Writer Peter Morgan's legendary battle between Richard Nixon, the disgraced president with a legacy to save, and David Frost, a jet-setting television personality with a name to make, in the story of the historic encounter that changed both their lives. For three years after being forced from office, Nixon remained silent. But in summer 1977, the steely, cunning former commander-in-chief agreed to sit for one all-inclusive interview to confront the questions of his time in office and the Watergate scandal that ended his presidency. Nixon surprised everyone in selecting Frost as his televised confessor, intending to easily outfox the breezy British showman and secure a place in the hearts and minds of Americans (as well as a $600,000 fee). Likewise, Frost's team harbored doubts about their boss' ability to hold his own. But as cameras rolled, a charged battle of wits resulted. Written by
When Frost is on the phone talking about syndicating the interview we can see that the television behind him is showing the famous "Crying Indian" Public Service Announcement that aired all through the 1970s. See more »
Around the 1973/4 segment of the film, David Frost is filming in Australia. He watches the resignation speech in colour. Australia did not go to colour TV until 1975. See more »
These men, Haldeman, Ehrlichman, I knew their families, I knew them since they were just kids. But you now, politically the pressure on me to let them go, that became overwhelming. So, I did it. I cut off one arm then I cut the other and I'm not a good butcher. And I have always mantained what they were doing, what we're all doing was not criminal. Look, when you're in office you gotta do a lot of things sometimes that are not always in the strictest sense of the law, legal, but you do them ...
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Michael Sheen and Frank Langella are credited simultaneously before the title. Sheen's name is on a lower level, but further to the left; while Langella's is higher up, but pushed to the right. Therefore, depending on whether you read the card top-to-bottom or left-to-right, either actor can be seen as being credited first. See more »
I almost skipped "Frost/Nixon," and I am glad I didn't. It's eminently worthwhile, one of the year's few films that deserves to be seen.
My reluctance had to do with the expectation that it will offer nothing new to somebody who lived through the Watergate years and saw the Frost interviews (although remembering surprisingly little of them).
Ron Howard's film is anything but ho-hum - if anything it's a bit too gussied up to be exciting. There is an element of discernible manipulation of the audience, but mostly it works, and you don't long resist it.
The (relatively) unsung hero of the film besides Howard, Frank Langella's tremendous Nixon, and Michael Sheen's excellent Frost is the screenwriter: once again Peter Morgan (of "The Last King of Scotland" and "The Queen") engages mind and heart, and doesn't let go. Sam Rockwell's James Reston, Jr. and Oliver Platt's Bob Zelnick (Frost's two collaborators) are outstanding, and Kevin Bacon's Nixon-worshipping Jack Brennan is the actor's best work in a long time.
Morgan and Howard manage to make the viewer think constantly of another criminal President without saying or showing anything overt - they just let history, past and present, speak.
I had a strange, uncomfortable thought watching "Frost/Nixon": even if some future film "humanizes" (not excuses) Bush the way Nixon comes through this one, W. would still remain a malevolent midget against Nixon's accomplishments and actual *brain*. How far we have fallen.
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