All The President's Men

 (4,880)
7.92 h 18 min1976X-RayPG
Reporters Woodward and Bernstein uncover the details of the Watergate scandal that leads to President Nixon's resignation.
Directors
Alan J. Pakula
Starring
Dustin HoffmanRobert RedfordJack Warden
Genres
SuspenseDramaHistorical
Subtitles
English [CC]
Audio languages
EnglishEnglish [Audio Description]
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Supporting actors
Martin BalsamHal HolbrookJason RobardsJane AlexanderMeredith BaxterNed BeattyStephen CollinsPenny FullerJohn McMartinRobert WaldenFrank WillsF. Murray AbrahamDavid ArkinHenry CalvertDominic Chianese
Producers
Walter Coblenz
Studio
WARNER BROS.
Rating
PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Purchase rights
Stream instantly Details
Format
Prime Video (streaming online video)
Devices
Available to watch on supported devices

Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars

4880 global ratings

  1. 83% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 10% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 4% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 1% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 2% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

John P. Jones IIIReviewed in the United States on January 7, 2022
5.0 out of 5 stars
A movie for January 06…
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I first watched this movie not long after it was released in 1976. What could be more compelling than watching it again, on the eve of the 6th, one of those dates that will now be one for remembrance and reflection? A presidency that had no respect for law or, even more importantly, common human decency. That drug that is more powerful and corrupting than meth: power. “You won’t have Nixon to kick around anymore, because, gentlemen, this is my last press conference,” was one of his famous quotes, self-pitying, after he lost the gubernatorial race in California in 1962. He would go on to hold many more, as we know, staging a stunning political come-back. As a classic “Nixon-hater,” I’d be tossed from any potential jury… yet, in the delicious ironies of history, my ability to write this review might be solely attributed to Richard Milhous Nixon. Sure, he was not thinking of me, encased in his own motives. Weaving its way through the military bureaucracy, his decision to “Vietnamize” the war in Vietnam (a bizarre concept, even that) led to my official “withdrawal” from the war. Instead of completing the standard tour (for the Army) in Vietnam of 365 days, I only spent 357 days. Eight glorious, perhaps life-giving days. Tricky Dick, bless ’im.

From the personal to the national, the irony again, for the press did indeed, decisively, have Nixon to kick around again. Two young and hungry reporters, Carl Bernstein, played by Dustin Hoffman, and Bob Woodward, played by Robert Redford, go against the grain, even of their own newspaper, having a nose for one of the biggest stories of the 20th century, which confirm Lord Acton’s axiom about power corrupting. Jason Robards plays an excellent Ben Bradlee, the editor of the Washington Post. Tough, he is, with his “cub reporters,” but eventually he is willing to chance Katherine Graham's bosom in that old-fashioned ringer washer, one of the many threats that Bradlee received at the time, for performing his duty to himself and the American people. (She was the owner of the WP at the time.) “Run it” he would finally proclaim.

The director, Alan J. Pakula, produced a tense, fast-moving, high-charged drama that seemed to reflect journalistic standards and customs at the time: the typewriter, the crammed desks in the open office floor plan, the hustle for the scoop and meeting the deadline. And this was one of the scoops that really happened.

The fear. That is what struck me hard, yet again. The fear that we stress is more normally associated with totalitarianism: Stalin, Hitler, et al. It was SO difficult for Bernstein and Woodward to get someone to talk. Period. And for the record, virtually never. The game played by the informant, “Deep Throat,” that finally and dramatically Woodward called his hand on it. There was the fear of loss of the money for the mortgage, damage to the career… and more dramatically, the loss of life: “your lives are in danger.”

Why, oh why? If all those political operatives and their dirty-tricks gamesmanship had not appealed to Nixon’s own underhanded ways of thinking and winning elections, including the red baiting of Helen Douglas, his Democratic opponent for the Senate in 1950, he almost certainly would have won the 1972 election with “peace at hand,” He won, but ultimately lost because of the dirty tricks.

What was not in the movie, but I remember distinctly having lived through the period, was the stationing of Alexander Haig (by whom?) in the White House to prevent “unauthorized orders” being transmitted to the 82nd Airborne Division. Hum. And who determines that the Commander-in-Chief gives an unauthorized order, and how heavy are the fingerprints on the order.

