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
At about one hour 40 minutes in, when Nixon and his associates are discussing what to do about Daniel Ellsberg's leak of the Pentagon Papers and Nixon says to Kissinger "...this Ellsberg, wasn't he a student of yours at Harvard?" a long-haired crew member can be seen attempting to duck out of the right-hand side of the next shot. See more »
This is a scary one. A merciless look into the pathology of one weird bloke. Anthony Hopkins may not look like Nixon but he does the role to perfection. It is truly scary.
Great cast. Hopkins is a hard working star. What a shame he lost to the Hoffman aper Cage. And Nixon? What a loser. What a terrible insufferable tragic loser. It surely was a challenge to do this for Hopkins.
The biggest most significant detriment is of course one knows not where fact ends and fiction begins. Stone doesn't exactly have a reputation for avoiding hyperbole.
But taken as a personality portrait it's devastating. You might know your history but you've probably never imagined things were like this. You could have imagined them if you'd taken the time, but this movie brings you there.
It's just a tragic movie about an extraordinarily tragic figure. Stone brought you Salvador where he showed how well he knows the art of movie making; he brought you the screenplay for Scarface; and so forth. He can do it, whether or not he goes too far on some occasions. The movie production itself is very good.
And it's a long one. It's not a popcorn movie. It's extremely depressing and frightful. A look into one very weird pathology. But a 7 out of 10 is not out of order.
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