Making All the President's Men into a taut, suspenseful, and intelligent political drama was no small feat for director Alan J Pakula (who proved to be an expert in the poli-thriller genre with the equally great Parallax View) considering that everyone knows how the story ends and that most of the two hour plus running time consists of Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman making phone calls, taking notes, running around and trying desperately to extract information from unwilling sources.
I saw this movie when I was a kid and learned what this whole 'Watergate' thing I'd heard so much about actually was. I also grew a fond of corduroy suits thanks to the utterly charming (as usual) Robert Redford, who has the hair of a god. Thanks to other young viewers, it's since become known as “the movie that launched a thousand journalism careers” with its accurate and respectful depiction of all the hard work that goes into revealing the truth.
Of course, since the films release in 1976, the entire world of traditional newspaper journalism has been pushed to the brink of obsolescence by the easy access to information offered by the internet; several major publications have already folded (recently my homestate's Rocky Mountain News). The film is nostalgic, then about the days when newspaper journalism was still considered vitally important and could actually change the world.
The informant known as Deep Throat, played by a sinisterly smokey Hal Holbrook in the film, has since been revealed to have been Mark Felt, the FBI's number two man.
All the President's Men is currently available for instant viewing on Netflix.