The events of January 06, a year ago, confirm the truths in the cliché about history not repeating but rhyming. And since time immemorial, the loyalty (or not) of “security,” has disturbed many a leader’s sleep. An essential viewing for all who fret about the democratic process. 5-stars, plus.
7 people found this helpful
Allen JacksonReviewed in the United States on December 27, 2012
1.0 out of 5 stars
Classic, great film; but VERY POOR Blu-Ray version!
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This great film was given a poor, unforgivable, JUNK Blu-Ray transfer. It has soft focus, bad colors, way too much black, and odd blacks in the wrong scenes. The worst blu-ray picture quality, along with THE GREAT ESCAPE, that I have ever seen (and I viewed it on a new hi-def 55" TV). And, actually, THE GREAT ESCAPE, a 13-years-older film, has a nicer blu-ray picture than this awful ALL THE PRESIDENT'S MEN blu-ray. The idiots who remastered this for blu-ray must have never done this job before, plus someone had the moronic idea to make every scene darker than ever shown before, thus everyone's faces range from mildly too dark to WAY TOO dark in virtually every scene of the film. WHO IN HELL APPROVED THIS JOB BEFORE THEY RELEASED IT TO THE COMPANY THAT PRESSED ALL THE BLU-RAYS FOR THEM?

Honestly, my two regular commercial DVDs of this film (the 2-disc Special Edition [enhanced for 16x9] AND my previous, non-Special-Edition full-screen-and wide-screen version [flip over the DVD to view the other]) look MUCH better on my 1999 JVC 32" tube TV than this blu-ray disc looks on my Hi-Def TV. MUCH better. In fact, I played the blu-ray disc on that old TV--which has a blu-ray player connected to it, which of course down-converts blu-ray discs for it (and they normally look great on my tube TV, by the way)--but here again, THIS blu-ray ALSO looks WORSE on the old tube TV than does the plain DVD versions on that TV. True.

Some stupidly way-too-dark scenes in the blu-ray:

1) Early in the film, when Woodward talks with attorney "Markum" in their last exchange, while standing together after Markum went to get a drink of water at a water fountain near the courtroom they had just left (Markum was the one Woodward had sat behind at the hearing for the 5 Watergate burglars, the guy who was slightly annoyed with him). While they are now standing and talking near the water fountain, they are in freaking near-darkness! This is INSIDE a lighted room! I assure you this was NOT originally filmed this way "for effect"-- this scene is much brighter in the far-superior Xfinity Streampix version discussed below.

2) All scenes inside Jack Warden's office at the Washington Post, and in fact many other scenes in other locations within the Post's large offices-- the light is at least a bit too dim, the focus is soft (ESPECIALLY the focus for the actors, it is more weak than the focus of the office walls or furnishings), the colors are slightly bland (again, worse for the humans) . . . oy, what crap. All of these interior scenes are MUCH better on the Xfinity Streampix version, being both much brighter and much sharper.

3) Other indoor scenes later in the movie when Woodward and Bernstein are working together, alone, and are physically close to each other; yet it freaking looks like they are working in the dark-- yet they are in rooms with lights on!! Yet again, these scenes are much brighter and better in the Xfinity Streampix version.

Worst blu-ray I've ever gotten, out of 300 bought, and it's too bad, because I love this riveting movie. (I recently bought Redford's 1975 film, "Three Days of the Condor" on blu ray, and it is BEAUTIFUL-- SHARP, GLOSSY, and NEW-LOOKING. Yet, the film is a year older than ATPM!! I should add that even the "Three Days of the Condor" DVD, which I already owned, is FAR better in picture quality on an HD TV than the ATPM blu ray!)

There is simply nothing good to say about this "All The President's Men" blu-ray release except perhaps that it has all of the same extras that the 2-disc Special Edition DVD version has.

UPDATE - May 24, 2014 - Recently, my cable TV provider, Comcast (now, "Xfinity") offered this movie in Hi-Definition for free via their "StreamPix" (it's playing for free through June 30, 2014 where I live). Well, their HD version is really nice, almost "beautiful"-- it is LIGHT YEARS better than this awful blu-ray! I actually compared them, side by side and scene by scene, and for this comparison, I also pulled out my 2-disc Special Edition (enhanced for 16x9 TVs) DVD, plus the very first DVD of this film ever issued (with full-screen and wide-screen versions on flip sides of the disc), also compared vs. the Amazon Instant Video HD version, which I rented, and ALSO, I compared with a blu-ray that a very "techie" friend of mind was able to record for me off of his satellite TV system (he has recorded numerous, BEAUTIFUL HD blu-rays for me off of TV, with zero Hi-Def quality-loss vs. watching those programs "live" on an HDTV oneself. Amazing stuff.)

