All The President's Men


2h 18m 1976
All The President's Men

Brief Synopsis

Two Washington Post reporters investigate the Watergate break-in that ended Nixon's presidency.

Film Details

Also Known As
Alla presidentens män, hommes du président
MPAA Rating
Genre
Drama
Historical
Thriller
Political
Release Date
Jan 1976
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Wildwood Enterprises, Inc.
Distribution Company
Warner Bros., Inc.
Country
United States
Location
Washington, DC, USA

Technical Specs

Duration
2h 18m
Sound
Stereo
Color
Color (Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.66 : 1, 1.85 : 1

Synopsis

True story about two reporters investigating and ultimately uncovering the Watergate scandal involving Richard Nixon.

Videos

Movie Clip

All The President's Men (1976) - Somebody Got To Her Bob Woodward (Robert Redford) and Carl Bernstein (Dustin Hoffman) in the Washington Post newsroom, decide to follow up on damning calls to the White House, in Alan J. Pakula's All The President's Men, 1976, from Woodward and Bernstein's book and William Goldman's screenplay.
All The President's Men (1976) - Possible Burglary The security guard is Frank Wills, the actual guy, who called in the Watergate burglary, staged by director Alan J. Pakula, Jack Warden, Martin Balsam and Dustin Hoffman also introduced, in the 1976 version of the Woodward & Bernstein book, All The President's Men.
All The President's Men (1976) - You Haven't Got It Discussed but not seen until now, Jason Robards Jr. in his Academy Award-winning role as Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee, shoots down the first story he’s seen by Woodward and Bernstein (Robert Redford, Dustin Hoffman), Jack Warden as overruled Rosenfeld, in Alan J. Pakula’s All The President’s Men, 1976.
All The President's Men (1976) - This Is Difficult For Me Extended single take from director Alan J. Pakula and frequent collaborator Robert Redford, as reporter Bob Woodward, recounting a crucial moment in the Watergate investigation, Dustin Hoffman as Carl Bernstein, from All The President's Men, 1976.
All The President's Men - Follow The Money Reporter Bob Woodward (Robert Redford) in his first shadowy face-to-face encounter with source "Deep Throat" (Hal Holbrook), with a famous admonition, in Alan J. Pakula's All The President's Men, 1976.
All The President's Men - June 1, 1972 No mistake, several seconds of blank silence, leading to the all-news opening of Alan J. Pakula's dramatization of the Woodward & Bernstein book All The President's Men, 1976, starring Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman.

Hosted Intro

Film Details

Also Known As
Alla presidentens män, hommes du président
MPAA Rating
Genre
Drama
Historical
Thriller
Political
Release Date
Jan 1976
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Wildwood Enterprises, Inc.
Distribution Company
Warner Bros., Inc.
Country
United States
Location
Washington, DC, USA

Technical Specs

Duration
2h 18m
Sound
Stereo
Color
Color (Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.66 : 1, 1.85 : 1

Award Wins

Best Art Direction

1976
George Jenkins

Best Sound

1976

Best Supporting Actor

1976

Best Writing, Screenplay

1977

Award Nominations

Best Director

1976
Alan J Pakula

Best Editing

1976

Best Picture

1976

Best Supporting Actress

1976
Jane Alexander

Articles

All the President's Men


It was the summer of 1972, an election year in which George McGovern ran against the incumbent Richard Nixon for President of the United States. Robert Redford had just completed his own political film, The Candidate (1972), and was in Florida doing a press tour via train to promote it when he first learned about the investigation by Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein into the break-in at the Democratic headquarters at the Watergate Hotel in Washington, D.C., funded in part by the committee to re-elect Nixon. The scandal, which led up to the top level of the Nixon administration, would, within two years, lead to prison for some and for Nixon, resignation.

In discussing Woodward and Bernstein's articles with the reporters who accompanied him on the press tour, Redford was dismayed at their lack of interest. "I said, 'What are you guys going to do about it? You're just sitting here. What are you doing on this train? This is just movies.' And then they gave me a lecture about how I didn't understand how the media worked, how I didn't understand journalism and all that. They said, 'Look, this guy [Nixon] is going in on a landslide and a mandate, and McGovern is going to self-destruct. Nixon's going to get in, everybody knows it; nobody wants to be on the wrong side of this guy because he's got a switchblade mentality. He's vindictive and mean. A lot of people are afraid. And the second thing is, a lot of people know this, they're just not going to talk about it because the Democrats do it, too, it's just the standard dirty tricks thing that happens in D.C., and nobody's going to make that much out of it; people are more interested in whether Hank Aaron is going to break Babe Ruth's record." Without an editor to back them up and a publisher willing to foot the bill to do the investigation, it was impossible to write the story. Redford angrily replied, "So you guys are just going to sit here on your ass; you're not going to do anything about it but smoke your cigars and have our free booze and write a superficial story about what I'm doing and that's it?" It was. At least, until Woodward and Bernstein cracked the story wide open.

