The Watergate scandal remains the defining event that reshaped the understanding Americans have about those elected to positions of power. Watergate was the Rubicon, and given the current climate in D.C. a look back at All the President's Men seems appropriate. Bob Woodward (Robert Redford) and Carl Bernstein (Dustin Hoffman) are two Washington Post reporters who investigate the break-in and ensuing scandal. All the President's Men marks the third film in director Alan J. Pakula's paranoia trilogy. The film's screenplay was written by William Goldman (The Princess Bride) with cinematography by the legendary Gordon Parks (Shaft).
Released two years after President Richard Nixon left office, All the President's Men is a contemplative film. There are no fast jump cuts and not a lot of action or cinematic tricks. Pakula simply asks the audience to sit and marinate on the idea of citizenship and governmental power. The paranoia builds slowly to a scene of Woodward and Bernstein in the Library of Congress reading room. The camera slowly pulls back and the beautiful circular design becomes a great wheel with spokes radiating out from the center, the locus of power. That wheel for Pakula is the wheel of government, and the driving question he asks is, "How we can change its direction?"
· All the President's Men (film) [Wikipedia]
· Watergate Complex [Wikipedia]
· Lafayette Park (Washington, D.C.) [Wikipedia]
· Library of Congress [Wikipedia]
· Thomas Jefferson Building [Wikipedia]
· Main Reading Room [Library of Congress]
· The Washington Post Company [Wikipedia]
· Alan J. Pakula [Wikipedia]
· Gordon Parks [Wikipedia]
· J. Edgar Hoover Building [Wikipedia]
· FBI Building May Soon Be Put Out Of Its Misery [NPR]
— Greer Gladney