The final movie in Oliver Stone's Vietnam trilogy follows the true story of a Vietnamese village girl who survives a life of suffering and hardship during and after the Vietnam war. As a ... See full summary »
Hiep Thi Le,
Tommy Lee Jones,
Haing S. Ngor
Jon Lansdale is a comic book artist who loses his right hand in a car accident. The hand was not found at the scene of the accident, but it soon returns by itself to follow Jon around, and ... See full summary »
Director Oliver Stone's exploration of former president Richard Nixon's strict Quaker upbringing, his nascent political strivings in law school, and his strangely self-effacing courtship of his wife, Pat. The contradictions in his character are revealed early, in the vicious campaign against Helen Gahagan Douglas and the oddly masochistic Checkers speech. His defeat at the hands of the hated and envied John F. Kennedy in the 1960 presidential election, followed by the loss of the 1962 California gubernatorial race, seem to signal the end of his career. Yet, although wholly lacking in charisma, Nixon remains a brilliant political operator, seizing the opportunity provided by the backlash against the antiwar movement to take the presidency in 1968. It is only when safely in office, running far ahead in the polls for the 1972 presidential election, that his growing paranoia comes to full flower, triggering the Watergate scandal. Written by
While shooting the scene where Nixon and Jones confront each other, the lights were aimed straight down at coffee tables in front of the fur-upholstered couch. The lights were so powerful that the rug beneath one of the tables started smoking. In the middle of the first take, an extra noticed the increasing amount of smoke, and muttered "fire" quietly during a pause between lines of dialogue. James Woods heard this and stopped the scene before the rug caught fire. See more »
Nixon is shown awarding the Medal of Honor to an unnamed Naval Aviator who had lost his legs in the Vietnam War. In reality, only two Naval Aviators were awarded the Medal of Honor during the Vietnam War, VADM James B. Stockdale, and CDR Clyde E. Lassen, neither of whom had lost their legs. See more »
From Schubert's "Symphony No. 2 in B Flat Major, D 125"
Written by Franz Schubert
Performed by Koninklijk Concertgebouworkest (as Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra)
Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Conductor
Courtesy of Teldec Classics International GmbH
by arrangement with Warner Special Products See more »
In an overall solid cast, Anthony Hopkins shines in a powerful performance as Richard Nixon in this Oliver Stone film tracing the former president's life from his boyhood in California to his resignation as U.S. President in 1974.
Nixon is seen as a troubled figure, insecure and paranoid, with few friends. An unhappy childhood, in which he refers to himself as his mother's "faithful dog," in fact does dog him his whole life, as he seeks to please a demanding ultra-religious mother (Mary Steenburgen)who had already died by the time he took office as President, but whose memory and expectations lived on. Nixon is burdened with an unhappy marriage to Pat (Joan Allen) - unhappy largely because of his own obsession with political success - and haunted by the ghost of John Kennedy, who defeated him for the presidency in 1960 and who Nixon could never live up to. Kennedy was loved; Nixon was hated - he could never get over that. A scene near the end of the movie demonstrates his feelings toward JFK as he looks at Kennedy's White House portrait: "They look at you and see what they want to be; they look at me and see who they are."
Although the movie - as any review of Nixon's life will - revolves around Watergate, it provides a fascinating summary of his life, and of what added up to make him the troubled and lonely figure he really was. There's also typical Oliver Stone material as dark hints of conspiracy extending far beyond Watergate are inserted. Perhaps the most unsettling being a meeting Nixon has shortly before JFK's assassination with some supporters in Texas who are trying to convince him to run for the presidency again in 1964. Nixon protests that Kennedy can't be beaten in '64. A Cuban American present says ominously "What if Kennedy doesn't run in '64?"
A truly fascinating portrayal of a fascinating man, even in the end somewhat sympathetic to Nixon as the film ends with his 1994 funeral service, some comments at that service by President Clinton and a summary of his career by a narrator pointing out his accomplishments. A last note: kudos to Paul Sorvino, who hit Henry Kissinger bang on.
34 of 37 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?