Monday, April 22, 2013

Discovery's "All the President's Men Revisited": a two hour "meta-movie" about Watergate

Sunday night, April 21, The Discovery Channel aired an ultimate “how we made the movie” film, “All the President’s Men Revisited”, link here, also called “The Legacy of Watergate”. The link is here.
The two hour documentary basically was a history of the Watergate scandal, with a particular emphasis on the work of reporters Bob Woodward (the Republican) and Carl Bernstein  (the liberal) .   They discuss how they were seated in quiet office when the news broke.  The film starts with the break-in, and the runway landslide in the 1972 elections. Later it examines the theories about “Deep Throat”.
They point out that Richard Nixon (37th President) might be seen as a leftist today (remember the wage and price controls in 1971?)  In his farewell speech on August 9, 1974 (the Friday before I started a “new life” with a job at NBC in NYC) he alluded to his own paranoia and his own hatred. 

Nixon quickly lost the political support in his own party before resigning. 

Nixon had been particularly moralistic in attacking Vietnam War protesters, even though Nixon had generally been believed during the 1968 elections (when I was in the Army) as likely to end the Vietnam war more quickly.  Remember "Peace with Honor"?  Also, remember "Nixon in China", the opera by John Adams? 

I remember Gerald Ford’s speech on the radio Aug. 12.  “I am a Ford, but not a Model T.”

I would listen to the hearings all summer on the car radio as I drove the NYC suburbs on business for Univac.

The film “All the President’s Men”, by Alan J. Paluka, with Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman,  originally had trouble getting funding (Warner Brothers) because people already “knew the ending”.  I saw the film on the Upper East Side in NYC when it came out, in 1976.

Let us not forget Oliver Stone's "Nixon" (1995).

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