the movie, on the courthouse steps, Stark is shown from the front with Sugar Boy standing directly at his right shoulder. From behind, however, Sugar Boy is nowhere near Stark. See more »

Quotes

[to his fellow 'hicks' after surviving an impeachment trial in the state senate]
Willie Stark: They tried to ruin me, but they are ruined. They tried to ruin me because they didn't like what I have done. Do you like what I've done?
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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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