Months later, after having read a profile on Woodward and Bernstein, Redford attempted to contact them about making a film; "a little black-and-white movie, very low budget, with two unknown actors, and I would produce it. It would be about what these two guys did that summer that everybody else was afraid to mess around with". To his surprise, Woodward and Bernstein did not return his calls. It wasn't until Redford was filming The Way We Were (1973), several weeks later, that Woodward contacted Redford and gave him the brush-off, saying he and Bernstein were not interested in a film. Redford let the idea go until James McCord, who was the electronics expert convicted in the Watergate burglary, wrote a letter to the judge implicating the Nixon administration – and in effect validating Woodward and Bernstein's claims. Redford contacted Woodward again and insisted that they meet. Woodward agreed if Redford could be there the next night, "I'll meet you in a private meeting place. You don't need to do anything, just show up and I'll find you." The following evening, at a promotional dinner for The Candidate, a young man walked up to Redford and whispered, "Woodward. Meet me at the Jefferson Hotel bar in about forty-five minutes." Redford later remarked that "It was very clandestine. The next thing you know I'm in the Jefferson. He admitted in our meeting that they didn't trust me, they weren't sure it was me on the phone." Woodward was nervous, believing he was being followed, and told Redford that he and Bernstein would meet him at his apartment in New York, but that he should stay away from them. "Don't you come near us, let us come to you."

When Redford finally met with Woodward and Bernstein in 1974, he asked to purchase the film rights to the investigation, but was told that they were writing a book about it. The original focus of the book was to be on the perpetrators of the break-in, but Redford thought the more interesting story was of how two young reporters were able to bring down a President. This influenced Woodward and Bernstein to rethink the book that would eventually become All the President's Men (1976).

The publishers, Simon and Schuster, demanded $450,000 for the film rights, which Redford paid through his own company, Wildwood Productions. With the book now a best-seller, Redford knew All the President's Men could no longer be a small "black-and-white" film with unknown actors. The original budget would be inadequate, so he put up $4,000,000 of his own money. Warner Bros was interested and invested another $4,000,000 with the caveat that Redford appear in the film as Woodward. At that time, Redford had been offered and was very interested in playing Jack Nicholson's role in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975). Knowing that it would be impossible to do both films, he declined Cuckoo's Nest with regrets, believing it to be the better acting part. As producer of All the President's Men, he threw himself into the project, getting as little as four hours of sleep a night while overseeing everything from the script by William Goldman (who had written the screenplay for Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid [1969]), to the hiring of director Alan J. Pakula, whose Klute (1971) had made a big impression on Redford. As his co-star, Redford chose Dustin Hoffman, who had, ironically, also wanted to purchase the film rights to Woodward and Bernstein's book with the intention of playing Carl Bernstein. Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee had reservations about his portrayal in the film, telling Pakula and Redford, 'You're [Pakula] going to go on to make other films, Bob [Redford] will be riding off into the sunset in his next film, and meanwhile I'm going to be stuck for life as being to the American public whoever is playing me in All the President's Men." The role went to Jason Robards, who had worked with Redford over a decade before on television in The Iceman Cometh (1960). Redford, impressed with Robards' talent and remembering his kindness to him when he had been a young actor, hired Robards at a time when it was difficult for him to find work after a drunk-driving accident had scarred his face and damaged his reputation. "I wanted to pay him back for his generosity, which meant a great deal to me." Pakula told Robards, "If you tell me you can do it, knowing my reservations, you've got the job." Robards said, "I can do it. [...] I look like Ben Bradlee, I sound like Ben Bradlee, and I've got to play Ben Bradlee." Robards' salary was only $50,000, but the role would win him an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor and revitalized a career that lasted until his death in 2000.

In casting "Deep Throat", Woodward's mysterious (and until 2005), anonymous informant, Pakula hired Hal Holbrook, even though he wasn't sure that Deep Throat even existed. He contacted Woodward and asked him if casting Holbrook would be appropriate. "If it was not right, if it's so off the mark, then tell me, because it'll be disastrous in this picture if I cast a man and it turns out, the week before the picture is released, that we find out who Deep Throat was and it turns out to be Tricia Nixon – or Golda Meir, or somebody who's so far removed from my casting that it's going to make the picture look ridiculous." Hearing Holbrook's name, Woodward said nothing. Knowing that Woodward could not reveal his source, Pakula took this to be Woodward's approval and kept Holbrook. It would not be until May 31, 2005, that former FBI official W. Mark Felt revealed that he had been Deep Throat, which was later confirmed by Woodward.

