"All the President's Men" -- 50 years after the events -- oh the nostalgia!

I’m rewatching the movie, and the contrast with where we are in 2022 is more heartbreaking than I have experienced in my 15 or so previous viewings.

Per the summary below, it’s almost quaint: breaking into the Democratic National Headquarters to bug it? That’s IT? That’s the beginning of what brought down the Nixon administration? For want of a nail, eh?

This movie also shows in detail what investigative journalism was like before the internet. Just pavement-pounding, phone-calling, note-taking, and relentless, obnoxious persistence, and most importantly, verification of facts every step of the way. This old-fashioned journalism was tanked by the 24/7 news cycle when getting there first became more important than being right. Not to mention, now anybody and their dog can video something on their phone and post it online immediately – or stream it while it’s happening, with no commentary, or else with commentary made up of lies that no one can defeat.

But I do enjoy period pieces, so I’ll keep watching. And sobbing quietly into my flowered hanky.

If this was before your time, here’s a nutshell summary of the event:

The Watergate scandal was a major scandal during and after the 1972 presidential election.

United States President and Republican Richard Nixon was running for election against Democrat George McGovern. Frank Wills, a security guard, discovered clues that former FBI and CIA agents broke into the offices of the Democratic Party and George McGovern months before the election. These people listened to phone lines, and secret papers were stolen.

When these men were found, it turned out that Nixon was involved and he had helped them cover it all up and might have even hired the men. The Washington Post was a newspaper which played a big role in exposing the misdoings, specifically reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein. This showed the public that Nixon was not to be trusted, and society began to view him in a different light.

Nixon chose to resign from office on August 9, 1974 because he wished not to be impeached. This means that he might have been charged with crimes. The U.S. Congress could not impeach him if he resigned. After this, Gerald Ford, his vice-president, became the President by default. Ford later forgave and pardoned Nixon for all of his crimes. The name “Watergate” comes from the hotel in Washington, D.C. where the first crime took place and is often associated with political scandals.

Read about the movie here:

50 years. Wow. I was a 13yo paperboy delivering this morning newspaper 7 days a week. I still remember this headline — in my 3 years of delivering the Courant in West Hartford I’d never ever seen a headline that big!

It’s an amazing movie. As you say in terms of showing the process of investigative journalism in those days and especially displaying the youthfulness of Woodward and Bernstein in being on the hunt for the truth behind a shocking scandal. The music in the library scene where the camera shows us a birds-eye view sticks in my mind too.

On the actual real life event after watching documentaries and reading about the Nixon presidency it just makes me wonder what really was the point of the Watergate break in anyway. Seems the landslide victory over McGovern just played out exactly as all the polls suggested it would.

Nixon. Utter hubris.

Thanks for posting this. AtPM is one of my favorite movies. I watch it maybe once a year or so.


True. But I think even Nixon would be appalled at what the Republican party has become today.

If there is an afterlife, Nixon spent four years going, “And they chased ME out of office?!?!”


I know I’ll probably get hollered down for this, but my take was that All The President’s Men is a fascinating story that didn’t benefit much from being a movie. It’s basically all “tell, not show” (although I guess it’s interesting to see what the Washington Post newsroom looks like).