Director Oliver Stones exploration of former president Richard Nixons strict Quaker upbringing, his nascent political strivings in law school, and his strangely self-effacing courtship of his wife, Pat. The contradictions in his character are revealed early, in the vicious campaign against Helen Gahagan Douglas and the oddly masochistic Checkers speech. His defeat at the hands of the hated and envied John F. Kennedy in the 1960 presidential election, followed by the loss of the 1962 California gubernatorial race, seem to signal the end of his career. Yet, although wholly lacking in charisma, Nixon remains a brilliant political operator, seizing the opportunity provided by the backlash against the antiwar movement to take the presidency in 1968. It is only when safely in office, running far ahead in the polls for the 1972 presidential election, that his growing paranoia comes to full flower, triggering the Watergate scandal.
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The ups and downs of an American President. The five stars are for the film as a film. I appreciate that, for many Americans, there's quite another side to the story. However, I have to say that I was fascinated by the film, and lost in stunned admiration for Hopkins's performance. The whole production was a dizzying ride, and I admit to being impressed. Who wrote this, I kept asking myself. Was this Stone's dialogue as well as direction? The theme seemed to be that Nixon's enigmatic character could be explained by his upbringing and his relationship with his parents. Caught out in a little lie, he felt compelled to confess. Did his mother forgive him? For a non-American, one of the most extraordinary features of the Nixon news story was the existence of those tapes: it seemed incredible that the man would actually arrange for incriminating evidence to be continually recorded, and that he would then ensure its preservation, when it could only lead to his certain downfall and destruction. This, it was argued, was his mother's doing. Other political figures make sure they cover up beyond detection. Well, interesting, but impossible to prove. Were the childhood scenes complete invention, or is there some reliable biographical background to them? I've got to the stage in life where I'm pretty well convinced that all politicians are crooks, and instinctively corrupt; ready to do anything to climb the greasy pole and sit on top of the heap. It's been called the art of the possible. It's not admirable: what people admire are those who attempt the art of the impossible, achieving success while staying straight. So it's not really acceptable to defend this movie as a real portrait of Nixon the man. It still convinces, in parts, as a picture of power politics. Surround yourself with sycophantic second-rate mediocrities. Submit to pressures which will gain you some advantage. Even taking the way Stone presents these aspects with a large dose of salt, it's still a stimulating ride.
The film was a good portrait of Richard M Nixon. Nixon was paranoid and portrayed as a MacBeth like-figure, minus a prodding wife. Joan Allen does well as the reluctant, then content, then exhausted Pat Nixon. The supporting cast was good. Nixon does not villify the man, like some thought or feared. The film was made about the time Nixon died. There are political implications, and what-ifs, and the usual Oliver Stone conspiracy theories. Nixon dodging the JFK Assassination by minutes, along with CIA Director Richard Helms reminding Nixon on the numerous coups and intelligence operations that he signed off on. Did Richard Nixon really know what he signed onto? Maybe. Maybe not. Let's not forget Bob Hoskins' portrayal of FBI Founder and Director J Edgar Hoover. Conspiracy theories on how MLK and Bobby Kennedy could be drawn from Hoover and Clyde Tolson venting rage at a horse track. The film's start was OK, and obviously showed Watergate as a part in a series of dirty tricks and internal spying. The film was good. I wonder what a movie on George W Bush would be like? I doubt they'd get Michael Moore to direct it. Oliver Stone would be good, despite recent clunkers like U-Turn and Any Given Sunday. Stone did a decent follow-up to JFK, which I liked better.
Enjoyment from watching some big caliber actors is overshadowed by thelargely obvious deviation from historical fact and sometimes wildconjecture of Oliver Stone in his movie "Nixon". Where Stone succeedsin previous works such as "Platoon" he fails in Nixon.Anthony Hopkins as Nixon is a likable character, yet unjustly linked toevents such as JFK's assassination. Also, Hopkins as Nixon came off assomeone notably foul mouthed. History's Richard Nixon was known to usesome mildly strong language from time to time, but no where near to theextent that Stone suggests.Paul Sorvino is an impressive and believable Henry Kissinger, whileother real life individuals are portrayed out of character, or in somecases simply "mixed and matched" to suit Oliver Stone's conspiracydriven objective.As a work of fiction, the film is enjoyable and the charactersinteresting. However, as a historically relevant work, the film isdisappointing and fails to achieve any realism. Audiences believing that they are learning about Nixon, the man, arebeing wrongfully mislead. Others, more familiar with historical fact,may be able to enjoy this movie taking it as fiction only and simplyappreciating the many fine actors in Oliver Stone's film.-Derek W.
The filmmaker's deftness at evoking theme and sentiment through editorial montages within individual dramatic scenes reaches an apotheosis here.
