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Honest Man: The Life of R. Budd Dwyer (2010)

Honest Man: the Life of R. Budd Dwyer is a movie about politics and corruption, suicide and survival. Four years in the making, it explores the scandal that led an honest, hard-working man ... See full summary »

Director:

James Dirschberger
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Cast

Credited cast:
Dyan Dwyer Dyan Dwyer ... Herself
Joanne Dwyer Joanne Dwyer ... Herself
R. Budd Dwyer R. Budd Dwyer ... Himself (archive footage)
Robert Dwyer Robert Dwyer ... Himself
Neil O'Neill ... William Smith
William Smith William Smith ... Himself
Steve Voldseth ... John Torquato
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Storyline

Honest Man: the Life of R. Budd Dwyer is a movie about politics and corruption, suicide and survival. Four years in the making, it explores the scandal that led an honest, hard-working man to take his own life. This independently produced feature-length documentary follows Budd Dwyer, a Pennsylvania politician who infamously committed suicide at a televised press conference. The film chronicles Dwyer's meteoric rise to political power and examines the bribery scandal and subsequent trial that pushed him to his breaking point. Honest Man also delves into the controversy and consequences of the uncensored airing of Dwyer's death on television stations worldwide. Honest Man reveals a story that has remained untold for over 24 years. The film features exclusive new interviews, including William Smith, the man whose testimony convicted Dwyer, and Dwyer's widow Joanne--her last interview before her death in 2009. Was Dwyer venal, or a victim? Did he kill himself because he couldn't live ... Written by Eighty Four Films

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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Details

Official Sites:

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Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 October 2010 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

Buffalo, New York, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Eighty Four Films See more »
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Color:

Color
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was the only on camera interview William Smith ever gave. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Not an "Honest Man"
23 January 2018 | by dazza-01623See all my reviews

It's obvious that the writers of the "documentary" actually know very little about the CTA case. It's an immensely bias piece. Dwyer was as guilty as they come. He used his "task-force" as a smokescreen to hide his true intentions. He handled all matters of the CTA contract for a period of time (and even sometimes told his aids they were not invited to meetings with him and Torquato/Smith). Smith was his old buddy, and Dwyer knew what Torquato was up to. Even before Smith's first trial he stated that Dwyer was in on the bribe. Dwyer was offered a deal by another company who would do the job better, and at half the price, than CTA. Yet he didn't even entertain the idea of awarding them the contract. There was no conspiracy. Dwyer was caught red-handed and blamed everyone except himself. Dwyer's family talk about how Dwyer would not "plea bargain with the truth" yet Dwyer urged his own lawyer to speak to the prosecutor (James West) asking him if he would drop all charges against Dwyer if Dwyer resigned as the treasurer! West did not accept it, and rightly so.

So what do we have with this "documentary"? Nothing really except an uninformed love note to Dwyer. It's almost as if the writers are trying to justify a morbid interest in Dwyer's suicide by going on an uninformed, bias crusade saying he was an "innocent man". But the problem is that he wasn't innocent, and hence he will never receive any official exoneration. Two appeals after his death were dismissed.

Dwyer, clearly guilty, does not deserve credit and attention for committing suicide in public (and traumatizing many many people in the process). This "documentary" may fool a few people, but for those who know the facts of the case, it is mere propaganda.


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