• James Hewlett

All The Presidents Men


Last night I watched a film that I've had on my list of shame for far too long. I've wanted to watch the 1976 film All The Presidents Men for so many years but for whatever reason I never got round to it. I was looking for something to watch on Prime Video last night though and as soon as I saw it on there I knew that was what I was in the mood for.

The film, starring Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman at the height of their fame, is an adaption of the book by the same name written by Woodward and Bernstein and is about their own investigation into the Watergate scandal that eventually led to the impeachment and resignation of President Richard Nixon.

Now when you hear that premise, if you're not already aware of the two, you might think that Woodward and Bernstein are spies of some sort, possibly FBI, at least police officers. No, these two were young journalists working for The Washington Post. They relentlessly followed leads, put in investigatory work and admittedly got lucky a few times in pursuit of not just a hot story that would sell papers but the truth.

In the current day and age that we live in that seems completely unheard of, like something from a fictional Aaron Sorkin written HBO series or something. Woodward and Bernstein inspired a generation of journalists but I feel like even though the people might still exist to do that sort of work, the organisations and architecture to get it seen and have lasting effect doesn't exist anymore. I'm pretty sure that a ton of worse stuff than the Nixon administration ever did is going on all over the world today but it just gets buried without lasting repercussion.

The film is very 'of its time' and won't appeal to everyone, it's shot darkly, has quite a lot of fast spoken, muffled dialogue that at times is hard to keep up with and I feel like it requires a base level of understanding of the events depicted for it to be fully appreciated. That said I really enjoyed it and it makes me want to watch it as part of a double feature with another film I've been meaning to get to, Steven Spielberg's The Post, which happens to be set in the same newsroom a few years earlier. Maybe I'll get to that next week.

#movies #reviews #listofshame #journalism #political #history #provocative #biography

©2017 by James Hewlett.