Bob Woodard (Robert Redford) and Carl Bernstein (Dustin Hoffman) worked for the Washington Post during a time of great unrest in the country. The Vietnam War was underway and President Richard Nixon was having people engage in sabotage against the Democratic party. Watergate was not a household word at the time, but it would grow to the stature of scandal that led the President of the United States to resign, the only time in our history (so far) where a President stepped down from office in midterm.
All the President’s Men is the film based the novel written by Woodward and Bernstein detailing those times of the early 1970s when this drama was unfolding.
This was a tremendous movie, featuring two of the best actors of the day in Redford and Hoffman telling one of the most important stories of corruption and power of our time.
It is the reason why it is necessary for the United States to have a free press and why that fact is protected within the US Constitution in the very first amendment.
I was riveted through the entire film as Woodward and Bernstein ran down every clue they could find, using whatever tricks or maneuvers they had in their arsenal to confirm stories and make sure that what they were printing was not fake news (if you’ll forgive the allusion).
There were other awesome performances in the film as well. Jason Robards (who wins an Oscar for this role) played Ben Bradlee, executive editor of the Washington Post. Bradlee’s support of Woodward and Bernstein is one reason why the truth was able to surface. Hal Holbrook played Deep Throat, the ultra secret shadowy informant who provided hints and details to Woodward (in 2005 Deep Throat was revealed to be former FBI associate director Mark Felt). Jack Warden played Harry Rosenfeld, the editor of the Post at the time. Jane Alexander played a bookkeeper who provided vital information for Woodward and Bernstein (and she received an Oscar nomination for her role).
Watching the process of following up leads and trying to protect sources by allowing them the ability to only confirm facts was fascinating. It was also impressive to see how the entire group worked together, despite the external pressures loaded upon the staff of the Post.
I will tell you that this entire film felt very relevant to what is happening in the world today. There is little doubt that the country itself faces these kind of challenges and, with any luck, will come out of today’s issues as well as they did in the 1970s. These movies featuring hard working journalists (who are not the enemy of the people) are always fascinating films and All the President’s Men is no exception.