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Secret Honor (1984)

Not Rated | | Biography, Comedy, Drama | 29 January 1986 (France)
A fictionalized former President Richard M. Nixon offers a solitary, stream-of-consciousness reflection on his life and political career - and the "true" reasons for the Watergate scandal and his resignation.

Director:

Robert Altman

Writers:

Donald Freed (play), Arnold M. Stone (play) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Philip Baker Hall ... Richard Nixon
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Storyline

In this speculative one-man drama, we see former President Richard Milhous Nixon alone in his study, dictating his thoughts into a tape recorder. His only company are a four-screen closed-circuit TV setup, the portraits on the walls, a bottle of Chivas Regal - and a loaded pistol. At times addressing an imaginary judge in a court of public opinion, at other times speaking to an aide named Roberto, and sometimes just talking to himself, the former chief executive reflects, in a series of meandering monologues, on his humble Quaker upbringing, his school days, his family and a political career that reached all the way to the White House. Nixon rails at his treatment by the likes of Dwight D. Eisenhower, the "goddam Kennedys," J. Edgar Hoover, Henry Kissinger, Jews, liberals, the media, "East Coast shits," among others, as he leads up to the "true" reasons for the Watergate scandal that resulted in his resignation - an act he regards as one of "secret honor." Written by Eugene Kim <genekim@concentric.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Anyone can BE the President. See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Criterion Collection

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 January 1986 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Lords of Treason See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Co-writer Donald Freed once said that director Robert Altman's main contribution to this movie was having the courage to film it at all. See more »

Goofs

Even though the real Richard Nixon could play the piano, the real Richard Nixon never learned how to read music. During the part of the film when Richard Nixon is playing his piano sheet music is visible on his piano. It is unlikely that Richard Nixon would have had sheet music on his piano, since he didn't read music. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Richard Nixon: Testing, one, two, three, four.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Philip Baker Hall: Secret Honor (2004) See more »

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User Reviews

A great one man show
13 April 2004 | by pejamoSee all my reviews

A great film, if you can find it. I first saw it nearly ten years ago, and it still is fresh in my memory. This is a one man show (Hall is the only actor in the film) and an adaptation of a stage performance. The simple premise: Several years on from his disgrace, Nixon is in San Clemente and sits down with a bottle of Chivas and his old friend, the tape recorder, to spill his guts before he commits suicide. Hall is captivating in the role and his descent into drunken madness is a masterful performance. One of Altman's best. A bit of a history lesson, but one that is more interested in theater than in truth. Still, great theater reveals its own truths and there is plenty here to chew on.


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