Based on the Robert Penn Warren novel. The life of populist Southerner Willie Stark, a political creature loosely based on Governor Huey Long of Louisiana.


Steven Zaillian


Steven Zaillian (screenplay), Robert Penn Warren (novel)
2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Sean Penn ... Willie Stark
Jude Law ... Jack Burden
Anthony Hopkins ... Judge Irwin
Kate Winslet ... Anne Stanton
Mark Ruffalo ... Adam Stanton
Patricia Clarkson ... Sadie Burke
James Gandolfini ... Tiny Duffy
Jackie Earle Haley ... Sugar Boy
Kathy Baker ... Mrs. Burden
Talia Balsam ... Lucy Stark
Travis Champagne ... Tom Stark (as Travis M. Champagne)
Frederic Forrest ... Willie's Father (as Frederic F. Forrest)
Paul Desmond Paul Desmond ... Slade
Kevin Dunn ... Alex
Tom McCarthy ... Editor


In the 1950s, in Louisiana, the smart populist, manipulative and wolf hick Willie Stark (Sean Penn) is elected Governor with the support of the lower social classes. He joins a team composed of his bodyguard and friend Sugar Boy (Jackie Earle Haley); the journalist from an aristocratic family Jack Burden (Jude Law); the lobbyist Tiny Duffy (James Gandolfini); and his mistress Sadie Burke (Patricia Clarkson), to face the opposition of the upper classes. When the influent Judge Irwin (Sir Anthony Hopkins) supports a group of politicians in their request of impeachment, Stark assigns Jack to find some dirtiness along the life of Irwin, leading to a tragedy in the end. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Time brings all things to light. See more »


Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for an intense sequence of violence, sexual content and partial nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


In the same year, Kate Winslet and Jude Law appeared in The Holiday (2006). See more »


When Stark is giving the introduction to the new health facility/university, he is actually at what is called the Louisiana pentagon which is just left of the State Capitol building. The Pentagon is used as lodging for high profile out of parish state legislators and senators. The Pentagon was also the original site of LSU but the school was later moved to where its located now much earlier than the time the film takes part in. See more »


Willie Stark: They fooled you 1,000 times, just like they fooled me. But this time, I'll fool somebody. I'll stay in this race. I'm on my own and out for blood. Listen to me, you hicks! Lift up your eyes and look at God's blessed and unfly-blown truth. This is the truth! You're a hick. Nobody ever helped a hick but a hick himself. Listen to me, listen to me! They were going to use me to split the vote. But I'm standing here now on my hind legs. Even a dog can learn to do that. Are you standing on your hind ...
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Für Elise
Written by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performed by Jennifer Nash
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User Reviews

'Your will is my strength, and your need is my justice'
16 July 2008 | by ChrysanthepopSee all my reviews

Zaillian's 'All The King's Men' is a well shot film. I liked how he created the feel of the 50's Lousiana with dark washed-out colours, the costumes, cars, money, interior architecture and the simplistic settings. Some of the visuals are very impressive as they brilliantly highlight the darkness of that era. However, the script seems a little contrived. In spite of having a wonderful stellar cast that includes talents like Sean Penn, Jude Law, Mark Ruffalo, James Gandolfini, Kathy Baker, Mark Ruffalo, Patricia Clarkson, Anthony Hopkins and Kate Winslet (could anyone ask for a better cast?), none of the characters, (with the exception of Penn's Willie Stark and Law's Jack Burden) are fleshed out enough and none of them, with the exception of Ruffalo's Adam Stanton, are particularly likable. Not every actor masters the Southern diction but I'm glad that they spoke with an accent their more comfortable with than a forced Southern-I'm-chewing-glue-while-talking accent. Yet at the same time it was too obvious especially when Anthony Hopkins spoke with a British accent. All the actors do a fairly good job. The dialogues are a stand-out. I particularly liked how the characters played around with words, mostly the double-entendre. At some points the film moves at an extremely slow pace. We don't see much of the poverty, which Willie Stark claimed to demolish. We do see him build hospitals but a glimpse of the hardship of the poor people would have given us a better understanding of the depth of their difficulties. Instead all we see of them is when they're cheering Stark. In addition to that, the ending is very predictable. In a nutshell, 'All the King's Men' is an interesting but contrived film that could have been a lot better had the aforementioned flaws, especially the sketchy characters, been taken into account for reconsideration.

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Germany | USA



Release Date:

22 September 2006 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

All the King's Men See more »

Filming Locations:

Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA See more »


Box Office


$55,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,672,366, 24 September 2006

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

SDDS | Dolby Digital | DTS

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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