With the cast now in place, the screenplay turned in by William Goldman was the next problem to solve. Pakula, Redford, Woodward, Bernstein and even The Washington Post deemed it unacceptable. The Post, in particular, told Redford, "If you make this movie, you've got us against you. This guy [Goldman] is trivializing everything; he makes it sound like it was a joke." The problem, as Redford saw it, was that Goldman was writing Marathon Man (1976) at the same time, so his full attention wasn't being dedicated to the project. Goldman, for his part, blamed what he perceived as Pakula's "indecisiveness" about what he actually wanted in a screenplay. Eventually, Pakula and Redford checked into the Madison Hotel in Washington and rewrote the script themselves, with additional work by Alvin Sargent, although Woodward later stated that he believed Goldman got the framework correct. Redford and Pakula did not publicize the fact that they had done much of the rewrite, nor did they receive credit for it. Ironically, Goldman ended up winning the Academy Award for the screenplay, leaving Redford "blown away" that Goldman actually accepted the award.

The filming of All the President's Men began in Washington, D.C. on May 12, 1975 and on the Warner Bros lot in Burbank on June 26th, where the Washington Post's offices were recreated in painstaking detail. Two soundstages were combined into one by removing a wall. The set, measuring 240 feet by 135 feet, cost $450,000 and was so realistic that trash from the Post was actually shipped to Burbank and put into the bins on the set. Ben Bradlee remarked, "I brought my daughter onto the set in the studio. She could walk right to my desk. She was stunned." To add to a sense of verisimilitude, the role of Frank Wills, the security guard who had discovered the break-in, was played by Wills himself.

All the President's Men had its first public performance in Washington D.C. on April 4, 1976, with the official opening in New York City the next night. Twelve premieres were held in all, as fundraisers for the Citizens Action Fund, an environmental and social reform organization that had Redford on the board of directors. The film was a smash hit with the public and received rave reviews from most critics. Vincent Canby of The New York Times said, "Newspapers and newspapermen have long been favorite subjects for movie makers – a surprising number of whom are former newspapermen, and yet not until All the President's Men, the riveting screen adaptation of the Watergate book by Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward, has any film come remotely close to being an accurate picture of American journalism at its best."

The film earned eight Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture (which it lost to Rocky [1976]), Alan J. Pakula as Best Director, Jane Alexander for Best Supporting Actress and Robert L. Wolfe for Best Editing. The four wins included Robards, Goldman, Best Sound and Best Art Direction-Set Decoration. Perhaps the best accolade All the President's Men received was from Ben Bradlee, who had been skeptical at the start. "The question is, does it reflect the verities of journalism and investigative reporting, and what was going on in terms of Nixon and the White House? And I thought it did just that."

Producer: Jon Boorstin, Michael Britton, Walter Coblenz
Director: Alan J. Pakula
Screenplay: William Goldman, based on the book by Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward
Cinematography: Gordon Willis
Production Design: George Jenkins
Music: David Shire
Film Editing: Robert L. Wolfe
Cast: Dustin Hoffman (Carl Bernstein), Robert Redford (Bob Woodward), Jack Warden (Harry Rosenfeld), Martin Balsam (Howard Simons), Hal Holbrook (Deep Throat), Jason Robards (Ben Bradlee), Jane Alexander (bookkeeper), Meredith Baxter (Debbie Sloan), Ned Beatty (Dardis), Stephen Collins (Hugh Sloan).
C-138m. Letterboxed. Closed Captioning.

by Lorraine LoBianco

SOURCES:
Brown, Jared Alan J. Pakula: His Life and His Films
Canby, Vincent "President's Men, Spellbinding Film." The New York Times 8 Apr 76
Quirk, Lawrence J. and Schoell, William The Sundance Kid: An Unauthorized Biography of Robert Redford
Sackett, Susan Hollywood Reporter Box Office Hits
Spada, James The Films of Robert Redford
All The President's Men

