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All the President's Men Revisited (2013)
*** 1/2 (out of 4)
Very entertaining documentary that originally aired on the Discovery Channel. The documentary features interviews with Robert Redford, Dustin Hoffman, Carl Berstein, Bob Woodward and dozens of current political commentators as they discuss not only the film but also the events that led to President Nixon stepping down from office. To be honest, there's very little talk about the actual film, although Redford does talk about when he got interested in doing the film and there's also a reunion between him and Hoffman where they discuss the characters. The majority of the running time is devoted to the actual events as we hear current television personalities talk about the events and the breaking points that eventually brought Nixon down. For the most part this documentary does a very good job at explaining everything so that even the most single-minded person would be able to see what happened, why it happened and why Nixon had to step down from office. Ben Stein is interviewed and he's still brought to tears by the event. I thought the interviews were all extremely good and especially on subjects like Deep Throat. It's interesting hearing from the two real reporters on the events that led to the source coming out of hiding and admitting what he did. History buffs should certainly enjoy this documentary.
This was a great documentary but I have to say that Ben Stein's comment
"I don't think any president has been more wrongly persecuted than
Nixon, ever. I just think he was a saint..." at which point he chokes
up and removes his glasses to wipe his eyes, had me laughing because I
thought he was making a joke! Until I realized he wasn't. I sat with my
mouth open replaying what Stein had said.
I always thought Stein was funny, and I knew his politics ran to the right, but Nixon a saint? Stein is very touchy about anything that resembles an antisemitic comment, including a joke that includes a cliché Jewish character, so how can he support a president that was clearly antisemitic? (not to mention a drunk, a wife-beater, and a dog hater...) Did Nixon not say several times on the Whitehouse tapes something to the effect of "The Jews are out to get me"?
This is a nice one hour show. Well pieced to make a story. Well cut.
But why? Why the television stars? Just to boost ratings? People who
were children at the time are talking about what happened. Weird.
Than if done so later afterward, why not talk about the new data brought into the public view? A cute animation about twitter and the silly optimistic view of some talking head how things won't happen like that.
What I have enjoyed was an unplanned side effect. I liked the vanity fair. Lawyers paid by the state who are coming up decades after to talk about their courage and heroism with a smiling face. Huh? I beg your pardon? This is what they were paid to do. They should have done all this before Woodward and Bernstein. But they needed months to be reassured that the public opinion is against Nixon and only than they have acted. Than to see the corrupt politicians talk about their difficult decision and how they have done the right thing. Right. When they were taped, now that was a matter of National Importance. The war was something for the poor to fight and die in order to raise new generations of loyal middle class.
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