Among these six options, I have to say that the obvious WORST of the group of six is THIS overpriced blu-ray being reviewed here by us all-- the commercial blu-ray offered by Warner Brothers. The MOST noticable, and stupid, thing, in this commercially-made blu-ray is that in several indoor scenes IN BRIGHT or at least NORMAL LIGHT, the faces of the Redford, Hoffman, and whoever else is in the scene, are DARK! WAY under-lighted. Second, the quality is grainy-- and not in ANY positive sense, as everything is STILL soft-focus. Third, the colors are just not colorful in any way-- BOTH of my earlier DVDs are way more colorful (which still isn't highly colorful), as is the Xfinity StreamPix version (which is BY FAR the best of all versions.)

To rate these versions of ALL THE PRESIDENT'S MEN when viewed on a HI-DEF TV, in order of best to worst, here goes:

1) Xfinity (Comcast) Streampix - By FAR the best, on ALL counts. Sharpest-focus HD picture, most vibrant colors, and SO MUCH brighter a picture. And no, friends, not "too" bright by any stretch; no, instead it's the ONLY one of the three Hi-Def versions I have that is merely SUFFICIENTLY bright, or normally bright. So that when you see these men in a meeting inside their fluorescent-bulbed office, you can see their faces normally and also see the detail on their faces (and on Jack Warden's bald head!). Again, this version is superior in EVERY WAY to all of the other choices! Even as to sound quality.

2) The WB Special Edition version (2-disc set), with the movie enhanced for 16x9 TVs - This DVD is darned good as to picture-quality, and beats out the blu-ray--YES-- EVEN on HD TV sets as well as on older tube TV sets. It has very nice colors, is sufficiently bright (though not quite as bright as the Xfinity Streampix version, but close in this regard), and is very sharp on an HD TV for merely a DVD!! Only slightly softer focus and slightly less bright than the above Xfinity Streampix version.

That "enhancing for 16x9 TVs" goes VERY far with many DVDs (UPTOWN SATURDAY NIGHT, THE PAPER CHASE, THREE DAYS OF THE CONDOR, BLAME IT ON RIO, GLENGARRY, GLEN ROSS, and SHADE being SIX other personal favorites that are good examples of commercial (studio-issued) DVDs that ALSO look great on an HD TV, looking only a hair less than true High-Definition).

3) The first Warner Brothers studio-issued DVD (in full screen and flip over to wide-screen) - this might be the equal of #2 immediately above, as they sure look similar on my HD TV, but I ranked this version one notch below because it doesn't share the same disc with a full-screen version, and was issued later, so maybe SOMETHING was improved?! (Of course, the blu-ray is the newest of all, and YET is the worst of all, so who can ever tell!)

4) The Amazon Instant Video HD version. This one's picture quality is as sharp as the blu ray (big deal!), maybe a hair sharper, without the deep, deep blacks and without the graininess of the blu ray. But, still not sharp; nor bright enough. Hardly high-def-looking.

5) The blu-ray recorded by my near-genius friend for me from some satellite TV HD pay-per-view movie channel. Again, his blu-rays always looks gorgeous-- but just not THIS movie. The problem with this one is all about the satellite pay-movie network (I don't recall the name, but had never heard of it before) that he recorded it from, not his capabilities. Still, while this has soft focus, muted colors, and is too dark, with too much "black", it's still not as bad as #6, below.

6) Last and Worst: the commercial Warner Home Video blu-ray that we are reviewing here. Yuk! The worst on all counts except that its sound is better than #5, immediately above. They are actually offering this crap BD in a book version, too, which I'm sure is a nice add-on. But, this blu-ray is garbage, as to the movie, for all of the reasons enumerated above. Nearly all scenes are WAY too dark (such that faces are hard to see), colors are weak (they are muted plus there's way too much black), it needs to be A LOT brighter, the focus is SOFT, yet it is STILL the only one of the five that's grainy (and I rarely object to grain in an old movie when the picture is sharp as a result, but this is dull and soft-focus). The extras on the blu-ray, however, are all fine.

