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Nixon [Blu-ray]

Anthony Hopkins , Joan Allen , Oliver Stone    R (Restricted)   Blu-ray
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (81 customer reviews)
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Oliver Stone's controversial drama about the Nixon years in the White House stars Anthony Hopkins in a genuinely great performance as the scandal-plagued president. The film attempts to wed suggestions of Nixon's formative experiences as a boy to his political connections with shady movers and shakers and finally to his self-destructive tenure in the Oval Office. The Watergate scandal is revisited rather impressionistically--it may be hard for viewers who weren't alive then to get a sense of what the crisis was about. The parade of stars playing figures in Nixon's orbit--J.T. Walsh as John Ehrlichman, James Woods as Bob Haldeman, David Hyde Pierce as John Dean, etc.--is fun if a tad distracting. Joan Allen got a well-deserved Oscar nomination as First Lady Pat Nixon, and Hopkins got one as well. --Tom Keogh

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Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:VHS Tape
Oliver Stone's "Nixon" is quite simply a great American film, one that has been shamefully overlooked in comparison with the seriously flawed "JFK." Stone obviously took notice of the criticisms of that earlier film, and while some of his conspiracy-mania appears in "Nixon", overall the later film is a much more balanced and human effort. Stone can direct like a lunatic (has anybody but the seriously disturbed sat through "Natural Born Killers" more than once?) but he is an undeniably intelligent and talented filmmaker who can rise to the occasion when challenged. And he was obviously challenged by the task of coming to terms with Richard Nixon, the dominant political figure of his youth. Stone dedicated the movie to his late father, and it is obviously an attempt by a son to understand patriarchal authority--and its abuses.
Stone's aggressive style is much on display here, but it helps draw you into the drama, rather than distracting as it has in other films. Ther's some truly inspired casting, from David Hyde Pierce as John Dean to James Woods and J.T. Walsh as Haldeman and Ehrlichman, to the splendid Joan Allen as Pat Nixon. But the centerpiece is Anthony Hopkins as Nixon who gives another remarkable performance in his patented manner of "clenched flamboyance" (as one critic described his acting.) He makes you feel every hurt, every slight that the man ever felt, as well as letting us see the undeniable brilliance as well as the pathetic flaws. By the time the Mormon Tabernacle Choir sings "Shanendoah" over footage of Nixon's funeral and the closing credits (a masterful, unironic touch) you may find yourself genuinely grieving over the wasted genius. One of the best political films ever made, one whose reputation should grow over the coming years.
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5.0 out of 5 stars fascinating character study on blu-ray Aug. 5 2010
Anthony Hopkins gives a stunning and complex portrayal of Nixon, while leading a well-cast ensemble of talent (Paul Sorvino, Joan Allen, James Woods etc.). Though not a stickler for historical accuracy, Oliver Stone's fascinating epic character study is technically well made, especially this extended director's cut, and again utilizes the director's known flashback and multi-format editing style. The election year blu-ray edition has a second disc of bonus features, which includes a lot of Oliver Stone - deleted scenes, with director intros, Charlie Rose interview, trailer, and a new documentary, Beyond Nixon (which contains many insider reactions to the film). Additionally, there are two director commentaries - one focused on cast, crew and filmmaking, and the other focused on political history.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Stone's Attempt at "Citizen Kane" July 3 2009
It's impossible to watch "Nixon" without seeing the parallels with Welles' masterpiece. The fragmented narrative, the self-reflexive camera techniques, the newsreel, the portrait of a power-mad love-hungry icon are all suggestive. There's more, too, and some academic will doubtless write a paper if it hasn't been written already. Judged against "Kane" of course "Nixon" falls short. But once the resonances start penetrating, this film becomes a sequel to that earlier portrait of power. The American Character--if such a thing exists--is really at the heart of this film. Forget whether or not you hate the real Nixon and revel in Hopkins' portrayal of the cinematic one.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A PLEASANT SURPRISE June 6 2004
He infers that the beast is embodied in the Central Intelligence Agency, which in turn controls the U.S. A sequence showing Nixon visiting CIA Director Richard Helms (Sam Waterston) was mostly cut out of the original film, but the video shows it in its entirety at the end of the movie. Helms and his agency are virtually said to be the devil. Flowers in Helms' office are shown to bloom and wilt in supernatural ways, presumably depending on Helms' evil whim. Waterston's eyes are shown to be coal black. He is Satan!