I like this movie, mainly because its humanity part. His true feelingstoward his mother and wife, especially the talking. This part strikes memost: his wife wanted to divorce him for he's too much indulged intopolitics, but later, when she heard that he's gonna fight hard towards hisgoal, she began to support him, so strongly. I found a secret of making demagogic speech: always repeat the samepattern to several(at least three) subjects. I like his talking with a college-girl at the Lincoln Memorial, by thecollege-girl, it shows the thoughts of ordinary people. I don't like its showing of Chairman Mao part. He's even speaking inaccent of Chiang Kai-shok! At least you can make him just speaking standardChinese! I also like his talking of his father, I feel this can be a guide to myown life: he always did his job, and every job counts, regardless of whathappened.
This is not a film that reaches for easy and pat answers, even if it does at times seem overly harsh on the man.
Without question, Nixon dwarfs everything in the American cinema since Schindler's List.
Great film. Fantastic acting mainly from Anthony Hopkins, but with anexcellent supporting cast. Oliver Stone is allowed a little scope inintroducing some scenes that probably did not take place, but the mainbody of the film is linked to the history of Nixon and his era. When Iwatched Hopkins on the screen it was Nixon in front of me and not theactor, no mean feat bearing in mind his subject was known to millions.Yet you felt that it was Nixon and that you were there in the WhiteHouse with him and his cronies, or watching his relationship with wifePat, played beautifully by Joan Allen, slowly deteriorate.I thought the flashbacks throughout the film to his earlier life workedwell, as they brought out a caring and even romantic side to Nixon thatseemed to disappear in his later years as a very combative politician.Although Oliver Stone had his critics, I thought politically thebalance was fair enough and I speak as someone who credits Nixon withplaying a large part if the ending of the Cold War.It may be better to know a little bit about this era, politically,before watching this film or it may not make that much sense. So whynot read a book about Nixon first. Afterwards you can decide what wasfact and what was in Oliver Stone's mind for the rest. Either way itmade for excellent viewing and also some reflection on the man and histimes after it was finished.
As someone in her fifties who lived through this period coming from a verylarge political family, I can tell you this is still playing out withpeopleof the same mind-set. This country should beware of its politicalleanings,as history will repeat itself as with many other great cultures, bydestroying themselves. The USA is being stolen blind, and the same powersare in charge. Let "Nixon" be a guide for campaign finance reform. Moneydoesn't equate freedom of speech.
Film director Oliver Stone deftly redeems himself from the debacle of "JFK" a couple of years previous and serves up an intellectual and complicated portrait of the man that was Richard Nixon, the enigmatic professional politician who clawed his way from Congressional anti-Communist to the 37th president of the United States. The disclaimer at the start of the film posits an "incomplete record" to account for the still-unfilled gaps in the whole Nixon story. But the "historical record" also referenced is faithful to other published materials, making this film an important study piece in trying to understand the dynamics (functional and dysfunctional) that collided to carry the ex-President to the abyss of self-destruction. Anthony Hopkins convincingly plays Nixon as both a pillage-and-burn politician and sympathetic loner who sees but cannot escape his own pathos. The film opens the fateful morning of June 17, 1972, in a meeting room of the Watergate hotel where Nixon operatives are about to embark on the break-in of the National Democratic Committee and set in motion the dynamics that would lead, 26 months later, to Nixon's resignation of the presidency. Refreshingly, Watergate is retold as but one part of the entire Nixon saga and does not define the man in whole. From the film's opening scene, we are flash-forwarded to a December night in 1973 at the White House, where an isolated Nixon labors over the taped conversations that, by then, had brought the Watergate fiasco to its crisis point. And, from there, we are jolted back to 1960, to the night of Nixon's presidential race loss to John Kennedy. From there and to the film's closing scene of Nixon's disgraceful departure from the White House Aug. 9, 1974, Stone takes us from Nixon's impoverished childhood in Whittier, Calif., to Nixon's role in the Congressional witch hunt against alleged Communist spy Alger Hiss and on to his fairly rapid ascension to vice president and, later, to president. As magnificant (and sometimes ruthlessly and mercilessly sinister) Hopkins is as the title character, Joan Allen's portrayal of Pat Nixon and Paul Sorvino's as Nixon's national security adviser, Henry Kissinger, are both must-see's in a film that boasts a A-list cast of supporting players. Despite the criticism of the pro-Nixonites when the film was first released, it is a valuable historical source and, when compared to the public record, is pretty much a faithful and accurate recounting of the complicated life that was Richard Nixon.
I have heard of WATER GATE, but I did not know much aboutit.This film is good chance for me to know it and R.NIXON.I saw J.F.K yesterday.Enumeration of names and ages made me sick in history class.I wish my teacher could see me this kind of films when I was astudent.
