Images of America

A Social and Historical Look
at America Through the Movies

Study Guide - All The President's Men (1976)

Director : Alan Pakula

Stars :
Dustin Hoffman .... Carl Bernstein
Robert Redford .... Bob Woodward
Jack Warden .... Harry M. Rosenfeld
Martin Balsam .... Howard Simons
Hal Holbrook .... Deep Throat
Jason Robards .... Ben Bradlee

Preparation :
Read the Roger Ebert and NY Times Review

Historical/Social Significance :
"Newspapers and newspapermen have long been favorite subjects for moviemakers—a surprising number of whom are former newspapermen, yet not until All the President's Men, the riveting screen adaptation of the Watergate book by Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward, has any film come remotely close to being an accurate picture of American journalism at its best." Vincent Canby NY Times

"It begins logically on the night of June 17, 1972, when five men were arrested in an apparent break-in at the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee in the Watergate complex in Washington, and continues through the spectacular series of revelations, accusations, and admissions of guilt that eventually brought the Nixon Presidency to its conclusion." Canby

"... director's use of newsreel footage from time to time—the shots of President Nixon's helicopter making a night landing at the White House, which open the film; the television images of the President entering the House of Representatives, and of other familiar folk including former Attorney General John N. Mitchell, former Vice President Agnew, and, especially, Representative Gerald R. Ford in the course of his nomination of President Nixon at the 1972 Republican National Convention." Canby

Synopsis :
Washington Post reporters Woodward and Bernstein come across a story that looks pretty interesting.

    Guided Questions for Viewing :
    Assessment questions will be based on the following :
  • What does "Follow the money" mean with reference to this film.
  • Discuss the relationship of the two reporters as the movie goes along.
  • Do you feel the reporters were reporting the news or making the news? Do you feel it should be part of a reporter's job to "make news".
  • Discuss the character "deep throat". What do you think his motivations were? Reference the movie in your answer.
  • Would you consider the two reporters heroes? Why or why not?
  • The Roger Ebert review was a lot less enthusiastic than the Vincent Canby review. Which one did you agree with? Why?

Ebert, Roger. "All the President's Men"

Canby, Vincent. "All the President's Men" NY Times Review.

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