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All the President's Men
BLU-RAY disk
03.03.2011 By: Alex Keen
All the President's Men order download
Director:
Alan Pakula

Actors:
Robert Redford
Dustin Hoffman
Jason Robards

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Based on true life, political operatives working for President Nixon broke into the Watergate Hotel to spy on the Democratic National Committee. Two low-level reporters start investigating the event and discover thereís an elaborate web of political sneakiness, espionage, and illegal activity directed by the White House. Woodward and Bernstein, these two impetuous sleuths, risk their lives to unravel the presidency of the most infamous president in history.

IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Reviewing ALL THE PRESIDENTíS MEN is simply impossible. Perhaps at the time of its release some opinionated blowhards had the temerity to attack this film. Hell, perhaps some die-hard Nixon fans still think the guy got a raw deal thanks to this film. However, for me, this is an impossible task. ďWhy?Ē might you ask, because ALL THE PRESIDENTíS MEN is in an elite class of films that I consider to be the greatest of all time. Stuck on a shelf with THE GODFATHER, CITIZEN KANE, CASABLANCA, SINGINí IN THE RAIN, and CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND, ALL THE PRESIDENTíS MEN is in a class of its own.

What makes ALL THE PRESIDENTíS MEN a classic is threefold: performances, intrigue, and timing. Regarding performances, Robert Redford delivers one of the three best of his career. Alongside BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID and THE STING, ALL THE PRESIDENTíS MEN is the best that weíve ever seen from Redford. Heís charming, serious, intense, and delivers one of the most natural representations of a journalist caught on film. What makes this performance even more astounding is that he never planned on playing the role because he was only interested in producing this movie.

Despite that I am typically not a Dustin Hoffman fan, I make an exception for this movie. His manic style fits perfect in the film because it acts in perfect juxtaposition to Redfordís calm and cool Woodward. Hoffman gives much needed comic relief as well as a ballsy crowd-pleasing attitude. Hoffman is a wonderful yang to Redfordís ying.

The other performances worth applauding are those of Hal Holbrook and Jason Robards. Holbrook doesnít have a lot of flash to give but just by lurking in the shadows as Deep Throat adds mystery and intrigue. Meanwhile, Robards portrayal of Ben Bradlee brings a mix of seniority and integrity. He plays a phenomenal devilís advocate that ensures the journalistic integrity of this story. These two top notch actors challenge Redford and Hoffman on multiple occasions and make for great foils when the actual villains are left out of the story.

In regards to intrigue, ALL THE PRESIDENTíS MEN is filled to the brim with it. As these two sleuths attempt to deduce what theyíre onto, the spectre of arrest always looms in the background. Especially for those students of history who donít know all of the details of Watergate, ALL THE PRESIDENTíS MEN spins a web similar to that of INCEPTION. The rapid-fire delivery of names makes following the storyline a puzzle that might take several viewings (or a good bit of research) necessary.

Finally, the timing of this film is impeccable. Just two years after Nixon resigned, all of the characters here were fresh in the public eye. Redford and company struck while the iron was still hot and delivered a movie emblematic of itís time. This happens maybe once or twice during a decade, and ALL THE PRESIDENTíS MEN is my candidate for the 1970s.
THE EXTRAS
This BluRay includes three in-depth featurettes, an original featurette from 1976, a commentary track with Robert Redford, and an appearance by Jason Robards on Dinah! in 1976. From what I can tell these are the same extras featured in the original DVD release of this film. The case does include a very nice booklet that has full-color photos and a time line of the events of the film.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
ALL THE PRESIDENT'S MEN is a modern classic. It brings to life a story that shaped our modern world. Furthermore, it includes some fantastic performances from a couple of the best actors of their generation. If you don't own this movie already, buy it. If you love it and only have the DVD, you won't be let down to pick it up on Blu!
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3:01PM on 03/03/2011
I agree completely. Robards gives one of my favorite movie monologues here late in the movie. I keep thinking of this movie when I think about "The Social Network" and the way they deal with recent events and real people, in particular the scene where the Winlkevoss' meet with Larry Summers. The two movies are wildly different, but both seem to speak directly to a time and place in America. Had they waited to make "All the President's Men..." there would be a lot more focus on the state of
I agree completely. Robards gives one of my favorite movie monologues here late in the movie. I keep thinking of this movie when I think about "The Social Network" and the way they deal with recent events and real people, in particular the scene where the Winlkevoss' meet with Larry Summers. The two movies are wildly different, but both seem to speak directly to a time and place in America. Had they waited to make "All the President's Men..." there would be a lot more focus on the state of the country at the time. As it is, people didn't need to be lectured on the state of the country, because they all remembered it.
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