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Honest Man: The Life of R. Budd Dwyer (2010)

Honest Man: the Life of R. Budd Dwyer is a movie about politics and corruption, suicide and survival. Four years in the making, it explores the scandal that led an honest, hard-working man ... See full summary »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Dyan Dwyer ...
Herself
Joanne Dwyer ...
Herself
R. Budd Dwyer ...
Himself (archive footage)
Robert Dwyer ...
Himself
...
William Smith ...
Himself
...
John Torquato
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Storyline

Honest Man: the Life of R. Budd Dwyer is a movie about politics and corruption, suicide and survival. Four years in the making, it explores the scandal that led an honest, hard-working man to take his own life. This independently produced feature-length documentary follows Budd Dwyer, a Pennsylvania politician who infamously committed suicide at a televised press conference. The film chronicles Dwyer's meteoric rise to political power and examines the bribery scandal and subsequent trial that pushed him to his breaking point. Honest Man also delves into the controversy and consequences of the uncensored airing of Dwyer's death on television stations worldwide. Honest Man reveals a story that has remained untold for over 24 years. The film features exclusive new interviews, including William Smith, the man whose testimony convicted Dwyer, and Dwyer's widow Joanne--her last interview before her death in 2009. Was Dwyer venal, or a victim? Did he kill himself because he couldn't live ... Written by Eighty Four Films

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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9 October 2010 (USA)  »

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This was the only on camera interview William Smith ever gave. See more »

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User Reviews

 
More a party political broadcast meets a eulogy than an actual documentary.
30 March 2015 | by See all my reviews

If the purpose of a documentary is to enlighten via the presentation of unbiased facts than surely james dirschberger's 'honest man : the life of r budd dwyer' is the ultimate anti-documentary.From the choice of interviewees (family members,ex colleagues),reluctance to even acknowledge or go into detail about the incriminating evidence against him and finally the completely partisan title of the finished product,you should be in no doubt what conclusions the film's makers want to you to draw about the case.Having had no preconceptions regarding dwyer's guilt or innocence going into watching this (i was merely interested in the story),i was disappointed by the bull in a china shop approach to proving his innocence. Imagine if 'capturing the friedman's' andrew jarecki's superlative documentary about the friedman abuse case took this same approach from the get go,then we'd have missed out on all the rich insight and thought provoking evidence for and against the accused that the director gleaned from both the interviews and the evidence he had procured and would have been left with a glorified celluloid character reference instead. As such 'honest man' is a massively dispiriting misfire that will surely only appeal to those who want quick and easy answers and wont question from whence they came.


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