Movie Review Based on History; All the President’s Men

Movie Review Based on History
                  Movie Review Based on History

Movie Review Based on History;All the President’s Men

Order Instructions:

750 word
Watch movie and write about historical things
The American Film Institute released a list of what they consider to be the 100 best movies “of all time.” While this is a debatable (and very controversial) list, it is a valuable document for historians to use when gauging the cultural, social, and historical impact of American films over the course of the twentieth century. See the list here:

For your extra credit assignment, choose one of the movies listed (except for The Graduate – see below, Forrest Gump, Titanic, or any movie produced after the year 2000) and write a 750-word paper (due IN CLASS on Nov 2) describing the plot of the movie and explaining its historical context. One important clue to the latter can be found to the right of each movie: its release date. For instance, The Graduate (one of Dr. Luckett’s all-time favorite movies) came out in 1967, just as sixties counter-culture was rising in popularity and the Vietnam War filled the news every night. Although Dustin Hoffman’s character is barely a baby boomer, his ennui and the conflict between young and old, tradition and freedom throughout the film represents the angst of an entire generation. What can the movie tell us about young people in 1967? Why did it resonate so powerfully with that generation? Who (or what) does Mrs. Robinson represent?

This is the kind of approach that you want to take with your movie. Investigate it as a historian, not as a fan or a film critic – avoid discussing whether you liked it, thought the acting was great, etc. Examine it, analyze it, and place it within the context of your history readings. Feel free to comment on larger issues that come to mind as you view the movie from the perspective of a twenty-first century college student. Does the movie make any attempt to include diverse, complicated characters, as opposed to mere stereotypes? Does it directly or inadvertently comment on race, sexuality, or gender?

Many of these movies are on Hulu and Netflix. Almost all can be found at the LA County Library for free.

Like on the Historical Landmark paper, please type, double-space, and staple your work. As always, cite any and all sources. You must upload this paper to Turnitin in order to receive credit.

Other information (from the syllabus):

[This] can be used to replace your lowest quiz grade BEFORE I drop your lowest quiz grade. So if your lowest quiz grade is a 20, your second-lowest quiz grade is a 22, and you get a 28 on your extra credit, then the quiz on which you scored 20 will be changed to a 28. I will then drop the quiz that scored a 22, which is now the lowest. Alternatively, if your two lowest quiz grades are a 20 and a 22, and you get an 18 on the extra credit, then your lowest quiz grade will change to an 18. But since it is still your lowest quiz grade, it will be dropped anyway. Mathematically it is impossible to lose points by turning in your extra credit, but you can add a substantial number of points to your overall quiz grade by completing it.

The key thing to understand here is that you are not guaranteed 30 points (the value of a 100% quiz grade) on this extra credit assignment. You should treat it like any other assignment: with respect, care, and more than enough time to complete it correctly. Submissions must be typed.


Movie Review Based on History

All the President’s Men

Description of Plot

All The President’s Men is a 1976 film that looks into the events of the Watergate scandal through the investigatory work of two journalists Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward of the Washington Post. The work of these two journalists had a significant change in the course of American politics, while remarkably inspiring investigative journalism. The film captures June 17, 1972, whereby five men were apprehended by the Washington DC police for breaking into the headquarters of the National Democratic Party in a building called Watergate (AFI). Bob Woodward was then assigned the work of looking into the seemingly small issue by the Washington Post. Upon realizing that the five men, majorly comprising of Cuban immigrants, had strongly competent lawyers representing them in the background, Woodward saw potential for a larger story. At that point, Carl Bernstein, who was almost being fired from the Washington Post, sought to join Woodward, and the two proceeded with the investigation. Although ‘Deep Throat’ at first acted in a way that would neither confirm nor deny the information, he eventually tells Woodward to “follow the money”. Woodward and his colleague end up discovering that the money which had originally been donated to the Committee for purposes of re-electing President Richard Nixon had been deposited in the bank accounts of the burglars.

The curiosity of the journalists to find out the person who diverged the money to the bank accounts of the burglars leads them into planning in how to reach into the White House. Despite the obstacle from the newspaper’s editor-in-chief who considers the allegations as merely speculative and lacking tangible evidence, the journalists eventually get closer to the truth. Nevertheless, there are others who also try to discredit on claims of national security. At the time when President Nixon was giving his inaugural speech following his reelection, Woodward and Bernstein were glued on their typewriters, developing the story. Later on, the Washington Post teletype releases news concerning the conviction and sentencing of the conspirators and the resignation of President Nixon from office.

Historical Context

Despite the fact that All The President’s Men was produced at the time when the Watergate Scandal was a matter of common knowledge to everyone, this movie has remained to be a significant historical record which has managed to survive the test of time. This film gives a factual account of the events that led to Richard Nixon, the 37th President of the United States, resigning from office. In fact, he is still remembered in history as the only President to have ever resigned. Richard Nixon decided to step down in 1974, while halfway in his second term, to avoid facing impeachment in regards to the efforts he had sought to ensure that the illegal activities of his administrative members were covered up (Woodward & Bernstein, 2005).

The film is still significant in today’s politics as it gives insight into the issue of accountability of the government (The Lasting Importance of All The President’s Men, 2007). The public consciousness was raised following the dubious activities that Nixon’s administration were engaging in, and thereafter in the Bush Administration. The film also helped to nurture a generation of investigative journalists, who are very observant and critical of the happenings in the government. The press was portrayed as the eye of the people, and that it was in order for the press to enjoy all the freedom it deserves for purposes of carrying out its work.

The Watergate Scandal is used in history classes when discussing the weaknesses of President Nixon (Ambrose, 1991). As much as Nixon had numerous leadership traits, his weakness was magnified by the Watergate scandal, which led to his ultimate downfall. In this regard, Nixon had possessed certain weaknesses as a chief executive, and these weaknesses were the basis for the occurrence of such a bizarre incident. Nixon had a high sense of insecurity, which was partly caused by the difficulties he encountered in his interpersonal relationships as well as bitterness. Accordingly, he believed that an individual had to be ruthless in order to make it in politics. Nixon distrusted the media, Democrats, antiwar demonstrators, and intellectuals, which led him to develop an “us versus them” attitude. Nixon was surrounded by many enemies, particularly on the Left and he believed that inflating the perceived threat to the highest point of absurdity was the best approach for him to maintain control in politics. Nixon sought for total loyalty from all members of the Cabinet. Nevertheless, these people who were close to Nixon often utilized their privileged status to encourage his worst demons. The former White House Counsel John Dean displayed Nixon’s bitter and weird mindset when he testified that Nixon had kept an “enemies list,” containing the names of many political opponents that were often singled out by federal agencies for harassment. Thus, the Watergate Scandal only confirmed such allegations, and people lost any little trust they had in the President.


Ambrose, S. E. (1991). Nixon, vol. 3, Ruin and recovery, 1973-1990.

AFI. All The President’s Men. Retrieved from:

The Lasting Importance of All The President’s Men. (2007). Retrieved from:

Woodward, B. & Bernstein, C. (2005). The Final Days. New York: Simon & Schuster.

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