All the President's Men

It was the summer of 1972, an election year in which George McGovern ran against the incumbent Richard Nixon for President of the United States. Robert Redford had just completed his own political film, The Candidate (1972), and was in Florida doing a press tour via train to promote it when he first learned about the investigation by Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein into the break-in at the Democratic headquarters at the Watergate Hotel in Washington, D.C., funded in part by the committee to re-elect Nixon. The scandal, which led up to the top level of the Nixon administration, would, within two years, lead to prison for some and for Nixon, resignation. In discussing Woodward and Bernstein's articles with the reporters who accompanied him on the press tour, Redford was dismayed at their lack of interest. "I said, 'What are you guys going to do about it? You're just sitting here. What are you doing on this train? This is just movies.' And then they gave me a lecture about how I didn't understand how the media worked, how I didn't understand journalism and all that. They said, 'Look, this guy [Nixon] is going in on a landslide and a mandate, and McGovern is going to self-destruct. Nixon's going to get in, everybody knows it; nobody wants to be on the wrong side of this guy because he's got a switchblade mentality. He's vindictive and mean. A lot of people are afraid. And the second thing is, a lot of people know this, they're just not going to talk about it because the Democrats do it, too, it's just the standard dirty tricks thing that happens in D.C., and nobody's going to make that much out of it; people are more interested in whether Hank Aaron is going to break Babe Ruth's record." Without an editor to back them up and a publisher willing to foot the bill to do the investigation, it was impossible to write the story. Redford angrily replied, "So you guys are just going to sit here on your ass; you're not going to do anything about it but smoke your cigars and have our free booze and write a superficial story about what I'm doing and that's it?" It was. At least, until Woodward and Bernstein cracked the story wide open. Months later, after having read a profile on Woodward and Bernstein, Redford attempted to contact them about making a film; "a little black-and-white movie, very low budget, with two unknown actors, and I would produce it. It would be about what these two guys did that summer that everybody else was afraid to mess around with". To his surprise, Woodward and Bernstein did not return his calls. It wasn't until Redford was filming The Way We Were (1973), several weeks later, that Woodward contacted Redford and gave him the brush-off, saying he and Bernstein were not interested in a film. Redford let the idea go until James McCord, who was the electronics expert convicted in the Watergate burglary, wrote a letter to the judge implicating the Nixon administration – and in effect validating Woodward and Bernstein's claims. Redford contacted Woodward again and insisted that they meet. Woodward agreed if Redford could be there the next night, "I'll meet you in a private meeting place. You don't need to do anything, just show up and I'll find you." The following evening, at a promotional dinner for The Candidate, a young man walked up to Redford and whispered, "Woodward. Meet me at the Jefferson Hotel bar in about forty-five minutes." Redford later remarked that "It was very clandestine. The next thing you know I'm in the Jefferson. He admitted in our meeting that they didn't trust me, they weren't sure it was me on the phone." Woodward was nervous, believing he was being followed, and told Redford that he and Bernstein would meet him at his apartment in New York, but that he should stay away from them. "Don't you come near us, let us come to you." When Redford finally met with Woodward and Bernstein in 1974, he asked to purchase the film rights to the investigation, but was told that they were writing a book about it. The original focus of the book was to be on the perpetrators of the break-in, but Redford thought the more interesting story was of how two young reporters were able to bring down a President. This influenced Woodward and Bernstein to rethink the book that would eventually become All the President's Men (1976). The publishers, Simon and Schuster, demanded $450,000 for the film rights, which Redford paid through his own company, Wildwood Productions. With the book now a best-seller, Redford knew All the President's Men could no longer be a small "black-and-white" film with unknown actors. The original budget would be inadequate, so he put up $4,000,000 of his own money. Warner Bros was interested and invested another $4,000,000 with the caveat that Redford appear in the film as Woodward. At that time, Redford had been offered and was very interested in playing Jack Nicholson's role in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975). Knowing that it would be impossible to do both films, he declined Cuckoo's Nest with regrets, believing it to be the better acting part. As producer of All the President's Men, he threw himself into the project, getting as little as four hours of sleep a night while overseeing everything from the script by William Goldman (who had written the screenplay for Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid [1969]), to the hiring of director Alan J. Pakula, whose Klute (1971) had made a big impression on Redford. As his co-star, Redford chose Dustin Hoffman, who had, ironically, also wanted to purchase the film rights to Woodward and Bernstein's book with the intention of playing Carl Bernstein. Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee had reservations about his portrayal in the film, telling Pakula and Redford, 'You're [Pakula] going to go on to make other films, Bob [Redford] will be riding off into the sunset in his next film, and meanwhile I'm going to be stuck for life as being to the American public whoever is playing me in All the President's Men." The role went to Jason Robards, who had worked with Redford over a decade before on television in The Iceman Cometh (1960). Redford, impressed with Robards' talent and remembering his kindness to him when he had been a young actor, hired Robards at a time when it was difficult for him to find work after a drunk-driving accident had scarred his face and damaged his reputation. "I wanted to pay him back for his generosity, which meant a great deal to me." Pakula told Robards, "If you tell me you can do it, knowing my reservations, you've got the job." Robards said, "I can do it. [...] I look like Ben Bradlee, I sound like Ben Bradlee, and I've got to play Ben Bradlee." Robards' salary was only $50,000, but the role would win him an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor and revitalized a career that lasted until his death in 2000. In casting "Deep Throat", Woodward's mysterious (and until 2005), anonymous informant, Pakula hired Hal Holbrook, even though he wasn't sure that Deep Throat even existed. He contacted Woodward and asked him if casting Holbrook would be appropriate. "If it was not right, if it's so off the mark, then tell me, because it'll be disastrous in this picture if I cast a man and it turns out, the week before the picture is released, that we find out who Deep Throat was and it turns out to be Tricia Nixon – or Golda Meir, or somebody who's so far removed from my casting that it's going to make the picture look ridiculous." Hearing Holbrook's name, Woodward said nothing. Knowing that Woodward could not reveal his source, Pakula took this to be Woodward's approval and kept Holbrook. It would not be until May 31, 2005, that former FBI official W. Mark Felt revealed that he had been Deep Throat, which was later confirmed by Woodward. With the cast now in place, the screenplay turned in by William Goldman was the next problem to solve. Pakula, Redford, Woodward, Bernstein and even The Washington Post deemed it unacceptable. The Post, in particular, told Redford, "If you make this movie, you've got us against you. This guy [Goldman] is trivializing everything; he makes it sound like it was a joke." The problem, as Redford saw it, was that Goldman was writing Marathon Man (1976) at the same time, so his full attention wasn't being dedicated to the project. Goldman, for his part, blamed what he perceived as Pakula's "indecisiveness" about what he actually wanted in a screenplay. Eventually, Pakula and Redford checked into the Madison Hotel in Washington and rewrote the script themselves, with additional work by Alvin Sargent, although Woodward later stated that he believed Goldman got the framework correct. Redford and Pakula did not publicize the fact that they had done much of the rewrite, nor did they receive credit for it. Ironically, Goldman ended up winning the Academy Award for the screenplay, leaving Redford "blown away" that Goldman actually accepted the award. The filming of All the President's Men began in Washington, D.C. on May 12, 1975 and on the Warner Bros lot in Burbank on June 26th, where the Washington Post's offices were recreated in painstaking detail. Two soundstages were combined into one by removing a wall. The set, measuring 240 feet by 135 feet, cost $450,000 and was so realistic that trash from the Post was actually shipped to Burbank and put into the bins on the set. Ben Bradlee remarked, "I brought my daughter onto the set in the studio. She could walk right to my desk. She was stunned." To add to a sense of verisimilitude, the role of Frank Wills, the security guard who had discovered the break-in, was played by Wills himself. All the President's Men had its first public performance in Washington D.C. on April 4, 1976, with the official opening in New York City the next night. Twelve premieres were held in all, as fundraisers for the Citizens Action Fund, an environmental and social reform organization that had Redford on the board of directors. The film was a smash hit with the public and received rave reviews from most critics. Vincent Canby of The New York Times said, "Newspapers and newspapermen have long been favorite subjects for movie makers – a surprising number of whom are former newspapermen, and yet not until All the President's Men, the riveting screen adaptation of the Watergate book by Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward, has any film come remotely close to being an accurate picture of American journalism at its best." The film earned eight Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture (which it lost to Rocky [1976]), Alan J. Pakula as Best Director, Jane Alexander for Best Supporting Actress and Robert L. Wolfe for Best Editing. The four wins included Robards, Goldman, Best Sound and Best Art Direction-Set Decoration. Perhaps the best accolade All the President's Men received was from Ben Bradlee, who had been skeptical at the start. "The question is, does it reflect the verities of journalism and investigative reporting, and what was going on in terms of Nixon and the White House? And I thought it did just that." Producer: Jon Boorstin, Michael Britton, Walter Coblenz Director: Alan J. Pakula Screenplay: William Goldman, based on the book by Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward Cinematography: Gordon Willis Production Design: George Jenkins Music: David Shire Film Editing: Robert L. Wolfe Cast: Dustin Hoffman (Carl Bernstein), Robert Redford (Bob Woodward), Jack Warden (Harry Rosenfeld), Martin Balsam (Howard Simons), Hal Holbrook (Deep Throat), Jason Robards (Ben Bradlee), Jane Alexander (bookkeeper), Meredith Baxter (Debbie Sloan), Ned Beatty (Dardis), Stephen Collins (Hugh Sloan). C-138m. Letterboxed. Closed Captioning. by Lorraine LoBianco SOURCES: Brown, Jared Alan J. Pakula: His Life and His Films Canby, Vincent "President's Men, Spellbinding Film." The New York Times 8 Apr 76 Quirk, Lawrence J. and Schoell, William The Sundance Kid: An Unauthorized Biography of Robert Redford Sackett, Susan Hollywood Reporter Box Office Hits Spada, James The Films of Robert Redford

