All the King’s Men (1949)

DailyView: Day 336, Movie 481

This Best Picture winner from 1946, All the King’s Men, has some distinct connections to the present day politics and made me think of a former president of the United States as I watched it.

Willie Stark (Broderick Crawford) was running for treasurer in his Southern state, and newspaper man Jack Burden (John Ireland) was on hand to report about the race. Stark lost that race, but he had learned a lot along the way and looked to campaign for the Governor of the state.

This time. Stark does not lose, and he begins to grab power through deals and corrupt plans. Stark became a shadow of the former honest man he was seen to be as he continued to carry through with misbehaviors and criminal dealings.

When his son (John Derek) got drunk and crashed his car, putting his girlfriend into a near death state, Stark arranged for the girl’s father to disappear.

The power that Willie Stark had come to find had corrupted him completely, unable to see the horrendous human being that he had become.

Almost 80 years later, this whole story of this governor (who was reportedly based on Louisiana Governor Huey Long) draws quite a parallel with Donald Trump, right down to the impeachment attempt and the chanting crowd protesting the impeachment.

This made this film even more difficult to watch. It was as if I’d been watching this for the past six years.

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