All the President’s Men (1976) – Alan J. Pakula

One of the films that are on DK Canada’s What Else to Watch list after I screened Battle of Algiers is one of my favorite newspaper films, All the President’s Men. Based on the brilliant expose by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein the film is as relevant now, perhaps more so, as when it was made as it illustrates the need for the free press in the running of a democracy.

Bob Woodward (Robert Redford) and Carl Bernstein (Dustin Hoffman) are writers for the Washington Post who catch the story of the Watergate break in and begin tugging at the threads that lead all the way to the Oval Office.

Redford and Hoffman are perfectly cast, and the story is whipsmart, and requires you to pay attention throughout. The intrepid reporters pluck away at the case, the leads, trying to sort it all out, connecting it all, and discovering the truth at its heart.

Brilliantly paced, with a script by William Goldman, adapting the investigative work into a compelling film, All the President’s Men is a must watch for any of those people running around shouting ‘fake news.’

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While it did not take home the Oscar for Best Picture that year, it did walk away with Best Supporting Actor for Jason Robards, Best Screenplay, Best Sound, and Best Art/Set Direction.

This film remains an amazing film not only for journalists, but anyone interested in history, politics, newspapers, or just a fascinating drama. I remember the first time I saw this one, I was just starting out in university, and it fired my imagination, and made me rethink my course choices, though I never followed through on the idea of being a newspaper reporter.

And while I never became one, I remain a fan of investigative journalists, and the need for the truth to be dragged into the light by those who actively try to hide it. I think that films, and stories like this need to be seen and known, by all political parties – this film demonstrates why we need a free press, because otherwise those who are in power would never be held accountable for their actions.

A fantastically crafted film, All the President’s Men still engages as much as it din when it was released, and is as important now, if not more so, as it was then. It also features a number of recognizable stars including Hal Holbrook, Jack Warden, Ned Beatty, Meredith Baxter, and Stephen Collins.

DK Books’ The Movie Book continues to entertain, educate and inform, and I love when it lets me revisit some of my favorite films. Pick up a copy today, and find a new classic to watch tonight!

AllThePresidentsMen

 

 

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