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USA 1976
Directed by
Alan J. Pakula
138 minutes
Rated M

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
4 stars

All The President's Men

Although the raw material, a detailed account of the famous Bernstein/Woodward exposure of Watergate, may not seem too promising as filmic material, director Alan J, Pakula, ably helped by William Goldman's script, does an excellent job of turning it into a gripping detective story-cum-thriller  as Washington Post journalists, Bob Woodward (Robert Redford) and Carl Bernstein (Dustin Hoffman), investigating a break-in at the Democratic Party Headquarters uncover a political scandal which leads all the way to the White House.

Made in close collaboration with both Bernstein and Woodward as well as others actually involved in the investigation the emphasis is squarely on unembellished authenticity although Pakula still manages to invest proceedings with nail-biting tension as good as any Hollywood thriller.

Redford and Hoffman are both very effective (although producer Redford gets more screen time) as the two very different personalities hanging onto the tail of the biggest journalistic coup of the century with strong support from a clutch of veteran character actors including Jason Robards (who won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar), Jack Warden, Martin Balsam, Hal Halbrook and Ned Beatty to name only the well-known.

Although understandable as what we have requires close attention and is already long the film ends rather abruptly glossing over a considerable amount of material with what in effect are cleverly-done end titles.




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