I watched it (again) a few months ago, and I’d forgotten what a great movie it is. Very suspenseful, even when you know how it’s going to turn out. I invite under 40s-50s especially, who weren’t adults during the original events, to give it a look It’s a good presentation of how news was collected and verified before the 24/7 internet ness cycle.
It’s available on Amazon, Vudu, Flix, and possibly other places. Around $3.00 to rent. Cinemax and HBO for free.
I’m planning to watch it tonight or tomorrow night. Please join me. Free popcorn.
I haven’t seen it in a while, but it’s great. There’s a scene of the two of them sitting at a table (in the Library of Congress?) going through stacks of phone records. There’s an overhead camera shot that pulls back so at the end, they’re tiny. And how Jason Robards’ Ben Bradlee first crosses out entire lines of their copy but in a later scene slaps the side of the cubicle wall with his papers because he knew they got it. And how much of the research and reporting was old-fashioned boots on the ground talking to people.
BTW, it’s especially timely now, given what’s going on in Washington.
I watched it years and years ago, but I loved it. I keep meaning to watch it again now that we know who Deep Throat was. (Also, now I know what a jerk Bernstein was.)
If I watch it again in the next week or so, will post more, but for the time being, I will say, great movie, which I encourage others to see. You don’t need car chases or a steamy romance to make a movie interesting.
It’s hard to imagine putting out a newspaper–several editions every day–without computers. And yet it was done for centuries.
One longs for the days when facts were checked and rechecked. And the reporters took handwritten notes that were the bedrock of their stories and their reputations. There wasn’t a trail of emails or tweets to back them up. Ben Bradlee had some heavy-duty gonads breaking this story. A couple of the one-star reviews on the IMDB lament the lack of action–just a bunch of guys talking on the phone! At least one calls the whole Watergate story fake news invented by liberals.
I just started watching it. Will probably take my time and several days to get through it.
Yes, anyone who wants butter on their popcorn may certainly have it. I also make my own popcorn seasoning that’s a mixture of salt, “sour salt” (citric acid), sugar, lemon pepper, and cayenne. When the popcorn is gone, I guarantee you will lick your finger and mop up the seasoning that has fallen to the bottom of the bowl.
As a kid I watched it when it came out, and though I was only… gosh, 10, maybe?.. for some reason I was captivated by it, and my sister (2 years older than I) and I saw it at least eight or nine times in the theater. We were alone during matinees and we’d actually hum along with the soundtrack. (A lot was above our heads, of course, but despite the politics and almost completely dialogue-based screenplay, we loved it. But we were bizarre kids… I mean, we also fell similarly in love with frickin’ Barry Lyndon, and as far as pacing goes, that makes ATPM seem like Dirty Harry.)
I’ve probably watched it every three or four years since. It’s a fantastic film, utterly gripping, a tale about the hard work of journalism and getting the facts. IMHO Redford gives his best performance–he manages to be fascinating simply via his subtle reactions to several frustratingly stonewalling phone interview subjects. Hoffman is equally good, of course, as is the entire cast of character actors, including Robards, Martin Balsam, Jack Warden, Jane Alexander, Ned Beatty, Hal Holbrook, Nicholas Coster, Polly Holiday (pre-Alice), and on and on.
So… yeah, I literally know much of the film by heart. Hell, my sister and I quote from it to this day, everything from well-known real-life terms such as “ratfucking” and “non-denial denial” to the more obscure “…A wife and a kid and a dog and a cat” and “I don’t want a cookie.”
It’s the ne plus ultra of journalism films, although in more recent years I’ve also enjoyed The Insider, Zodiac, Truth and Spotlight. But they’re far below it in the pantheon.
Well said, choie! All the buttered popcorn you can eat!
Early in the story, Deep Throat says to Woodward in their first meeting in the parking garage: “Forget the myths the media has created about the White House. The truth is, these are not very bright guys, and things got out of hand.”
Haven’t seen it since it’s time. I was paying close attention to the events unfolding in real life, the book was fascinating, the movie a pretty good adaptation. It doesn’t seem all that long ago yet the world has changed so much, not just in technology but in the nature of politics. Much of the country was stunned as the inner workings of the White House and the events surrounding the Watergate break in emerged. Now these this kind of politics only creates noise and and the offended faction just hand waves and buries it’s head in the sand.
I may watch this again soon because of recent events. The movie is entertaining, I recommend reading the book to get an in depth picture of how the media used to work and to understand the environment of the time and many of the details of the first -gate.
I was kind of underwhelmed when I watched it 15-20 years ago. It was like watching a movie of two people describing the plot of a really interesting book – it was okay, but why wouldn’t I just read the book myself?
I liked the movie “Dick” more. I’m 43, for what it’s worth.
I had not seen the movie in years but these incidents led me to watch it again a few months ago:
Before that, Trump and many members of his cabinet were making noises about ruling over the press, and then the presentation of those papers reminded me of how relevant the movie was and that I should check it out again.
In the movie almost all the politicians in Nixon’s team shamefully told the TV crews virtually the same “solutions” about how to control the press, today’s politicians wanted to apply to CNN and others those anti American remedies too, but most ended up resigning in disgrace.
But the post here is about how the movie made the clumsy move of Trump, about the very likely blank papers that pretended to be “evidence” of Trump giving up control of his business to his son’s, to look worse.
The set decorators in All the President’s Men (those decorators won the Oscar in 1977) got the look of used or seen reams of paper right:
And that look deserved the Oscar because they did not film it in a real newsroom or an office but in a well recreated movie set. With decorators that also schooled the Trump assistants about the proper way to simulate used or seen stacks of folders.
Here are three fascinating factoids about the film from the IMDB(there are tons more):
I read somewhere that at first they tried filming it in the real WAPO newsroom, but the real reporters wouldn’t fade into the background. They started sneaking off to the bathrooms and applying makeup and stuff.
I might have to re-watch the danged thing immediately.