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All the President's Men is a 1976 film based on the 1974 non-fiction book of the same name by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, the two journalists investigating the Watergate scandal for the Washington Post. The film adaptation starred Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman as Woodward and Bernstein, respectively; it was produced by Walter Coblenz, written by William Goldman and directed by Alan J. Pakula.


The book, also titled All the President's Men, was adapted for the screen by William Goldman. The story chronicles the Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporting of Woodward and Bernstein from their initial report on the Watergate break-in to their revelation of the Nixon Administration's corrupt campaign of sabotage against its political rivals. It relates the events behind the major stories the duo wrote for the Washington Post, naming some sources who had previously refused to be identified for their initial articles, notably Hugh Sloan. It also gives detailed accounts of Woodward's secret meetings with his source "Deep Throat", whose identity was kept secret for over 30 years. Only in 2005 was Deep Throat revealed to be former FBImarker Associate Director W. Mark Felt.


Actor Role
Dustin Hoffman Carl Bernstein
Robert Redford Bob Woodward
Jack Warden Harry M. Rosenfeld
Martin Balsam Howard Simons
Hal Holbrook Deep Throat (W. Mark Felt)
Jason Robards Ben Bradlee
Jane Alexander Judy Hoback
Meredith Baxter Debbie Sloan
Ned Beatty Martin Dardis
Stephen Collins Hugh W. Sloan, Jr.
Penny Fuller Sally Aiken
Robert Walden Donald Segretti
Frank Wills Himself
F. Murray Abraham Sgt. Paul Leeper
David Arkin Eugene Bachinski
Henry Calvert Bernard Barker
Dominic Chianese Eugenio Martínez
Ron Hale Frank Sturgis


Robert Redford bought the rights to Woodward and Bernstein's book in 1974 for $450,000 with the notion to adapt it into a film with a budget of $5 million. Ben Bradlee realized that the film was going to be made regardless of whether he approved of it or not and felt that it made "more sense to try to influence it factually". The executive editor of the Washington Post hoped that the film would have an important impact on people who harbored a negative stereotype of newspapers.

Director Alan J. Pakula and Redford were not happy with screenwriter William Goldman's first draft. Woodward and Bernstein also read it and did not like it. Redford asked for their suggestions but Bernstein and writer Nora Ephron wrote their own draft. Redford read and did not like it, saying, "a lot of it was sophomoric and way off the beat". He and Pakula held all-day sessions working on the script. The director also spent hours interviewing editors and reporters, taking notes of their comments.

Dustin Hoffman and Redford hung out in the Post offices for months, sitting in on news conferences and conducting research for their roles. The Post denied the production permission to shoot in its newsroom and so set designers took measurements of the newspaper's offices, photographed everything, and boxes of trash were gathered and transported to sets recreating the newsroom on two soundstages in Hollywoodmarker's Burbank Studios at a cost of $200,000. The filmmakers went to great lengths for accuracy and authenticity, including making replicas of phone books that were no longer in existence. Nearly 200 desks at $500 apiece were purchased from the same firm that sold desks to the Post in 1971. The desks were also colored the same precise shade of paint. The production was supplied with a brick from the main lobby of the Post so that it could be duplicated in fiberglass for the set. Principal photography began on May 12, 1975 in Washington, D.C.

The billing followed the formula of James Stewart and John Wayne in John Ford's The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962), with Redford billed over Hoffman in the posters and trailers and Hoffman billed above Redford in the film itself.

Differences from the book

Unlike the book, the film itself only covers the first seven months of the Watergate scandal, from the time of the break-in to Nixon's inauguration on January 20, 1973. A series of teletype headlines finishes the film, revealing the snowball results of Woodward and Bernstein's efforts to break the story, ending with the announcement of Nixon's resignation in August 1974.

Awards and nominations

Award Category Winner/Nominee Result
Academy Awards
Best Art Direction George Jenkins

George Gaines
Best Director Alan J. Pakula Nominated
Best Editing Robert L. Wolfe
Best Picture
Best Screenplay - Adapted William Goldman Won
Best Sound Arthur Piantadosi

James E. Webb

Les Fresholtz

Dick Alexander
Best Supporting Actor Jason Robards
Best Supporting Actress Jane Alexander Nominated
American Cinema Editors Best Edited Feature Film Robert L. Wolfe Nominated
BAFTA Film Awards Best Actor Dustin Hoffman Nominated
Best Cinematography Gordon Willis
Best Director Alan J. Pakula
Best Film
Best Editing Robert L. Wolfe
Best Production Design/Art Direction George Jenkins
Best Screenplay William Goldman
Best Sound Track Arthur Piantadosi

James E. Webb

Les Fresholtz

Dick Alexander
Best Supporting Actor Jason Robards
Best Supporting Actor Martin Balsam
Directors Guild of Americamarker Outstanding Directorial Achievement Alan J. Pakula Nominated
Golden Globe Awards Best Director Alan J. Pakula Nominated
Best Picture
Best Screenplay William Goldman
Best Supporting Actor Jason Robards
Kansas City Film Critics Best Supporting Actor Jason Robards Won
National Board of Review Best Director Alan J. Pakula Won
Top 10 Films of the Year (#1)
Best Supporting Actor Jason Robards Won
New York Film Critics Best Director Alan J. Pakula Won
Best Film
Best Supporting Actor Jason Robards
Writers Guild of America Best Adapted Screenplay William Goldman Won
According to Box Office, the film earned a "Domestic Total Gross" of $70,600,000.

In 2007, it was added to the AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movies list at #77. AFI also named it #34 on its America's Most Inspiring Movies list and #57 of the Top 100 Thrilling Movies. The characters of Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein shared the rank of #27 Hero on AFI's 100 Years... 100 Heroes and Villains list. Entertainment Weekly ranked All the President's Men as one of the 25 "Powerful Political Thrillers".


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