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All the President's Men (1976)

R  |   |  Drama, Thriller  |  9 April 1976 (USA)
8.0
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 65,769 users  
Reviews: 196 user | 108 critic

Reporters Woodward and Bernstein uncover the details of the Watergate scandal that leads to President Nixon's resignation.

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(book), (book), 1 more credit »
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Won 4 Oscars. Another 13 wins & 20 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Bookkeeper
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Debbie Sloan (as Meredith Baxter Birney)
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Penny Fuller ...
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Foreign Editor
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Frank Wills ...
Frank Wills
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Arresting Officer #1
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Storyline

In the run-up to the 1972 elections, Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward covers what seems to be a minor break-in at the Democratic Party National headquarters. He is surprised to find top lawyers already on the defense case, and the discovery of names and addresses of Republican fund organizers on the accused further arouses his suspicions. The editor of the Post is prepared to run with the story and assigns Woodward and Carl Bernstein to it. They find the trail leading higher and higher in the Republican Party, and eventually into the White House itself. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The most devastating detective story of the century! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

9 April 1976 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Todos los hombres del presidente  »

Box Office

Budget:

$8,500,000 (estimated)

Gross:

SEK 2,279,442 (Sweden)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TV)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

David Shire's score first kicks in about 28 minutes into the film. See more »

Goofs

When he phones the Library of Congress, there is a close-up of Woodward dialing "1414". The phone number of the Library of Congress in 1972 was 426-5000. Presumably this shot was meant to show him phoning the White House at 456-1414. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
[first lines including archive footage]
Walter Cronkite: Now here comes the president's helicopter, Marine Helicopter Number One, landing on the plaza on the east side of the east front of the Capitol.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening Warner Bros. Zooming \\' logo is in black and white. See more »

Connections

Featured in Woodward and Bernstein: Lighting the Fire (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Hail to the Chief
(uncredited)
Written by James Sanderson
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
The Watergate scandal from the reporters' perspective
30 September 2003 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

(Note: Over 500 of my movie reviews are now available in my book "Cut to the Chaise Lounge or I Can't Believe I Swallowed the Remote!" Get it at Amazon.)

This dramatization of how it was discovered that the burglary of the Democratic Party headquarters at the Watergate Hotel in Washington, D. C. was funded and directed by the Nixon White House is a lot better than it has any right to be. Given the tedious, non-glamorous and frankly boring leg- and phone-work that is often the lot of the investigative reporter, it is surprising that this is a very interesting movie even if you don't care two beans about the Watergate scandal. In fact, this is really more about how the story was put together than it is about the scandal itself. It is also a lot less political than might be expected.

It stars Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman as Washington Post reporters, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, and they are good, with excellent support from Jason Robards (Oscar as Best Supporting Actor) playing Post Executive Editor Ben Bradlee, and Jane Alexander as an innocent caught up in the machinations. But what makes the movie work is the Oscar-winning script adapted from the Woodward and Bernstein best seller by that old Hollywood pro, William Goldman (Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid 1969, Misery 1990, etc.). What he does so very well, even though we know the outcome, is to establish and maintain the tension as Woodward and Bernstein run all over town chasing leads and misdirections. He accomplishes this by putting just enough varied obstacles in the path of our intrepid reporters, notably the Washington bureaucracy and the understandably cautious senior editors at the Post.

The direction by Alan J. Pakula (Comes a Horseman 1978, Sophie's Choice 1982, etc.) focuses the scenes nicely, keeps the camera where it belongs, and highlights the story with a shadowy Deep Throat (Hal Holbrook), skitterish sources, and a vivid recreation of a top American newspaper at work. I was especially enthralled to see the interactions among the reporters, the editors and the sources. I thought they all looked and sounded authentic, Redford's good looks having nothing to do with the story, which was right, and Hoffman's flair for the intense reigned in, which was necessary. The diffidence of Alexander's character and the soft pushiness of Woodward and Bernstein were tempered just right. Bradlee's stewardship of the story and his ability to take a calculated risk seemed true to life.

Some details that stood out: Redford's hunt and peck typing contrasted with Hoffman's all fingers flying; the talking heads on the strategically placed TVs, reacting (via actual video footage) to the developing story--deny, deny, deny! of course. The thin reporter's spiral notebooks being pulled out and then later flipped through to find a quote. The bright lights of the newsroom looking expansive with all those desks as though there were mirrors on the walls extending an illusion. The seemingly silly tricks to get a source to confirm: just nod your head; I'll count to ten and if you're still on the line... And you know what I liked best? No annoying subplot!

The rather abrupt resolution with the teletype banging out the leads to a sequence of stories that led to President Nixon's resignation had just the right feel to it, especially for those of us who have actually experienced the goosepimply sensation that comes with watching a breaking story come in over the teletype. The quick wrap-up surprised me, but delighted me at the same time.

Bottom line: an excellent movie that wears well, a fine example of some of Hollywood's top professionals at work some thirty years ago. #30


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