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All the King's Men [DVD] [1949] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

Broderick Crawford , John Ireland , Robert Rossen    Universal, suitable for all   DVD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
Price: 14.75
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Region 1 encoding (requires a North American or multi-region DVD player and NTSC compatible TV. More about DVD formats.)

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Frequently Bought Together

All the King's Men [DVD] [1949] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] + Gentleman's Agreement [DVD] [1947] + Marty [DVD]
Price For All Three: 24.69

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Product details

  • Actors: Broderick Crawford, John Ireland, Joanne Dru, John Derek, Mercedes McCambridge
  • Directors: Robert Rossen
  • Writers: Robert Rossen, Robert Penn Warren
  • Producers: Robert Rossen
  • Format: Black & White, DVD-Video, Full Screen, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: Sony Pictures
  • DVD Release Date: 5 Sep 2006
  • Run Time: 109 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000BITV92
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 131,058 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

From Amazon.co.uk

The Best Picture Oscar in 1949 went to All the King's Men, a hard-hitting political melodrama that will strike any number of eerily familiar chords with audiences weaned on later American politics: from the Kennedys to Nixon, Bill Clinton and beyond, US politicians obviously haven't changed much in the intervening decades. Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name, this grittily realistic movie charts the rise and fall of Willie Stark (Broderick Crawford in an Oscar-winning role), a hick lawyer whose ideals are inexorably eroded by his relentless pursuit of power. When we first meet him, Stark is the people's champion, a struggling self-taught advocate who isn't afraid to speak out against "graft". Although inspired by the real-life story of Louisiana Governor Huey Pierce Long, All the King's Men also parallels the much later Primary Colors (1998), which is itself a thinly disguised portrait of Bill Clinton's presidential campaign. Like that movie, this one tells the tale from the point of view of a young idealist (John Ireland) who succumbs to the fledgling politician's charm and joins his campaign team. There he meets cynical aide Sadie Burke (Mercedes McCambridge, in another Oscar-winning role) and together they connive at and excuse every increasingly corrupt move made in the name of political expediency, until matters get dangerously out of hand after the governor's son kills his girlfriend in a drunk-driving incident (a spooky premonition of Chappaquidick?). The performances are all top-notch, as is the fast-paced screenplay and direction from Robert Rossen (later director of The Hustler in 1961). Less idealistic than Capra's Mr Smith Goes to Washington, this is a movie ahead of its time which still has plenty to say about the state of modern politics, American or otherwise. --Mark Walker

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Stark reality 4 Mar 2009
Format:DVD
Released in 1949, winner of three Oscars (for best film, best actor and best supporting actress), this film is an adaptation of the best selling novel of the same title, and is loosely based on the real-life career of a Southern US governor, Huey Long. Broderick Crawford (probably best remembered for his TV series, 'Highway Patrol') plays the tragic central character, Willie Stark, an idealistic 'hick' who, over a period of several years, tries to fight corruption locally, gets himself a law degree as a mature student, and goes on to win the election for governor of an unnamed Southern state. In the process, his idealism and honesty become corrupted and his ambition and his incipient megalomania act as corrupting forces.

Crawford plays a man with mesmeric personality and oratory. The poor rally to his support, the political classes flirt with him, women fall in love with him. His story is told through the eyes of a reporter, Jack Burden, who begins by idealising the man but who then sees his own life come unpicked at the seams and who has to start making decisions for himself rather than being an observer. He is a man from the upper echelons of society, the complete contrast with Willie Stark.

As a film, it starts somewhat slowly - it has the feel of a rather poor B-movie or low-budget television tale. As it picks up, there are times when the camera work suggests actuality - there is a spontaneity and newsreel quality to some of the footage as if we are actually watching real events unfolding. The story is at once quite simple and predictable, yet it develops its own horrible sophistication as it alludes to corruption and to the dirtiness of the political processes in the USA (and, potentially, anywhere else).
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great political film 22 Mar 2006
By Henry Ireton VINE VOICE
Format:DVD
This film is wonderful in that it takes a theme power and its corruptions and uses it to great effect. It shows how one man achieves power and finds he has to acheive it by losing his morals- it calls into question the age old problem of means versus ends. Basically the story of the entourage around a southern governor during his rise to power, the tale profiles each person in terms of teh moral choices they make- showing how none of htem are pantomime villains but all complicated- Stark for instance haunted by the fact he and his wife can't have a child and by alcoholism and womanising- and showing how ambition and family love contradict each other and in some sense require each other it presents a fascinating picture of what it is to be political but also what it is to be a man. If you have to succeed by corruption as all the characters do, if to marry you have to succeed but if corruption ultimately destroys your soul and your relationships what have you left: an ugly circle of moral equivocation. This film is much more than a political film, but is still one of the great political films around- and like all great statements about politics it widens its range. The acting is very good- the only flaw being some slightly conventional scenes which relate to one particular relationship, between the hero and his childhood sweetheart Anne. Other than that the performances especially from the actor playing Stark are wonderful and evocative of both an era and the dilemmas the characters face. Basically this film fulfills the criterion of being an interesting political film. Any statement about politics if it has sufficient merit becomes a statement about how to live one's life and about personality- it rises above politics to philosophy- this is what this film does.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Honesty, integrity, corruption and murder! 16 Nov 2011
By Spike Owen TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
Willie Stark is an upstanding pillar of the community, when he is coaxed into standing in the local election he gets a first for politics. As he progresses thru the political ranks he loses sight of the very things that he first stood for, with him, and all those associated with him getting muddier by the day.

Adapted by Robert Rossen {director and screenplay} from the Pulitzer Prize winning novel by Robert Penn Warren, All The King's Men is the story about the rise and fall of a rotten politician. Almost certainly based on Louisiana Governor, Huey Pierce Long, it's a towering piece of work that is as politically cynical as it is ego centric-ally human. Not merely just another film about "when good guys go bad", this picture serves notice to the many things that drives politics on, for better or worse. The role of the press is under scrutiny for example, and just how come simple things such as rallies can be staged by some conniving aide sitting at the back? All roads in this gritty piece are paved with suspicious looking stones, the very foundations of which have been murkily formed.

It's a testament to Rossen and his excellent cast that All The King's Men is still as potent today as it obviously was back at the tail end of the 40s. Every once in a while a similarly themed film will come our way, but few, if any, can boast the hard hitting realism that seams throughout Rossen's film. Helped by location shooting at run down Stockton in California, and boosted by a powerhouse performance from Broderick Crawford as Stark, this film most definitely is a hallmark in the political genre. Nominated for seven Academy Awards, it won three in the main categories, Best Actor {Crawford}, Best Picture {rightly} and Best Supporting Actress {Mercedes McCambridge with an incredible debut performance}.

Excellent. 9/10
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