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All the President's Men (1976) Poster

Trivia

To prepare for their roles, Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman hung out in the Washington Post newsroom for several weeks, observing reporters and attending staff meetings. Once, when Redford was standing in a hallway, a group of high school students came through on a tour of the newspaper offices. The students immediately started taking pictures of Redford with their pocket cameras. At that point, Bob Woodward walked by. Redford told the students, "Wait a minute! Here's the real Bob Woodward, the guy I'm playing in the movie! Don't you want to take a picture of him?" The students said no, and walked on. Hoffman also recalled that he had been asked by the Post's science reporter to fetch a new typewriter ribbon. Due to Hoffman's long hair and casual dress, the science reporter had mistaken him for a copy boy.
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Frank Wills, the security guard who discovered the break-in at the Watergate complex, plays himself.
The two lead actors memorized each other's lines so that they could both interrupt each other in character. This unsettled a lot of the actors they were playing opposite, leading to a greater sense of verisimilitude.
Robert Redford felt that by casting him as Bob Woodward he was unnecessarily unbalancing the film. The obvious answer was to cast a star of equal weight. For that reason, he approached Dustin Hoffman at a Knicks game and offered him the role of Carl Bernstein.
On Tuesday, May 31, 2005, in advance of a revelatory July 2005 "Vanity Fair" article written by his attorney and spokesman, 91-year-old W. Mark Felt acknowledged publicly for the first time that he was in fact the informant "Deep Throat," a fact corroborated by Bob Woodward and the Washington Post. At the time of the Watergate break-in, Mr. Felt was the Deputy Director, the second-in-command, of the FBI.
One scene involving Robert Redford on the phone is done in a continuous six-minute single take with the camera tracking in slowly. Towards the end Redford makes a mistake - he calls the phone caller by the wrong name - but as he stays in character it simply appears genuine and this was the take used in the final cut.
Hal Holbrook was the first and only choice to play the informant Deep Throat. During the casting process, Bob Woodward, while looking at various actors photo head shots and resumes, but not revealing Deep Throat's true identity, told and insisted to director Alan J. Pakula that Holbrook was the best choice to play Deep Throat. (Holbrook, in fact, bears a strong resemblance to W. Mark Felt).
The film was originally rated R for language. (this was most likely due to occasional usage of the F-word.) It was subsequently re-rated PG (most likely due to the historical significance of the material.)
The furious volley of typewriter keys striking paper in the opening scenes was created by layering the sounds of gunshots and whip-lashes over the actual sounds of a typewriter, accentuating the film's theme of words as weapons. This is also why the closing scene has a teletypewriter printing headlines with the sound of cannon fire from a 21-gun salute in the background.
Nothing was allowed into the script unless it had been meticulously verified and confirmed by independent sources.
When Kenneth Dahlberg tells Bob Woodward on the phone, "I've just been through a terrible ordeal! My neighbor's wife has been kidnapped!" he is not lying. On 27 July 1972, a few days before Woodward called Dahlberg, Virginia Piper - wife of a prominent Minnesota businessman and a close friend of the Dahlberg family - was kidnapped from her home in Minneapolis. She was released two days later in Duluth, after her husband paid a $1 million ransom.
Screenwriter William Goldman was called to an impromptu meeting with Redford (the film's producer) along with Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein. At that time, Goldman's draft of the screenplay had been accepted and they were waiting on hearing from Woodward and Bernstein. At the meeting, they presented Goldman with a new screenplay - written by Bernstein, and then girlfriend Nora Ephron. Goldman refused to read the screenplay (for legal reasons) and walked out of the meeting. Only one scene from that screenplay ends up in the final version of the film: a scene where Bernstein outsmarts a secretary to get in to see someone. This scene was pure fiction - it did not happen in real life. (Woodward was allegedly unhappy with Bernstein's script as well, because it depicted Woodward as a naive novice reporter and worshipper of Bernstein's superior talent. Woodward later called Goldman to apologize for the incident, telling him, "I don't know what the six worst things I've ever done in my life are, but letting that happen, letting them write that, is one of them.")
Robert Redford was in contact with Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein before their book had been written, and encouraged them to write more about how they conducted their investigation and less about the events they were reporting. (Vanity Fair article, 04/2011.)
The telephone number that Robert Redford dials for the White House is the real number of the White House Switchboard: 456-1414.
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Director of Photography Gordon Willis shot the scene where Bob Woodward talks on the phone to Ken Dahlberg in one take. He used a split diopter, which allows both the foreground and background to be in focus at the same time. That take is one long zoom shot.
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Dustin Hoffman and Robert Redford hung out in the Washington Post offices for months, sitting in on news conferences.
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Such was the attention to detail, the production design department even made replicas of out of date phone books.
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Nearly 200 desks - costing $500 each - were purchased from the same firm that sold desks to the Washington Post in 1971.
