All the President’s Men, released in 1976, is a political thriller. The movie won Academy Awards for Best Art Direction, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Sound, and Best Supporting Actor (Jason Robards). Alan J. Pakula directed the film, William Goldman wrote the screenplay, and Walter Coblenz produced it. The film is based on the book, All the President’s Men by Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward.
Two journalists for The Washington Post think there’s something fishy about the Watergate break-in that occurred in June of 1972. Five burglars broke into the Democratic National Committee headquarters. At first, the event didn’t garner much attention. Bob Woodward (Robert Redford) begins to question why the five men receive an attorney so quickly after their arrest. Also, one of the burglars tells the judge that he used to be employed by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). I think this fact would get my attention as well. As it turns out, the other four have ties with the CIA. Woodward, with the aid of Carl Bernstein (Dustin Hoffman), begins to poke around. What the journalists discover is that the inconsequential break-in is anything but. In fact, the scandal reaches to the top of the American political system. However, those in power don’t want this to be discovered. Woodward and Bernstein refuse to be intimidated and don’t give up.
This movie, which I have seen before, is an amazing thriller. I wondered if I would find it dated at all and I’m happy to report that I didn’t Once I popped it into the DVD player I was glued to the TV. Even though I’m familiar with the scandal I found myself completely absorbed by this film. I squirmed in my seat as the story unfolded. I wish more political thrillers were like this one. There are complications, but it isn’t so complicated that when it was over I wasn’t scratching my head wondering what in the heck happened. This is an old-fashioned who done it film that doesn’t disappoint.
Not that this should factor into your decision, but my dog was not impressed by this movie at all. I was so engrossed in the film that I wouldn’t even throw his toy. He was bored beyond belief.
Up next on my AFI list is Forrest Gump, ranked at 76 on the top 100 AFI films.