Stay away from this crap. The studio should be ashamed of itself for putting out such garbage.

By the way, as an owner of over 300 blu-rays, and many times that number of DVDs, I can say this is the first-ever blu-ray I have bought that was worse than the DVD. Think of that: how many of you own a studio-made DVD of a favorite film and look forward with great eagerness to getting the blu-ray, primarily for an improved, preferably much-improved, HD picture? (Yes, even in an old movie, a fine HD picture is still possible.) And we virtually always get a MUCH-better, nice HD picture when that blu-ray arrives! Well, not this blu-ray; it is worse than the DVD of this movie that you already may own.

I'm sorry to have to have written this. But I love this film, and also spent hours the other day comparing all six versions that I have against one another. This commercial blu-ray is simply the worst.

Can anyone here record a blu-ray of the Xfinity Streampix version????? My (out-of-state) buddy, unfortunately, cannot, since he doesn't have my cable TV company. And I know nobody else who knows how to do this, or has the equipment to do so (apparently, he tells me, what is needed primarily, besides knowledge of how to do it, is a computer with a huge hard drive of several Gb capacity.)

Hopefully, Warner will re-master this great film into at least a mediocre blu-ray. That would be nice . . . And, imagine how nice a truly good or great HD blu-ray would be!!!
22 people found this helpful
CJ StumpfReviewed in the United States on October 2, 2022
5.0 out of 5 stars
Those who do not learn from history are destined…
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If ever a movie should be required viewing , this is it.
Thw pervasive corruption of the presidency and the top levels of the three letter institutions really happened in the US, as did the Catholic Priesthood protection of pedophilia.
At that time, the US still had a “Fourth Estate” that was still functional in places, as well as enough commonality in information to mobilize its citizenry.
The pervasiveness of the corruption is a lesson, as was the importance of oversight provided by the fourth estate. .
With the Fourth Estate no longer functional , at least not presently, an awareness of its impact and also of what can happen in our most powerful and trusted establishments, government and religion,
seems all the more important to the hope of integrity.
TMReviewed in the United States on November 20, 2022
4.0 out of 5 stars
Worth watching. A well-made suspense film and slice of legit US history.
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Worth watching. A well-made suspense film and slice of legit US history.
- M -Reviewed in the United States on January 3, 2019
5.0 out of 5 stars
As vital and more important today as it was when first released
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When All The President's Men was first released - it is important to note that the American psyche was still reeling from the fallout of Watergate, and the Impeachment/Resignation of Nixon.

To the best of our knowledge - no other sitting President ever so flaunted the rule of law, nor used the awesome power of the Executive Branch to wage war on his (real, or perceived) political enemies. This film captures the the story of Woodward and Bernstein - who at the time were relatively unknown young journalists, when the story was still fresh and America was coming to terms with the level of deception and criminality committed by a sitting President.

Because visual narrative styles in cinema have changed a great deal in the roughly 42+ years since the original release, there is little to initially draw a younger, modern audience into the story of two reporters who independently stumble upon some curious facts surrounding a break-in at the Watergate offices of the DNC during the 1972 Presidential Election. In time, Ben Bradlee (The Post's Executive Editor) corralled the two reporters into working together and the two eventually come to realize (to their horror) there was something much bigger, much more sinister at play. At almost every turn as they pursued their story they were blocked, stonewalled, and intimidated by forces they couldn't even fathom, yet alone reckon with. Only after doggedly pushing back with every journalistic tool at their disposal do they eventually realize that an otherwise minor crime was orchestrated at the highest levels within the White House.

So, why would anyone want to invest roughly 90 minutes of their life watching a movie from the bell-bottomed 70's about a scandal few people care about any longer? I would say mainly as a primer for young aspiring journalists on how to play their trade, but also because past is prologue when we look around and consider the corruption in the White House today. Nixon arguably got away with his criminal behavior (I say "arguably", because he had no choice but to resign as a consequence, but was never held legally accountable for his actions due to Ford's pardon), and there are consequences to that miscarriage of justice.

In the years since, Nixon advisor Roger Ailes later founded a "News" network to counter the mainstream news narrative in order to advance a partisan political narrative (and provide political cover for GOP shenanigans). Dick Cheney (himself the focus of "Vice") - who was a White House staffer under Nixon eventually became Chief of Staff under Ford, Sec'y of Defense, an finally VP under GWB. Alexander Haig, Nixon's Chief of Staff during Watergate became Sec'y of State under Reagan - a President who also endured a scandal (Iran-Contra) involving abuse of power and violation, outlined the rationale and helped craft the language for Nixon's eventual pardon.

