All the President’s Men, a 1976 release is a classic political thriller based on a novel named the same published in the year 1972. The publishers of the novel were two investigative reporters assigned to investigate the water gate scandal that rocked President Nixon’s administration. The President’s men were members of the president’s executive staff involved in the burglary that occurred at the Watergate complex. The burglars conducted illegal activities such as wiretapping, political espionage and sabotaging, improper tax audits and campaign fraud (Bernstein and Bob 28). The two reporters discovered the oval office was involved and made it public. President Nixon was forced to resign on August 1974 when some of his advisors were found guilty of conspiracy. The two reporters became engraved forever as heroes who broke the biggest story in the history of the U.S. politics.
The film is produced and directed by Robert Redford. The main casts in the movie are the two reporters working for the Washington Post newspaper. The actors, Dustin Hoffman who represents Carl Bernstein and Robert Redford as the other reporter Bob Woodward play the major role in the film of investigating the Watergate scandal (Ritchie 51). The movie begins with a burglary at the Watergate Complex located in Washington. At first the story is deemed not worthy, nevertheless the Washington newspaper assigns the task of investigative reporting to Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein. The two upon visiting the scene of the crime develop a feeling that the burglary was not an ordinary one.
The two pick various leads, for instance a trail of money, possibly conspiracy as the cause of burglary, and high pressure from higher government offices. They follow the clues left behind by the burglars and discover they lead to the white house. President Nixon’s advisors and some of the members of his executive staff are implicated in the crime.
Trials commence early before the 1972 elections and during this time, the public’s attention was not that much focused on the story. President Nixon was safely re-elected for a second term. However, as the movie progresses, the President Nixon is ordered by the Supreme Court to surrender wired tapes for investigation for which he complies. He submits the wired tapes towards the end of July 1974 (Noble 88). Public pressure mounts and 10 days after handing the evidence, President Nixon opts to resign from office, while a number of his advisors are convicted by the Supreme Court for the burglary crimes (Noble 89). President Nixon’s action makes him the first ever sitting President to resign from office.
Robert Redford employs the documentary style format in the movie to narrate the history of the United States Watergate scandal in a realistic way (Toplin 21). Throughout the movie, it is evident that careful attention has been accorded to detail with the aim of giving a true representation of how the Watergate scandal really happened. This is known as cinematic realism which calls for the portrayal of a historic happening in fine detail so that audiences believe and legitimize the reports (Toplin 21).
In a recap, the movie All the President’s men is regarded as a classic because it gives a close account of what actually happened during the water gate scandal. It was produced during the same decade of the scandal therefore gives an accurate portrayal of what transpired using firsthand accounts of the two Washington Post investigators who broke the story, that is Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward. The movie is fascinating, taut, and gripping. It enlightens viewers about the scandal that changed the American Presidency in the most dramatic way.
Bernstein, Carl, and Bob Woodward. All the President’s men. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1974. Print.
Noble, William. Presidential power on trial: from Watergate to All the president’s men. Berkeley Heights, NJ: Enslow Publishers, 2009. Print.
Ritchie, Donald A. “Investigating the Watergate Scandal.” OAH Magazine of History12.4 (1998): 49-53. Print.
Toplin, Robert Brent. History by Hollywood: the use and abuse of the American past. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1996. Print.