Best Supporting Actor
Best Adapted Screenplay
Best Art Direction
Best Supporting Actress
THE PLOT THUS FAR
It helps to have one of history’s greatest scoops as your factual inspiration, but journalism thrillers just don’t get any better than All the President’s Men. Dustin Hoffman and Robert Redford are perfectly matched as (respectively) Washington Post reporters Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward, whose investigation into the Watergate scandal set the stage for President Richard Nixon’s eventual resignation. Their bestselling exposé was brilliantly adapted by screenwriter William Goldman, and director Alan Pakula crafted the film into one of the most intelligent and involving of the 1970s paranoid thrillers.
WHAT WE THOUGHT
For the longest time, I was convinced that I was going to become a reporter. I’ve been a news junkie for as long as I can remember and I’ve always been able to discern the fluff from the facts in the nightly news and that which was fit to print. Fortunately, I discovered the work of Hunter S. Thompson and realized that normal journalism is antiquated and doesn’t service the vulgarity of humanity. That’s why I’ve become the twisted writer that stands before you now. All of that aside, let’s take a look at the flick.
“All the President’s Men” opens on the news of the Watergate break-in hitting the D.C. news circuit. The local news picks up and runs with the story for awhile, when it comes to the attention of Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward (Robert Redford) and Carl Bernstein (Dustin Hoffman). The Post metro editor Harry Rosenfeld (Jack Warden) pairs the team together in order to send them on what seems to be a minor story. Under the guidance of their executive editor Benjamin Bradlee (Jason Robards), the Woodstein team takes to the streets. They hit the usual political haunts and even the site of the break-in.
It’s when the duo meets a terrified bookkeeper (Jane Alexander) that sets the ball rolling. She connects several suspicious payments to people that have no business being on Federal payroll. Taking this info, the group meets the iconic Deep Throat (Hal Holbrook). Seeing as how recent revelations have revealed Deep Throat to former FBI official Mark Felt, it still doesn’t lessen the impact of the person on film. When Deep Throat tells Woodward and Bernstein to follow the money, one of the darkest paths in American history has been illuminated.
But, everything hits a wall when Bradlee tells him that he won’t publish the story unless someone is willing to go on the record. This leads us back to the Bookkeeper who’s terrified of what speaking out against a criminal case involving the White House could cost her. The film’s climax builds upon the high tension of the ethical struggle all parties involved are facing. In the end, it’s still not about who was right or wrong. It’s about what the American political system forever lost.
The Blu-Ray comes with all of the special features ported over from the double-disc DVD special edition. However, the original mono track has been restored and mixed into an appropriate DTS-HD 1.0 mix that makes the Oscar winning sound design come to life. The transfer’s equally strong, but that audio track is reference quality material. For those that are just being introduced to this film, I’d recommend watching it and then going to the Redford commentary for background. It’s not the easiest film, but it’s one of the most important American films of the last 35 years. This is a recommended blind buy.
RELEASE DATE: 02/15/2011