Watergate hardly gets a mention in this film. We see the 'plumbers'donning rubber gloves, and the president fumbling with a few of his tapes,but detail is almost totally eschewed. There is no Egil Krogh, no JebMagruder. Kleindienst and Gray are mentioned only in passing. Cox is firedby way of a spoken TV bulletin, Jaworski is not referred to at all. We donot see anything of the titanic courtroom struggles, with all three branchesof the federal government locking horns. Though we are told that theAmerican Constitution is self-righting, like a boat immune from capsize, weare not shown how or why. And in this, Oliver Stone is perfectly right. As it stands, the filmis very long, and dense with detail. There is no room for the minutiae ofthe cover-up, which in any event would make for a confusing narrative. Stone's subject is Nixon the man, not the edifice that toppled aroundhim. And what a man. Richard Milhous Nixon is a truly fascinatingpersonality - both statesman and charlatan: ruthless and vulnerable: unableto express his emotions, yet the most emotional of politicians: a man whospent his life in the law and in high office, but who never absorbed thelegal and ethical mores of public life. Genius and crook, bold visionaryand spiteful backstabber, Nixon will continue to spellbind biographers fordecades to come. "That's when it starts," says Stone's Nixon, "when you're a kid." Thefilm takes us to Whittier, California in 1925 to see the unloved boy whostruggled painfully to earn his parents' approval, without ever quitesucceeding. As a teenager, he levered his way into the school footballsquad by sheer willpower. Lacking talent, he doggedly subjected himself torepeated physical battering in the scrimmages, "a tackle dummy with guts". This syndrome recurs throughout his career. Always susceptible to scathingcriticism, never quite commanding respect, Nixon never the less keptploughing back into the melee when wiser, lesser men would have quit. It ishardly surprising that the years of punishment should have leftpsychological scars. Nixon's hatred of John Kennedy had more than one source. He wasdevastated by the defeat in the 1960 presidential election, but not simplybecause of disappointment at losing, or even because the Kennedy victorycarried the odour of fraud: bitterest of all for Nixon was the realisationthat the Kennedy people had played hardball more effectively than theRepublicans. Nixon had been out-sharked, and it hurt. On a more profoundlevel still, John Kennedy was everything that Nixon could never be. He wasa smooth, handsome prince among men, exuding poise and confidence, apatrician imbued with the habit of authority. To Nixon, the perpetualoutsider, the quaker geek who looked shoddy and disreputable, Kennedy seemedto have the dice unfairly loaded in his favour. JFK was an East Coastbright boy and war hero, fabulously wealthy and impeccably well-connected. Nixon owned nothing and knew nobody, and was all too obviously 'on themake'. The great witch-hunts, of Hiss in the 1940's and Ellsberg in the1970's, are manifestations of the chip on Nixon's shoulder, the fathomlessbile that he directed at East Coast college boys. Nixon always imagined that he was hiding his pain from the world,whereas in fact it was on global display. His nervous little laugh atmoments of emotional crisis was so false, so gut-wrenchingly inappropriate,that the onlooker could catch a glimpse of the man's tortured soul. Hopkinscaptures the wretched laugh with devastating effectiveness, both in thescene where Nixon is confronted by a hostile man in the TV studio audience,and when he solemnly promises that none of the president's men will go tojail. In the "Checkers" broadcast and the presidential TV address onWatergate, Nixon tries to assure the camera that he is not a crook, and onboth occasions he has the exact opposite effect, confirming to the viewerthat that is precisely what he is. Nixon seems incapable of examining hisown conscience: there is a hard core which his rational mind cannotpenetrate. Maybe that is why Stone has him referring to himself in thethird person throughout the film. 'They' were always out to get Nixon, without it ever being made clearjust exactly who 'they' might be. The imperative for this deeply paranoidman was always to be braced, ready for the coming tackle, or to organisepre-emptive strikes against 'them'. Obstructing justice and tampering withevidence were, to Nixon, self-defensive steps that did not need to bejustified. It was obvious that such things had to be done. The mystery atthe heart of Watergate - why a president so steeped in criminal conspiracyshould tape-record his own intimate conversations - makes sense when viewedfrom Nixon's end of the telescope. He had to have the goods on his own men,ready for the day when they turned on him. It goes even further. Thisemotional cripple could not bare his bleeding soul to anyone, so his tapesbecame his confessional and his confidante. Stone's film repeatedly showsNixon in his awkward arms-extended, double V-sign pose. It is not by chancethat it looks like a crucifixion.
Oliver Stone is one of the greatest filmmakers that there has ever been! Here in "Nixon," he presents a stunning study of power and the abuse of power. Films like these are rare and extremely powerful works. It is an equel to Stone's "JFK." This is not a study of history, but of power and the demons in one man's mind. The conspiracy angle is great with some fantastically written characters. "Nixon" is a study of politics. This film is more powerful than Shakespeare! I think all Americans interested in how the government works should watch this thrilling and powerful epic. I also loved the amazing editing and inserting of images like documentary footage with the film itself. "Nixon" is a masterpiece! I can't believe the Oscar for 1995's Best Picture was given to "Braveheart" when "Nixon" deserved it. This is great dramatic filmmaking at his best!