But perhaps most important of all, it's important to note that an Attorney recommended to Joe McCarthy by J. Edgar Hoover named Roy Cohn, a man known for his ruthlessness and chicanery, served as an advisor to Nixon before, during, and after Watergate. Roy Cohn would later enter the private sector as a lawyer in NYC, representing (among others) none other than Donald J. Trump in a lawsuit alleging racial bias in violation of the Fair Housing Act (Trump settled), Roger Stone, and mob figures such as John Gotti. Cohn also introduced Trump to a newspaper man from Australia named Rupert Murdock, the man who runs FoxNews and who has provided a number of former employees (Bill Shine, John Bolton, and now Heather Nauert) who now work for Mr. Trump.

One cannot fully understand the corruption deep in the DNA of the Trump administration without understanding the story of Watergate, the players, and the political/cultural aftermath of the scandal. We should all listen attentively to those who compare Trump's criminality with Nixon's - and worry for the future of our Democracy when so many of the lessons learned from this period have been (conveniently) forgotten.

(Recommendation: Watch this film, along with "Mark Felt", and "Frost/Nixon" - then circle back to "Good night, and Good Luck" for a fuller picture of the issues, antecedent, and key players in this corrupt carnival of conservative cronies.)
4 people found this helpful
Richard L. ConradReviewed in the United States on November 12, 2022
5.0 out of 5 stars
Very true to history. Nice to see it many years later. LOL
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Not only a great historical movie but purchased from a great Vendor.
RLC
JohnReviewed in the United States on September 21, 2022
5.0 out of 5 stars
Super important, must-read
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Excellent account of the wretched times when Nixon was president. Takes you right there in Washington for the investigation
of one of the biggest political crimes the USA ever faced.
Isis McReviewed in the United States on January 14, 2019
5.0 out of 5 stars
Not knowing about Watergate in detail is missing an important chapter of US history.
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Who knows how many times a conspiracy to gain control over a presidential election has taken place. Watergate almost passed stealth if the persistence of Woodrow and Berstein would not stand against all the odds. US politics and politicians, CIA, FBI agents and more were placed in the bench of defendants and accused of a severe crime that in a democratic nation with the reputation of the USA could never, should never take place. Having a US president to resign after been embarrassed by extreme corruption, obstruction of justice and many other counts, is not a simple event or something that you could expect in the most developed industrial nation.

The movie is fantastic. Although based on the book by the Washington Post reporters and the actual scandal, the director Alan J. Pakula (Klute, Sophie's Choice, Pelican Brief) did not miss a single beat to entertain even the most demanding movie viewer and capture the whole spirit of this dark chapter in US political history.

Redford's and Hoffman's performances are incredibly engaging and exciting. The story well belongs to a fiction story, but it was not. Woodward and Bernstein had to fiddle with top figures of the famous newspaper because they did not see what the actual issue was about the reporter's investigation and findings. This investigation almost was canceled/denied so many times. Great that did not die before the truth was revealed. It took finding tiny pieces, one at the time and the contribution of someone extremely intelligent and knowledgeable of the whole story of this critical chapter of US history. Deep Throat did not want to risk his life going public, so here share some information to Woodward. Both reporters apparently did not mind the risk. Maybe because their intuition told them being after a considerable issue. Everyone involved placed their muscle on any possible witness so no one would say anything. There was big money, illegal transactions, illegal investigations of important Democrat Party figures, bugging homes, offices, the WH, surveillance of many people that could threaten the unlawful campaign by the US president, the attorney general, WH chief of staff, many Republican Party leaders and more. This conspiracy was as massive as any could ever be and nearly impossible to believe.

Knowing the details of this torrid scandal is becoming aware of how politics, including in the USA can behave. It is excellent that this gritty affair was turned into a film that was supervised and supported by the reporters that risked their lives to expose the worse wrong in American political history.

This film is so well-made that this is my third time watching it and I am thrilled I did. I hope you feel the same, regardless of the shame that it brings to a conscious American. The movie received multiple nominations, including the Academy and it has been placed in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant." Please do yourself a favor and do not miss it or watch it again!
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