Alan J Pakula directs Robert Redford, Dustin Hoffmann and Jason Robards in this true story of the cub reporters who broke the Watergate Scandal that toppled the Nixon presidency.
Probably my third time watching this and I still find it more admirable than thrilling, dry rather than rich. Like sitting through a modern history lesson that cuts off short once momentum builds and the important dominos start falling. I know this focussed on the grind and deadends that Woodward & Bernstein endured to get sources confirmed that a conspiracy had and was occurring. Eavesdropping on them get shutdown mid phone call or in face-to-face meetings has a procedural dullness to it. The veracity of a thriller set in open plan offices, mundane reception areas and messy living rooms. The film is at its paranoid best when we go out on the shadowy streets and into the murky darkness of the parking lot rendezvous. Gordon Willis trademark opaque location cinematography is an indisputable strength. I also rate Jason Robards prickly, intelligent turn as Washington Post legend Ben Bradlee. I would never quibble its CLASSIC status, I guess I’m just a more 3 Days Of The Condor kinda guy. “If you’re gonna do it, do it right. If you’re gonna hype it, hype it with the facts. I don’t mind what you did. I mind the way you did it.”
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