The Greatest Scandal in American History…Until Now

All The Presidents Men (1976) – A Look Back 🗓



The Academy Award winning film, “All the President’s Men” is the 1976 American political thriller directed by Alan J. Pakula and starring Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman. I believe it’s the best film on the Watergate scandal and the incredible journalism of Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward.  The gold standard of journalists, their hard work ultimately uncovered the truth of the events that changed the course of American history; the first time ever that an American President resigned from office.

The Plot: On June 17, 1972, a security guard (Frank Wills) at the Watergate complex finds a door kept unlocked with tape. He calls the police, who find and arrest five burglars in the Democratic National Committee headquarters within the complex. The next morning, The Washington Post assigns new reporter Bob Woodward (Robert Redford) to the local courthouse to cover the story, which is thought to be of minor importance.

Woodward learns that the five men, four Cuban-Americans from Miami and James W. McCord, Jr., had bugging equipment and have their own “country club” attorney. At the arraignment, McCord identifies himself in court as having recently left the Central Intelligence Agency and the others also have CIA ties. Woodward connects the burglars to E. Howard Hunt, a former employee of the CIA, and President Richard Nixon‘s Special Counsel Charles Colson. (Wikipedia)


Carl Bernstein (Dustin Hoffman), another Post reporter, is assigned to cover the Watergate story with Woodward. The two are reluctant partners but work well together. Executive editor Benjamin Bradlee (Jason Robards) believes their work is incomplete, however, and not worthy of the Post’s front page. He encourages them to continue to gather information.

Woodward contacts “Deep Throat” (Hal Holbrook), a senior government official, an anonymous source he has used in the past. Communicating through copies of The New York Times and a balcony flowerpot, they meet in a parking garage in the middle of the night. Deep Throat speaks in riddles and metaphors about the Watergate break-in, but advises Woodward to “follow the money.” (Wikipedia)

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Theatrical Release Poster


Yes, “follow the money” indeed.

I was in high school when the Washington Post reporters Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward uncovered the historic Watergate scandal and I have never forgotten the outrage and for some disbelief that the President of the United States was guilty of a cover-up; it shook American politics to its core.

Carl Bernstein, Bob Woodward

Carl Bernstein, Bob Woodward


However, it was true and instead of being impeached Nixon resigned his office. That is why the overwhelming evidence against the current resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave is so very shocking; Richard Nixon did far less and with a bi-partisan agreement, Articles of Impeachment were drawn.

“All the President’s Men” is the 1974 non-fiction book by Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward, that was subsequently made into the motion picture starring Dustin Hoffman and Robert Redford. The book chronicles the investigative reporting of Woodward and Bernstein from Woodward’s initial report on the Watergate break-in through the resignations of H. R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman, and the revelation of the Nixon tapes by Alexander Butterfield in 1973. (Wikipedia)


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The cover of the 1974 first edition.

It relates the events behind the major stories the duo wrote for the Post, naming some sources who had previously refused to be identified for their initial articles, notably Hugh Sloan. It also gives detailed accounts of Woodward’s secret meetings with his source Deep Throat whose identity was kept hidden for over 30 years. Gene Roberts, the former executive editor of The Philadelphia Inquirer and former managing editor of The New York Times, has called the work of Woodward and Bernstein “maybe the single greatest reporting effort of all time.” (Wikipedia)

To hear more about the history of Watergate from the words of the reporters themselves: Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein.




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Shampoo (1975)

I may be dating myself, what am I saying, I KNOW I’m dating myself but there was a time back in the day when Warren Beatty (Bonnie & Clyde, Splendor in the Grass) was the finest dude, not just in Hollywood but dare I say the planet!


Warren Beatty and Natalie Wood

Beatty was gracing the covers of celebrity magazines back in the ’50’s, long before the current crop of “world’s sexiest man” covers and was dating star Natalie Wood (“Miracle on 34th” Street, “Rebel Without a Cause“) and other beautiful ingenues making women swoon with envy.

The “fine” phases of Warren Beatty

young and hot Warren Beatty

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“Shampoo” hot and sexy Beatty



“Shampoo” (1975) is the story of George Roundy (Warren Beatty) the womanizing hairdresser who realizes too late that his life of philandering has cost him the love of his life. George’s case is that “he can’t help it, they smell so good.”

The film stars Warren Beatty, Julie Christie, and Goldie Hawn (Kate Hudson’s mom), with Lee Grant, Jack Warden, Tony Bill and in an early film appearance, Carrie Fisher. The movie is set on Election Day 1968, the day Richard Nixon was first elected as President of the United States, and was released soon after the Watergate scandal had reached its conclusion.

