Based on their own book, All The President’s Men told the tale of Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward – the two junior reporters who uncovered the scandals behind the Watergate break-in.
The exciting day-by-day account of how the two young Washington Post reporters conducted their investigation is portrayed in fast-paced, true-to-life documentary style through the screenplay of William Goldman.
Acting by the entire cast is spectacular: Redford as Woodward and Hoffman as Bernstein perform with perfection while Robards gives what may be his finest performance as pedantic Post editor Ben Bradlee who is loathe to publish any accusations without full ‘on the record’ backup. He received a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his role.
Salvation comes in the form of the dubiously-named ‘Deep Throat’ (Hal Holbrook) whose true identity is kept a closely-guarded secret, but who points them in the right direction and provides them with enough information to be able to expose the Watergate scandal in the newspaper eventually.
Redford bought the screen rights to Woodward and Bernstein’s book for $225,000, brought in Oscar-winning screenwriter William Goldman and persuaded Hoffman to play Bernstein on the strength of the script.
One can safely assume this was not one of Richard Nixon‘s favourite films.
Alan J. Pakula