All the President's Men (Special Edition) on DVD


On June 17, 1972 five men broke into the Watergate complex in Washington, DC in a botched attempt to bug Democratic Headquarters. It was a seemingly minor event that at first appeared to be nothing more that a local interest story, but would snowball into a scandal that would eventually bring down the president. The Watergate scandal was exposed by two young reporters with the Washington Post, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, who would recount their painstaking investigation in their 1974 book All the President's Men, which would become a best-seller. Almost immediately upon the book's publication, actor/producer Robert Redford, who had been fascinated both by the story as it had unfolded and by the men who were writing it, picked up the rights to the book and went to work. He gave award-winning writer William Goldman the daunting task of turning a story with an outcome that was already known worldwide into a viable, compelling screenplay, and chose Alan J. Pakula (Klute, The Pelican Brief) to direct.

In the film version of All the President's Men, Redford plays Bob Woodward, who is assigned to cover the break-in at the Watergate. He goes to court to cover the five burglars' first appearance before a judge, and is surprised to find that they have hired a lawyer, when burglars are usually forced to use public defenders. He is also surprised to learn that one of the burglars has a connection to Charles Colson, one of the most powerful men at the White House. When he returns to the Post and verifies this information, he reports it to Metro editor Harry Rosenfeld (Jack Warden), who decides that this story might be a bit bigger than they'd first thought. So he assigns Woodward along with Carl Bernstein (Dustin Hoffman) to cover it, against the wishes of managing editor Howard Simmons (Martin Balsam), who thought it should be handled by more seasoned reporters.

Both reporters set out to gather more information about the connection between Charles Colson's office and the burglar, and find themselves running up against a blank wall at every turn: people refuse to talk to them, contradict themselves, and openly lie, all within twenty-four hours of the break-in. Through occasional slips on the part of the government employees they contact, they are able to at least piece together that this is a bigger story than then had imagined, one which involves highly placed government officials. It is at this point that managing editor Ben Bradlee (Jason Robards) takes a look at what they have and tells them that they don't have enough facts, so their story will be relegated to page three. But Bradlee can recognize a good story, and tells them to keep after it.

The reporters get their first real break when they start investigating the background of the burglars and discover a check made out to Kenneth Dahlberg, Midwest Finance Chairman for the Committee to Re-elect the President (which would come to be commonly referred to as CREEP), in the bank account of a firm owned by burglar Bernard Barker. From there their investigation escalates: but when they finally run out of leads again, Woodward turns to a contact he used in a past investigation. This time the contact refuses to speak to him about the new investigation, or at least that's what he tells Woodward over the phone. The contact surreptitiously gets a note to Woodward with instructions on when and where to meet him (a dark semi-underground garage in the middle of the night). When they meet, the contact lays out ground rules: he will not be named as a source, and he will not give Woodward any information, he will only confirm. He leaves Woodward with the admonition to "follow the money," and thus the legendary shadow figure of Deep Throat was be born.

Woodward and Bernstein's investigation, which would gain momentum, notoriety, and scorn as it continued from '72-'74, would eventually lead to those closest to President Nixon, and then to Nixon himself, with revelations about his knowledge and complicity in illegal activities and the notorious "dirty tricks" campaign eventually forcing his resignation.

All the President's Men is a remarkable film that works on all levels. Screenwriter Goldman and director Pakula fashioned Woodward and Bernstein's book into a combination political thriller and in-depth look at investigative reporting. Goldman presents investigative reporting as it really is rather than as it is usually depicted in the movies: not all excitement, but frustrating and (at times) plodding with long periods of getting nowhere and running into dead ends. At the same time, Pakula miraculously keeps the tension high, even as Woodward and Bernstein are forced to go down a list of hundreds of names of employees and visit their homes strying to find someone who will talk about CREEP and how their money was handled.

