7.1/10
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Nixon (1995)

A biographical story of former U.S. President Richard Nixon, from his days as a young boy, to his eventual Presidency, which ended in shame.

Director:

Oliver Stone
Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 11 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Anthony Hopkins ... Richard M. Nixon
Joan Allen ... Pat Nixon
Powers Boothe ... Alexander Haig
Ed Harris ... E. Howard Hunt
Bob Hoskins ... J. Edgar Hoover
E.G. Marshall ... John Mitchell
David Paymer ... Ron Ziegler
David Hyde Pierce ... John Dean
Paul Sorvino ... Henry Kissinger
Mary Steenburgen ... Hannah Nixon
J.T. Walsh ... John Ehrlichman
James Woods ... H.R. Haldeman
Brian Bedford ... Clyde Tolson
Kevin Dunn ... Charles Colson
Fyvush Finkel ... Murray Chotiner
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Storyline

Writer, Producer, and 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 (Joan Allen). 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 alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

He changed the world, but lost a nation. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This movie used the same Oval Office set as The American President (1995). See more »

Goofs

Nixon is shown awarding the Medal of Honor to an unnamed Naval Aviator who had lost his legs in the Vietnam War. In reality, only two Naval Aviators were awarded the Medal of Honor during the Vietnam War, VADM James B. Stockdale, and CDR Clyde E. Lassen, neither of whom had lost their legs. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Earl in Training Film: I just don't understand it.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The new director's cut released in 2001 in the Oliver Stone box set (DVD & VHS) and released again by itself in 2002 featured a new director's cut running in at approx. 212 minutes. See more »

Connections

Featured in Nixon: Featurette (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

WALTZ IN B MINOR, OP. 69, NO. 2
Written by Frédéric Chopin
Performed by Elizabeth Yaron
See more »

User Reviews

 
A Surreal Reality
13 July 2008 | by alexkolokotronisSee all my reviews

I will start by saying I am an Oliver Stone fan. For some particular reason though I did not expect to like this movie but obviously I did. He actually unexpectedly gave a very fair depiction of Nixon. Nixon really transformed before my eyes in here. That was really something special to see.

The acting was quite good. Anthony Hopkins though totally uplifted this movie. I could imagine many people saying his performance was over-the-top or a bit too surreal at times. Yet that is what really made his performance so amazing. The way he was able to transform the many crazy and totally off the wall aspects of Nixon and make them into a reality. To me as the movie went on I felt I was in some way able to see his paranoia, anxiety, thirst for power and just the simple fact of wanting to be liked. I could see he was more of a troubled and vulnerable man than a monster. He never quite connected with anybody which made him bitter and fueled his paranoia and greed even more. To me Hopkins portrayed this all perfectly, all the complexities and inner feelings of Nixon. Hopkins slipped into this role in way that you rarely see. He became Nixon, and at times I was speechless or should I say thoughtless watching him portray such an important figure in such a way. More and more I felt sorry for Nixon, as he looked more and more like a schizophrenic. To me this role was more psychologically bone-chilling than his role as Hannibal Lechter in Silence of the Lambs and I have no problem debating that.

The rest of the cast was quite good as well. Joan Allen was very good in showing the complex relationship/marriage she had with Richard Nixon. James Woods freaked me out at times displaying that pure evil and hatred at times that Hopkins showed as Nixon. Paul Sorvino was very good as Henry Kissinger. Mary Steenburgen was interesting to watch in the very limited time she played in here. The two actors though other than Hopkins though that really stood out to me were Bob Hoskins and Sam Waterston. Despite Hoskins not giving an amazing performance and having very limited time he gave me chills just seeing J. Edgar Hoover being portrayed in some sort of way. Sam Waterston despite being limited to really just one scene was even more chilling than the rest of the cast(excluding Hopkins) combined in that one moment. That moment was one of the most intense face to face scenes that I have ever seen. It was so memorable.

The directing was very good. It was not the best I have seen from Oliver Stone but it was up there. For the first 45 minutes or so I was a bit confused about what was happening and the flow of the movie but I got used to it. The first portion of the movie did feel unbalanced at times but the feel of the movie got better as it wore on. Going back to that one scene between Sam Waterston and Anthony Hopkins, I felt this scene was one of the best directed and written scenes I have seen from Oliver Stone or anyone ever. That scene was a microcosm of the movie. The motion-sickness, mind scrambling, paranoid feeling of that scene captured the entire movie. The feeling of even seeing the president himself being treated like a puppet, despite not that shocking, was mind numbing to watch. That scene was true testament to the writing and directing abilities of Oliver Stone.

The writing was also very good throughout. It seemed as if everything Stone wanted to get across got across. The writing was not amazing but it certainly served it duty. The cinematography was great though. Stone always knows how to get his point across in the way he photographs a movie even if all of other aspects of the movie fail. That dark Oliver Stonish feeling kept on creeping in on every scene, but also that dark psychological feeling that he had put in Born On the Fourth of July and Platoon also was felt through the cinematography. The music by John Williams, who always knows how to capture a moment musically, was simply perfect in here again.

I can understand this movie being boring to a lot of people or it being considered propaganda. Yet I think this movie is an overlooked masterpiece. Just seeing Anthony Hopkins perform as Nixon is a good enough reason to see this movie. He took control of this movie by force and took it to another level. Despite this being an Oliver Stone movie it is more fair than you would think. Of course this movie may have a few conspiracy theories included in it but Oliver Stone never forces his theories on people. There is a reason why at the beginning at every movie he puts a disclaimer saying that not everything in his movies are facts. Despite it being great I don't know if this is a movie for everyone. This movie seems to be crazy and surreal but isn't that how life seems to be at times as well?


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Details

Official Sites:

Oliver Stone Official Site

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Mandarin | Russian

Release Date:

5 January 1996 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Nixon See more »

Filming Locations:

California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$44,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,206,506, 25 December 1995

Gross USA:

$13,681,765

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$13,681,765
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color (archive footage)| Black and White (archive footage)| Black and White | Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »

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