This review is from: Nixon (Election Year Edition) [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray) Everything was as advertised. I watched it and it was perfect. It was sent very quickly and was adequately protected.
This review is from: Nixon - The Election Year Edition (DVD) Should you not appreciate the representation of what might be your favorite President, you should be impressed with the performance of the wonderful Anthony Hopkins! Bravo.
I saw "JFK" and "Nixon" is done in the same fashion. There are flashbacks,moments of black and white, heavy symbolism, actual news footage and, aboveall, rapid-fire dialogue that is sometimes hard to follow. This was more ofa problem in "JFK" however. Oliver Stone certainly is an excellentdirector.Anthony Hopkins does a great job portraying Nixon. He captures his paranoiaand self-loathing in an evocative manner. Towards the end it seems Nixon isa total wreck. There are powerful moments in the film, and endearing onesaswell. There are things I didn't know about Nixon that came as a shock inthis film, both personal things and presidential things (then again, Stonedoes include a disclaimer at the beginning warning us all that everythinginthe movie might not really have happened). Overall a very good movie, withits major flaw being its complicated dialogue and confusing symbolism. Andon the rental you get scenes that were cut out of the film. These aremarvelous and stunning scenes. (PS: I didn't mind thelength.)
_"Can you imagine what this man would have been had he ever been loved?"
Oliver Stone loves his controversy and time-jumping, and all this is verywell put to use in this awesome biopic of an amazingly human figure, thebitter, tortured and angry Richard Nixon (a not quite resemblant buttotallyconvincing and stellar Hopkins!).There are many great things about thisfilm: its tight screenplay (co-written by Stone), it's cast (Joan Allen inparticular, but more subtle performances by Sorvino [as Kissinger] andWoods[Halderman] delight as well) and the overall quality of this film. Somethings do get in the way, namely some of Robert Richardson's camera-workthat is at times obstrusive, though not all that much. What aggravatesonlydoes so because we've seen it before from Stone and it gives the feelingthat he has trouble recovering from the visual frenzy of Natural BornKillers (which was totally appropriate then!). Apart from that, the honestportrayal of America's First is a masterpiece in complex caracter study:wemay not like this man, but Stone and Hopkins make us feel for him, andalsomanage to make us believe in one of Nixon's most pitiful realizations; whydid America love Kennedy and loath Nixon? When they looked at JFK, theysawwhat they wanted to be... when they saw Nixon, they saw what they were,whatwe all are to a different degree. Flawed creatures. Kudos to Stone for yetanother great picture: having seen this, our hopes can only be high forhisrumored Spartan epic... as long as stays in colored 35mm!
Turgid and factually inaccurate drivel from a man who has made a career ofrewriting American history to suit his own warped predelictions. CastingHannibal Lecter as Nixon and portraying the White House as a set ofAmityville Horror says it all. Stone is wrong about the Bay of Pigs, wrongabout the personal relationship of the Nixons, wrong about the 18.5 minutegap on the tapes. He is even wrong about the chronology of Nixon'scandidature in 1968 and Johnson's withdrawal. If Stone wishes to delve oncemore in American history, he should spare us his psycho-babble nonsense, andtry for once to focus on the facts.
Is a good movie, love the cast-Joan Allen, JT Walsh, Anthony Hopkins,JamesWoods, even down to Bob Hoskins and Tony Lo Bianco. Well shot, done withpanache and intelligence. The actual filmmaking I reallyliked.Problem areas:where is there any proof that Nixon was as infatuated withJFKor his assassination as Stone presents here? I don't see it. The 18 minutegap, heck, could have been about Nixon ranting about the WashingtonSenatorsleaving for Dallas for all we know. And no one has really told the truestory of his involvement in trying to get rid of Castro.Fact is, if you read Seymour Hirsch's book on JFK, Kennedy WAS moreinvolvedin that business than Stone lets on, and was into some other things:hisfather's bribing the Chicago mob to stuff ballot boxes in '60 election,screwing round like a banshee, some KBG contacts included, etc. etc. thatwould make Nixon look like a Monk. But Stone's eyes are blinded byCamelot,seeing only what he wants to see, so....back to TrickyDick.I had a problem with Hannibal Lector playing Nixon, Lane Smith was muchbetter in fact. Hopkins Tries, its just that...he ain't Nixon, all thereisto it. It's also debatable, just What was going on there in Texas with JREwing? Who were those guys? Heads of Texaco and etc.? Would like somehistorical proof/clarification in this matter too.But as far's a film going 'experience', hey this film kicks-I would giveita 7.5 outta a 10; do watch it-but be warned, it is not adocumentary.