The film is filled with fine performances: Redford is solid as Woodward and Hoffman is equally good as Bernstein. But Jason Robards nearly steals the film in his Oscar®-winning turn as Ben Bradlee. Robards maintains a high level of control and keeps his face unreadable as he listens to each new revelation from his young reporters, often making his responses genuinely surprising. Another fine performance is turned in by Jane Alexander as the CREEP bookkeeper who opens up to Bernstein. Alexander's high anxiety performance conveys the full range of conflicting emotions of the terrified woman.

All the President's Men should be mandatory viewing in every history course in America. But beyond that, the film is a must for anyone who loves the sheer art of movie-making.

Warner Bros.' DVD of the film presents a beautiful transfer struck from source material that is in excellent shape. The black level is rock-solid and the contrast is way above par: a must for a film in which so much of the action takes place in dark areas. The audio is also in fine shape, with rich tone quality and deep bass. The two-disc special edition includes a feature-length commentary by Redford; "Telling the Truth about Lies: The Making of All the President's Men;" "Woodward and Bernstein: Lighting the Fire" featurette; "Out of the Shadows: The Man Who was Deep Throat" featurette; the vintage featurette "Pressure and the Press: the Making of All the President's Men;" and an interview excerpt with Jason Robards for the 70s talk show Dinah!, hosted by Dinah Shore.

For more information about All the President's Men, visit Warner Video. To order All the President's Men, go to TCM Shopping.

by Fred Hunter

All the President's Men (Special Edition) on DVD

On June 17, 1972 five men broke into the Watergate complex in Washington, DC in a botched attempt to bug Democratic Headquarters. It was a seemingly minor event that at first appeared to be nothing more that a local interest story, but would snowball into a scandal that would eventually bring down the president. The Watergate scandal was exposed by two young reporters with the Washington Post, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, who would recount their painstaking investigation in their 1974 book All the President's Men, which would become a best-seller. Almost immediately upon the book's publication, actor/producer Robert Redford, who had been fascinated both by the story as it had unfolded and by the men who were writing it, picked up the rights to the book and went to work. He gave award-winning writer William Goldman the daunting task of turning a story with an outcome that was already known worldwide into a viable, compelling screenplay, and chose Alan J. Pakula (Klute, The Pelican Brief) to direct. In the film version of All the President's Men, Redford plays Bob Woodward, who is assigned to cover the break-in at the Watergate. He goes to court to cover the five burglars' first appearance before a judge, and is surprised to find that they have hired a lawyer, when burglars are usually forced to use public defenders. He is also surprised to learn that one of the burglars has a connection to Charles Colson, one of the most powerful men at the White House. When he returns to the Post and verifies this information, he reports it to Metro editor Harry Rosenfeld (Jack Warden), who decides that this story might be a bit bigger than they'd first thought. So he assigns Woodward along with Carl Bernstein (Dustin Hoffman) to cover it, against the wishes of managing editor Howard Simmons (Martin Balsam), who thought it should be handled by more seasoned reporters. Both reporters set out to gather more information about the connection between Charles Colson's office and the burglar, and find themselves running up against a blank wall at every turn: people refuse to talk to them, contradict themselves, and openly lie, all within twenty-four hours of the break-in. Through occasional slips on the part of the government employees they contact, they are able to at least piece together that this is a bigger story than then had imagined, one which involves highly placed government officials. It is at this point that managing editor Ben Bradlee (Jason Robards) takes a look at what they have and tells them that they don't have enough facts, so their story will be relegated to page three. But Bradlee can recognize a good story, and tells them to keep after it. The reporters get their first real break when they start investigating the background of the burglars and discover a check made out to Kenneth Dahlberg, Midwest Finance Chairman for the Committee to Re-elect the President (which would come to be commonly referred to as CREEP), in the bank account of a firm owned by burglar Bernard Barker. From there their investigation escalates: but when they finally run out of leads again, Woodward turns to a contact he used in a past investigation. This time the contact refuses to speak to him about the new investigation, or at least that's what he tells Woodward over the phone. The contact surreptitiously gets a note to Woodward with instructions on when and where to meet him (a dark semi-underground garage in the middle of the night). When they meet, the contact lays out ground rules: he will not be named as a source, and he will not give Woodward any information, he will only confirm. He leaves Woodward with the admonition to "follow the money," and thus the legendary shadow figure of Deep Throat was be born. Woodward and Bernstein's investigation, which would gain momentum, notoriety, and scorn as it continued from '72-'74, would eventually lead to those closest to President Nixon, and then to Nixon himself, with revelations about his knowledge and complicity in illegal activities and the notorious "dirty tricks" campaign eventually forcing his resignation. All the President's Men is a remarkable film that works on all levels. Screenwriter Goldman and director Pakula fashioned Woodward and Bernstein's book into a combination political thriller and in-depth look at investigative reporting. Goldman presents investigative reporting as it really is rather than as it is usually depicted in the movies: not all excitement, but frustrating and (at times) plodding with long periods of getting nowhere and running into dead ends. At the same time, Pakula miraculously keeps the tension high, even as Woodward and Bernstein are forced to go down a list of hundreds of names of employees and visit their homes strying to find someone who will talk about CREEP and how their money was handled. The film is filled with fine performances: Redford is solid as Woodward and Hoffman is equally good as Bernstein. But Jason Robards nearly steals the film in his Oscar®-winning turn as Ben Bradlee. Robards maintains a high level of control and keeps his face unreadable as he listens to each new revelation from his young reporters, often making his responses genuinely surprising. Another fine performance is turned in by Jane Alexander as the CREEP bookkeeper who opens up to Bernstein. Alexander's high anxiety performance conveys the full range of conflicting emotions of the terrified woman. All the President's Men should be mandatory viewing in every history course in America. But beyond that, the film is a must for anyone who loves the sheer art of movie-making. Warner Bros.' DVD of the film presents a beautiful transfer struck from source material that is in excellent shape. The black level is rock-solid and the contrast is way above par: a must for a film in which so much of the action takes place in dark areas. The audio is also in fine shape, with rich tone quality and deep bass. The two-disc special edition includes a feature-length commentary by Redford; "Telling the Truth about Lies: The Making of All the President's Men;" "Woodward and Bernstein: Lighting the Fire" featurette; "Out of the Shadows: The Man Who was Deep Throat" featurette; the vintage featurette "Pressure and the Press: the Making of All the President's Men;" and an interview excerpt with Jason Robards for the 70s talk show Dinah!, hosted by Dinah Shore. For more information about All the President's Men, visit Warner Video. To order All the President's Men, go to TCM Shopping. by Fred Hunter

