Top 100 Movies All the President’s Men

Top 100 Movies All the President’s Men
Reader Rating7 Votes

Top 100 Movies All the President’s Men. When I originally envisioned doing this, I thought I’d write them all, and release them, one a day, for 100 days. Well. That didn’t happen. And not only that! But I took a serious hiatus from doing them at all after hitting Blazing Saddles on the list. Now, granted, Blazing Saddles is worthy of being on the list, but in this day and age, the complicated, multi-faceted world that we live in?? Yeah. I really don’t want to hurt anyone here. And comedies aren’t even worth even risking it… not to me anyway. If comedies are your thing – my apologies… but they really aren’t what we do here on THiNC. But we are back, with All the President’s Men, and I’m really looking forward to this one. And if you are watching the fantastically gritty series Gaslit, then you are familiar with the ground we are covering here.

Top 100 Movies of All Time All the President’s Men Overview

Alright – let’s hit play on this one. (For the record, I’ve seen it before, a long time ago.) We start with the break in. If you are unfamiliar with Watergate, a security guard named Frank Wills discovers a jimmied door at the Watergate complex. And good for him… because he kicked off a domino effect of chaos and wildness, and eventually the toppling of an American president. After calling the police, they find five random guys, burglars, in the DNC Headquarters. Huh. That’s kind of weird. Well, even though this was a nothing story at the time, The Washington Post sends in Bob Woodward (Robert Redford, who hasn’t been in anything at all… if you don’t know him, I can’t help you. But I will say, his movie The Discovery was BRILLIANT.) and after a bit his joined with Carl Bernstein (Dustin Hoffman) as a duo that initially isn’t interested in working together. But it’s brilliant in the way the two contrarians are thrown in together: “Woodward, Bernstein, you’re on this together, now don’t fuck it up.”

But I’m getting ahead of myself now. Let’s go backwards a moment. Woodward, pounding the pavement, making calls, discovers that the five ham-burglars had with them electronic bugging equipment. So – wait – they aren’t stealing stuff? Better yet? They have a wicked expensive attorney which makes him go… huh? Now, one of the burglars had recently left the CIA… James McCord, and the other four men are Cubans with CIA ties as well. Woodward’s spidey senses are going absolutely nuts. Like a pointer in full-on point. Loved this section of the movie where he is just pounding every lead, one right after the other, and it’s like K-mart had a sale on brick walls that week, because that’s all he’s finding.

As an aside, I’m a huge library fan. Have been since I was a teen. And when I learned that any library could do an inner-library loan from ANY library in the United States, and normally it was free? I went crazy. I can even remember the book that sent me off the deep end… Lempriere’s Dictionary. Why? Because in Europe, their version of the book was like twice as long. But I digress. Then, when I began working as a staffer in the Senate, I realized, as a staffer, I could order any book basically on the planet via Lexus Nexus and the Library of Congress would just… wheel it over to me? Regardless, there is an interesting section here where Woodward and Bernstein just call up and ask for all of Howard Hunt’s book interests and someone just hands the two of them all the reservations for the last year? I mean… did that happen? Now adays, the local library doesn’t even keep your holds on file just to avoid implicating its patrons. I know, I’ve checked. Sure, the FBI can probably still get them (Se7en) but didn’t they have ANY standards for who could have that information back in the day?? Anyway… continuing on.

Woodward reaches out to a senior government official who, at first, refuses to talk to him on the subject of Watergate. But later, Woodward gets a note in his Washington Post at his door, directing him to start using numerous clandestine methods when he wants to talk. Thus begins his conversations with “Deep Throat.” And Deep Throat tells Woodward to follow the money. And I am currently like 20 minutes in to a 2+ hour movie, which means I gotta speed this up. But I think I’m enjoying this movie way too much apparently. ANYWAY, that’s what duo Woodstein does… they begin to follow the money. A $25,000 cashiers check, then shredding that is occurring, and remind me again as to why the Republicans would do something as stupid as burgle the DNC HQ when Nixon is up by 18 points?

Eventually, the duo is able to connect the dots between an enormous slush fund between the White House and chief of staff H.R. Haldeman. Who, happens to be, “the second most powerful man in the country.” And from Haldeman over to John Mitchel, the previous attorney general. Well, it would appear, that a year before, this fund was supporting a “ratfucking” effort in order to take down Democratic candidates a year prior to the burglary. But it would appear, that during that time, Nixon was behind in the polls, not ahead like he is now. Capiche? But, wisely, Bradlee demands that his two impulsive reporters be thorough and confirm this explosive allegation.

Now Deep Throat, after Woodward demands that he be less evasive, tells Woodward that Haldeman was the one that had the idea for the Watergate break in. And after he lets them know this, he also tells them that their lives are in danger because both the CIA and the FBI are involved. Then, on January 20th, 1973, Bernstein and Woodward craft their entire story, and pull all the pieces together. We watch in a montage as Nixon is sworn in for his second term. Then shots of various headlines coming from the Washington Post. And the montage end with Nixon’s resignation.

Thoughts on the Film The President’s Men

It’s an infectious story. From beginning to end. My only critique of the film is that it’s too short by two hours. I mean… kills me to be saying this to such a good movie, but the ending seems a little pasted on. But that aside? You can see why Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman were two of the biggest movies stars of their day. They just crushed this movie.

Better yet, the movie is basically attempting to concisely explain exactly the risk involved with going after the most powerful person in the world. They were telling a story that absolutely everyone knew this story back when this movie was originally released. It had only happened a couple years prior! So, to explain to the public exactly what had occurred inside and beneath the headlines was a really amazing feat. And, in that light, maybe it would be a total bore to make this thing a four hour movie. But I could have watched another 10 hours of these two scraping and clawing their way towards the truth.

Remind me where that kind of investigative journalism has gone. Red? Blue? I don’t care. Where has the street pounders gone? The tenacious reporters with ink in their bloods fighting to find the truth. Like, you know… the real truth, not some spin of thing called truth. This movie is a memorial to the way news media houses used to run.

Edited by: CY