Nixon asks himself the rhetorical question, "Whose helping us?" while staring into a fireplace flame under a portrait of Kennedy. The theme is first brought forth in Nixon's college years, when his older brother dies, and apparently this frees up money through an unexplained source (an insurance policy?) that allows Nixon to go to law school. In light of two Kennedy assassinations, the answer to Nixon's question seems to be the same one that Mick Jagger gives in "Sympathy for the Devil".
"After all, it was you and me," Jagger sings, and Stone would have you believe it was the devil in silent concert with Nixon and his brand of...something. Jingoism, patriotism, xenophobia, bloodthirstiness? Nixon is seen on a couple of occasions shadowed by a devil-like winged creature (the beast), and his conversation with a female college student at the Lincoln Memorial ends with her identification of the beast as the controlling force in American politics. Presumably the girl is able to see this clearly because her heart is pure.
Stone invents secret cabals that never happened between Nixon and John Birch Texas businessmen, racist to the core, who along with a smirking Cuban are there to tell us that because Nixon was in Texas on November 22, 1963 he was somehow plotting JFK's murder.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Hallmark Film May 21 2004
Oliver Stone said that he thought this film and his film, "JFK", are his "Godfather Part One and Two". I am in complete agreement with him. Together they are a one-two punch combination. This is a hallmark film.
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Most recent customer reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Blue Ray Formatted movie
I didn't realize Blue Ray was a different format when I ordered this movie so have been unable to watch it. I would have liked to have known this before buying it.
Published on Sept. 6 2010 by Brejean
1.0 out of 5 stars Not received as yet
Ordered August 5th and not received the the 25th so notified Amazon and apparently another shipped on the 30th of August but not received yet - will hesitate to order again.
Published on Sept. 5 2010 by Judy
5.0 out of 5 stars From the Lemon Farm To The White House...
This review refers to the DVD edition of "Nixon"
This film opens with a notation, that it is a dramtic interpertation of the events based on public records, that... Read more
Published on May 16 2004 by L. Shirley
5.0 out of 5 stars Oliver Stone's Masterpiece!
Nixon was initially available only in a DVD with minimal extras. In recent years, Oliver Stone has revisited his entire canon with special edition treatments. Read more
Published on May 12 2004 by Cubist
4.0 out of 5 stars Good film, will Stone will do the film on George W Bush?
The film was a good portrait of Richard M Nixon. Nixon was paranoid and portrayed as a MacBeth like-figure, minus a prodding wife. Read more
Published on March 10 2004 by Nicholas Walters
5.0 out of 5 stars You can't kick Dick Nixon around anymore!
Lets face it. Watergate has become one of the biggest scandals ever in the history of the Presidentcy. I personally like Nixon, but this movie is still great. Read more
Published on Feb. 26 2004 by Smokin Iguana
3.0 out of 5 stars Not Stone's best effort
Any effort to explore the complex psychology of our esteemed thirty-seventh president, Richard Milhous Nixon, in a single motion picture is sure to run into some difficulties. Read more
Published on Feb. 18 2004 by Jeffrey Leach
5.0 out of 5 stars Magnificent !
I don't know about historical accuracy, but as a piece of cinematic art, NIXON is (and I don't use this word lightly) a masterpiece. Read more
Published on Feb. 5 2004 by Sugunan
3.0 out of 5 stars Oliver Stone for the Defense
Oliver Stone's film NIXON is an interesting example of what Aristotle calls "forensic rhetoric"--it is structured to provide extenuating circumstances that will lead... Read more
Published on Dec 27 2003 by David R. Eastwood
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