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Goldie Hawn, Nixon, Warren Beatty

The political atmosphere provides a source of dramatic irony, since the audience, but not the characters, are aware of the direction the Nixon presidency would eventually take. However, the main theme of the film is not presidential politics but sexual politics; it is renowned for its sharp satire of late-1960s sexual and social mores. (Wikipedia)

I almost didn’t publish this post because of recent disturbing events going on right now in politics but thought no, this film isn’t about committing assault, it’s about facing your viewpoint of morality and realizing how callously you’ve been living your life.

When I first thought about posting this it was based on the politics of the ’60’s then ironically found myself in mid-sentence realizing that the controversies of the Nixon era have nothing on the despicable state of politics today.

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Goldie Hawn, Julie Christie, Tony Bill, Warren Beatty

But I digress, I loved “Shampoo” because of one – watching fine Warren Beatty and two – the ending. You have to pay the piper and take responsibility for your actions. George represented a lot of guys who thought doing as many women as possible was cool and made them all that but, the truth is, what goes around, comes around.

“Shampoo” was Carrie Fisher’s first film and won Lee Grant the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. The film was directed by the brilliant Hal Ashby. (Harold and Maude 1971)

Other Academy nominations were:

Robert Towne (“Chinatown”) and Warren Beatty – Best Writing, Original Screenplay

  • Best Motion Picture (Musical or Comedy)

  • Best Motion Picture Actor (Musical or Comedy) – Warren Beatty

  • Best Motion Picture Actress (Musical or Comedy) – Julie Christie & Goldie Hawn

The lead character, George Roundy, is reportedly based on several actual hairdressers, including Jay Sebring and film producer Jon Peters, who is a former hairdresser. Sebring was brutally murdered by the Charles Manson family in 1969. According to the 2010 book Star: How Warren Beatty Seduced America by Peter Biskind, the screenwriter Towne based the character on Beverly Hills hairdresser Gene Shacove. (Wikipedia)


jay sebring

Jay Sebring

jon peters

Jon Peters

The film had little critical praise but commercially, “Shampoo” was a great success. Produced on a budget of $4 million, the film grossed $49,407,734 domestically and $60 million at the worldwide box office. It was the fourth most successful film of 1975 by box office takings, beaten only by Jaws, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show. (Wikipedia)

I had no idea that the year after its release there was a blaxploitation send-up, Black Shampoo.

Trivia: Warren Beatty is actress, author Shirley Maclaine’s brother.

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warren beatty and shirley maclaine

Shirley MacLaine and Warren Beatty

Henry Warren Beatty (born March 30, 1937) has been nominated for fourteen Academy Awards – four for Best Actor, four for Best Picture, two for Best Director, three for Original Screenplay, and one for Adapted Screenplay – winning Best Director for Reds (1981).

Beatty is the first and only person to have been twice nominated for acting in, directing, writing,and producing the same film – first with Heaven Can Wait (1978), which was co-written by Elaine May and co-directed by Buck Henry, and again with Reds, which he co-wrote with Trevor Griffiths.

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In 1999, he was awarded the Academy’s highest honor, the Irving G. Thalberg Award. Beatty has been nominated for eighteen Golden Globe Awards, winning six, including the Golden Globe Cecil B. DeMille Award, with which he was honored in 2007.

Among his Golden Globe-nominated films are, Splendor in the Grass (1961), Bonnie and Clyde (1967), Shampoo (1975), Dick Tracy (1990), Bugsy (1991), and Bulworth (1998). (Wikipedia)

Warren Beatty’s Political Honors:

Eleanor Roosevelt Award from the Americans for Democratic Action, the Brennan Legacy Award from the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University School of Law, the Phillip Burton Public Service Award from the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, and the Spirit of Hollywood Award from the Associates for Breast and Prostate Cancer Studies.

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Beatty was a founding board member of the Center for National Policy, a founding member of the Progressive Majority, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, has served as the Campaign Chair for the Permanent Charities Committee, and has participated in the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

He served on the Board of Trustees at the Scripps Research Institute and the Board of Directors of the Motion Picture and Television Fund Foundation. He was named Honorary Chairman of the Stella Adler Studio of Acting in 2004. (Wikipedia)

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Looks like Warren Beatty has been more than just “fine”. Over his career, he’s been accomplished both in Hollywood and the political arena.