I’m the very definition of the post-Watergate generation. I was born just weeks before Nixon’s resignation, and when I was a half-year old my family moved to Washington D.C. to work for a Congressman that they’d help elect.
A year later we moved away after the Congressman was caught soliciting a prostitute and resigned. So, my view of politics is, shall we say, dim.
Which is why I love films like All the President’s Men that dive straight into the grim, slimy world of politics and the slow, detailed work necessary to expose it. So much of what Woodward and Bernstein did was led by hunches, research and thoughtfulness — not exactly an action-packed thrill ride of guns, chases and beatings. But the film is relentlessly gripping and engaging. Redford and Hoffman are at their primes and Pakula’s direction is surgeon precise.
If you can, follow up this movie with Pakula’s previous film, The Parallax View, which might be the best fictional conspiracy film ever. It might make you feel better after seeing all the real-world conspiracies in President’s Men.