In the run-up to the 1972 elections, Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward covers what seems to be a minor break-in at the Democratic Party National headquarters. He is surprised to find top lawyers already on the defense case, and the discovery of names and addresses of Republican fund organizers on the accused further arouses his suspicions. The editor of the Post is prepared to run with the story and assigns Woodward and Carl Bernstein to it. They find the trail leading higher and higher in the Republican Party, and eventually into the White House itself.
This gripping account of Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein’s investigation into the Watergate break-in, that eventually led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon, is a master class of cinematic craft from director Alan J Pakula (Klute; The Parallax View) and DP Gordon Willis (The Godfather).
Critic David Thomson is surely right when he complains that America would have been better served with a Watergate movie focused on politics, not heroic reporters. Nevertheless, on its own terms this ominous, compelling film remains a useful record of chicanery and cover up.
Remarkably intelligent, working both as an effective thriller (even though we know the outcome of their investigations) and as a virtually abstract charting of the dark corridors of corruption and power.
Geoff Andrew, Time Out
It provides the most observant study of working journalists we’re ever likely to see in a feature film.
Alan J. Pakula’s thrilling newspaper procedural captures for posterity a monumental moment in American culture and politics, as seen through the truth-seeking eagle eyes of the reporters, Bob Woodward (Robert Redford) and Carl Bernstein (Dustin Hoffman), who broke the Watergate scandal. In one sense, it’s a time capsule of national awakening, immortalizing a sea change in the public’s perception of our government. (All future depictions of Washington as a shadow world of cloak-and-dagger conspiracies owe some debt of influence to this movie.) On the more hopeful front, the movie is also a tribute to a core American tenet, celebrating a free press through an appreciation of all the unglamorous legwork of shoe-leather muckraking.
AA Dowd, Rolling Stone
Alan J. Pakula
Robert Redford, Dustin Hoffman, Jason Robards, Jack Warden, Hal Holbrook, Martin Balsam, Jane Alexander
Best Screenplay, Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Jason Robards), Academy Awards 1977
Robert L. Wolfe
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