All The President's Men
*** GM
Starring: Robert Redford, Dustin Hoffman, Jason Robards, Jack Warden, Hal Holbrook, Ned Beatty


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I don't know if I've ever been left hanging by a movie as much as I have by this one.

We've got Bob Woodward (Robert Redford) and Carl Bernstein (Dustin Hoffman) reporting for the Washington Post, slowly struggling to confirm and break the story about the Watergate break-in and the cover-up that extended to the highest office in the land. We follow their struggles - from the initial break-in to scrambling to pick up any loose scrap of information they can, to the frustrations in trying to get ANYBODY to go on the record with something they can report legitimately, even though they can smell what's going on through all the non-denial denials. They've even got a shadowy character named after a porn flick in a garage that will only give them hints. It's got them wondering whether or not these tidbits actually form a bigger puzzle or if they're on a wild goose chase.

And it's when they finally get the confirmation they need, when Deep Throat finally spills his guts, when Jason Robards finally gives them the go-ahead to keep this dangerous story going... THIS is the moment they decide to turn the movie into a few sentences of typewritten text that sums up what happened. What the hell? This was a movie! Did ya run outta film? There's supposed to be some sort of climax here. Believe it or not, two guys at a typewriter while Nixon's being re-inaugurated - while it makes an interesting visual - is NOT a climactic moment for a film.

The film was good up to this point, and it was really interesting to see how the story unfolded, how it broke, what the reporters had to do to put the pieces together and how many times the story was almost killed before it got off the ground. But that cut-off ending really sucked all the guts out of the film and left me high and dry.

But it's also a bit of a scary reminder - we have NO IDEA of the extent to which our government has engaged in the lowest, dirtiest, shittiest tactics to get what it thinks it needs. The only reason this story broke is because Nixon surrounded himself with morons. Goddam, no one should trust the government.

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