Quotes

Well, who is Charles Colson?
- Bob Woodward
The most powerful man in the United States is President Nixon. You've heard of him? Charles Colson is special counsel to the President. There's a cartoon on his wall. The caption reads, "When you've got 'em by the balls, their hearts and minds will follow."
- Harry Rosenfeld
Bernstein, why don't you finish one story before trying to get on another?
- Harry Rosenfeld
I finished it.
- Carl Bernstein
The Virginia legislature story?
- Harry Rosenfeld
I finished it.
- Carl Bernstein
All right, give it to me.
- Harry Rosenfeld
I'm just polishing it.
- Carl Bernstein
Ken Clawson told me he wrote the Canuck letter.
- Sally Aiken
The letter that said Muskie was slurring the Canadians.
- Carl Bernstein
Clawson.
- Bob Woodward
The deputy director of White House communications wrote the Canuck letter. When'd he tell you this?
- Carl Bernstein
When we were having drinks.
- Sally Aiken
I don't mind what you did; I mind how you did it.
- Bob Woodward
Please, listen, now, if you're going to refer to that alleged conversation with Sally Aiken, you can't print that it took place in her apartment. I have a wife and a family and a dog and a cat.
- Ken Clawson
A wife and a family and a dog and a cat. Right, Ken, right, yeah. Uh, Ken, I don't want to print that you were in Sally's apartment...
- Ben Bradlee
Thank God.
- Ken Clawson
I just want to know what you said, in Sally's apartment.
- Ben Bradlee

Trivia

Frank Wills, the security guard who discovered the break-in at the Watergate complex, plays himself.

British director John Schlesinger declined an offer to direct as he felt the story of Watergate should be told by an American.

This was the first film Jimmy Carter watched during his presidential tenure.

The furious volley of typewriter keys striking paper in the opening scenes was created by layering the sounds of gunshots and whip-lashes over the actual sounds of a typewriter, accentuating the film's theme of words as weapons.

Permission to film at the Washington Post's newsroom was denied, so the production team recreated the facility at a Burbank studio in Los Angeles for a reported $450,000. The Post did, however, cooperate with the production's quest for authenticity by shipping several crates of actual newsroom refuse that included: unopened mail, government directories, Washington telephone directories, wire service copy, calendars, and even stickers from Ben Bradlee's secretary's desk.

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States Spring April 7, 1976

Released in United States on Video February 1, 1989

Released in United States June 2000

Shown at Newport International Film Festival June 6-11, 2000.

Released in United States April 1976

Released in United States Spring April 7, 1976

Released in United States on Video February 1, 1989

Released in United States June 2000 (Shown at Newport International Film Festival June 6-11, 2000.)

Released in United States April 1976