Gaslit, White House plumbers – Two new Watergate series, News

How America’s Biggest Political Scandal Turned A Burglary Into a History Lesson Typewriters! Telephone directories! Forty-five years after its creation, All the president’s men has acquired some quaint period touches. But aside from a few minor details, the film that turned one of the country’s most mind-boggling political scandals into a pop culture classic is more urgent than ever.

It’s always an exciting drama, because Washington post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein trace the 1972 break-in at Democratic National Committee headquarters and its cover-up to President Richard Nixon. But now some scenes are jumping like never before. Robert Redford, who produced the film and plays Woodward, recounts CGV, “The movie was about two guys who came together in a search for the truth, because democracy was at stake.” These themes, on the truth and the importance of a free press, resonate particularly in 2021.

Carl Bernstein (left) and Bob Woodward in the Washington post office, 1973,


The lessons of Watergate are so persistent that two new series based on the incident are coming soon. At Starz Gas lit, Julia Roberts plays Martha Mitchell, the female whistleblower of Attorney General John Mitchell, and HBO The plumbers of the White House stars Justin Theroux as G. Gordon Liddy and Woody Harrelson as E. Howard Hunt, two of Watergate’s not-so-bright brains. But nothing will diminish All the president’s men.

Redford is charismatic and at the height of his golden boy resembles the methodical Woodward. Dustin Hoffman is kinetic as a weird partner, the impetuous chain-smoker Bernstein. Redford contacted reporters about the rights of the story even before they wrote their book (also called All the president’s men). At the time, some Hollywood studios were concerned that Watergate would soon become old news. How do you create suspense when everyone knows how the story ends?

All the president’s men

Simon & Schuster

But director Alan J. Pakula makes every scene as tense as a cape and a dagger, filled with adrenaline. There are dead ends in the reporting, paranoid sources, clandestine nightly meetings in a dark parking lot. William Goldman’s crackling script is one of the biggest, and it includes the now familiar “Follow the Money” line. The phrase has entered the culture so deeply that most people think Woodward’s source Deep Throat (a perfectly performed Hal Holbrook) said so in real life.

Today, a Google search would find information in seconds it took days to uncover in the 1970s. But as Woodward and Bernstein knock on doors, their tenacity and dedication to the facts seem timeless. As Bernstein said in an interview in 2019, the movie is great “because it’s about the reporting process. It’s not about Bob and me.”

The realism of the film now plays out as a prognosis for the last few years. Woodward and Bernstein watch White House Press Secretary Ron Ziegler on TV (in real news footage) attack “the lousy journalism that is practiced by the Washington post. “They see Nixon’s Attorney General Richard Kleindienst covering up to protect the president. Deep Throat warns Woodward that his life and Bernstein’s could be in danger. These scenes resonate too familiarly, so soon after reporters feared. for their safety during the riot on Capitol Hill in January, and after years of “enemy of the people” by Donald Trump and his White House.

Redford says of the film’s legacy: “The role and fate of journalism is an ongoing problem and must constantly be reviewed and supported.” All the president’s men, glorious and eternally fresh, remains the film for that.

This story appears in the September 2021 issue of City Country. SUBSCRIBE NOW

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