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
The incident where Nixon angrily pushed Press Secretary Ron Ziegler in front of a crowd of journalists didn't happened inside the White House during a press conference on the "peace with honor" agreement. The real incident took place during a Veterans of Foreign Wars convention in 1973. See more »
Written by Franz Schubert
From Schubert's "Symphony No. 2 in B Flat Major, D 125"
Performed by Koninklijk Concertgebouworkest (as Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra)
Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Conductor
Courtesy of Teldec Classics International GmbH
by arrangement with Warner Special Products See more »
Oliver Stone has a way of making films that grab you and hold you until the final frame. His films are usually controversial and that's what generates much debate and Nixon is no exception. Anthony Hopkins assumes the mantle of Richard M. Nixon and he does it with style. His Nixon is a complex man, full of ambition and dreams, but also filled with demons. Nixon lives in the shadow of JFK, and because of that, he feels he can never live up to the greatness that he aspires to. Joan Allen is equally convincing as Pat Nixon. She is a strong woman who loves her husband, but unlike Nixon, she grows tired of the political world. The film works best when we see the inner workings of the Nixon Whitehouse. We see the coverup of the Watergate break in. We see Nixon's historic visit to China and we see the final farewell of a flawed, but ambitious man. It's hard to cram an entire lifetime into a three hour film, but Stone manages to do it well. We get brief glimpses into Nixon's past and we see the events that eventually undid him. Some may say that Nixon is painted in an unfair light. I think Stone actually sympathizes with him. Here was a man who came into power in the middle of a war. He was feared by many and misunderstood by all. Nixon was able to rise above it all for a short period of time, and in that brief period, he did have the world.
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