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To ensure that both stars of the movie received top billing, Robert Redford's name was billed above Dustin Hoffman's on the posters and trailers, while Hoffman's name was billed above Redford's in the movie itself. This same strategy had been used for The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962), which paired John Wayne and James Stewart.
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This was the first film Jimmy Carter watched during his presidential tenure.
British director John Schlesinger declined an offer to direct as he felt the story of Watergate should be told by an American.
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At the time of filming in Washington D.C., Robert Redford stayed in the Watergate hotel.
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William Goldman had to tone down the dialog from editor Harry Rosenfeld, played in the film by Jack Warden. Rosenfeld in real life was so hilariously funny that Goldman didn't think that people would believe someone could be so spontaneously witty.
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The film is still shown to aspiring students of journalism.
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Washington Post boss Katharine Graham, who was initially very apprehensive about the film using the paper's name, loved the film and later wrote a letter of praise and approval to star and co-producer Robert Redford.
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The film reunites Martin Balsam and Jack Warden, who previously appeared together as jurors in 12 Angry Men (1957) (coincidentally, sitting at ends of the table directly opposite one another.) It also reunites Balsam with Jason Robards, his co-star in A Thousand Clowns (1965), the film for which Balsam won an Oscar.
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During TV news coverage of the true identity of "Deep Throat"/W. Mark Felt that aired in 2005, Robert Redford stated that they tried to film in the actual Washington Post newsroom, but it proved impossible because many Post employees were too aware of the camera, and some even tried to "act". Redford stated some employees would disappear into restrooms and apply makeup. The production team recreated the facility at a Burbank studio in Los Angeles for a reported $450,000. The Post did, however, cooperate with the production's quest for authenticity by shipping several crates of actual newsroom refuse that included: unopened mail, government directories, Washington telephone directories, wire service copy, calendars, and even stickers from Benjamin C. Bradlee's secretary's desk.
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Warner Brothers agreed to finance the film only on condition that Robert Redford - then the number one box office star - starred as Bob Woodward.
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David Shire's score first kicks in about 28 minutes into the film.
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Robert Redford bought the rights to Woodward and Bernstein's book in 1974 for $450,000.
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Neither director Alan J. Pakula nor Robert Redford were happy with screenwriter William Goldman's first draft. Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein were not keen on it either; in fact Bernstein penned a draft himself with his wife Nora Ephron. Redford rejected this effort too, so he and Pakula held all-day sessions working on the script, interviewing editors and reporters throughout.
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A brick from the main lobby of the Post building was supplied so that it could be duplicated in fiberglass by the production design department.
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1976's second biggest hit after One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975), outgrossing such films as The Bad News Bears (1976) and The Omen (1976).
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Jason Robards was always Robert Redford's first choice to play Benjamin C. Bradlee. When director Alan J. Pakula came on board, he instantly agreed with Robert Redford's decision.
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The interior Washington Post newsroom set was built on a stage at Warner Brothers Studio, in Burbank, California. The film's production designer George Jenkins was a former New York Broadway scenic designer. Designing the newsroom based upon the actual newspaper's newsroom, George's plan layout utilizes false perspective in the rear set area to increase the depth and scale-size for camera. As the newsroom desks recede, the construction coordinator's prop makers cut each prop desk down in size to fill in, and match the reduced scale for each line of desks. Shelving was also reduced in size. When filming the set's front action area, the extra actors filling in the background set's scale, were selected related to their height fulfilling the perspective scale set dressing relationship. Viewing the film, the false perspective of the studio set accomplishes the size and scale of the actual Washington Post Newsroom.
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The film contains 25 telephone conversations in which we are privy to both sides of the exchange.
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In 2007, the American Film Institute ranked this as the #77 Greatest Movie of All Time. It was the first inclusion of this film on the list.
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Although he wasn't keen on the idea of a film being made in his offices, Post editor Benjamin C. Bradlee realized that by co-operating he would have a better chance of influencing the production.
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Jane Alexander's Oscar-nominated performance amounts to little more than 8 minutes screentime.
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The phone number that Bob Woodward dials and reaches a man who speaks no English is 305-374-1299, the usual 555- prefix was not used. It is a real number, used by Net Capital Mortgage in Miami, Florida.
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According to "Adventures in the Screen Trade", Alan J. Pakula drove William Goldman barmy asking for rewrites for scenes with the constant rejoinder "Don't deny me any riches!" Goldman goes on to say that if he could have his career all over again, he wouldn't go near this film.
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The car that Bob Woodward is driving is a Volvo Amazon.
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DP Gordon Willis had a customized split diopter sliding mechanism mounted on his camera, enabling it to be moved in and out of a shot without any cuts.
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Dustin Hoffman's brother - who works in the restaurant business - had actually met Carl Bernstein at a party.
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Film debut of Stephen Collins
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