- Format: NTSC, Import
- Studio: Twilight Time
- Release Date: March 11 2014
- Average Customer Review: 17 customer reviews
- ASIN: B00JFG12WU
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All the Kings Men [Blu-ray] [Import]
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Writer-director Robert Rossen and character actors Broderick Crawford and Mercedes McCambridge (in her film debut) took home Oscars (for Best Picture, Best Actor, and Best Supporting Actress, respectively) for this excellent adaptation of Robert Penn Warren's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel. Crawford stars as Willie Stark, a charismatic populist Southern politician (inspired by the real Louisiana Governor Huey Long) who belies his "man of the people" roots as he ruthlessly maneuvers, lies, and deals his way into the halls of power. John Ireland is his right-hand man, Jack Burden, a newsman turned political flack who hangs on to Stark's early idealism even in the face of Stark's most reprehensible acts of corruption. McCambridge is Stark's cool mistress come calculating assistant. The immediacy of the drama is due in part to a documentary-like style, notably in the scenes on the campaign trail where Stark sways crowds with his folksy rhetoric and estimable charm. Joanne Dru and John Derek also costar. Rossen's savage screenplay and firm direction give the film a powerful punch, but it's Crawford's blustery charm and oversized performance that carry the picture. --Sean Axmaker --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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The story begins,as does the main characters',in humble backgrounds.A rural boy comes to the city(Willie Stark)in order to fight those that would subvert the political system for their own crooked gains.Naive about the "game" he is playing he is cajoled and bullied by his opponents.His seemingly honest attempts to do something for the people and their plight gets the attention of the state capitols newspaper which sends a man to check it out,one Jack Burden(John Ireland).Stark loses round one but the more he gets his hands dirty in the political arena the tougher he gets.He goes on a bender after hearing that the very people who have been financing and steering his campaign are just using him to split votes in order for their real choice to get in.At a rally the next day a hungover but new born Stark throws away his wooden speeches and comes out swinging.From this moment on all bets are off and Stark,although losing the election,doesn't let the grass grow under his feet.He goes to college and gets a BA in law and opens up his own practice as a lawyer.When the re-elections come around again he is more than ready to start the fight all over again;this time with a new fire.
Stark's rural ideas become a thing of the past and his disguised feelings for the little guy or "hicks" become just a cover for his real personal ambitions.His methodology has become the same or worse than the very people he first campaigned against from the beginning.
The newspaper man who first covered Stark is now on his payroll,as are many of the very people who tried to squelch Stark from the beginning.He says he keeps them around to remind himself of what he had to overcome,but it is by all appearances something else;to use those same and very corrupt hands to do his dirty work.Along for the ride is rough and tough Sadie who falls in love with Stark as does Jack Burden's own girlfriend,all the while using his own wife and adopted son as pawns for political gain(nothing ever changes)whenever the occasion calls for it.Stark by now has given a plum job to a prominent judge as Attorney General and a plum position for a doctor as head of the new Stark Hospital,both close friends of Burdens.Time however reveals the ugly truth behind Starks motives not only to these men but to all of Starks staff.When the judge backs a motion at the state capitol for now-Governor Stark's impeachment Stark confronts him with evidence of a wrong doing many years before that he had forgotten about.Stark wants the judge to call off the vote then and there but the judge tells Stark he will get his answer in the morrow.While Stark and Burden are outside of the room talking and about to leave a shot rings out and they find the judge has committed suicide.Problem solved for Stark.
Things go from bad to worse however as the impeachment hearings at the state capitol resume.Stark has called on his henchmen to get the "hicks" out in support and they do.The plaza around the capitol building is jammed with humanity.The vote comes in and Stark,as would be expected,comes out in triumph and makes a speech.However out from the shadows of the capitol steps comes the distraught doctor who guns down Stark,who in turn is gunned down by police.Stark has flown too close to the sun and his wings of wax have melted sending him plummeting to earth and his inevitable death.
Crawford's performance is mesmerizing throughout.Mind you with this Pulitzer prize winning book and resultant script,how could he have missed? McCambridge gives a very memorable performance as the tough as nails Sadie,with a yearning for the grace and beauty of other women that she will never have.The entire cast is solid in fact and watch for performances by by Paul Ford as the Senator that instigates the impeachment process;you may recall him better as Sgt Bilko's Colonel Hall.Also watch for Bert Hanlon as the newspaper editor,he is the self same actor who appeared as the plastic surgeon in Bogies film Dark Passage.
Technically speaking this print has quite a few surface flaws,dirt specks,scratches,etc..It could use a good cleaning(even though it says it has been remastered in Hi-Def!),but overall the picture is quite crisp.It is full frame a/r(as it should be) and the only extras are two trailers for the tepid 2006 remake,which is very odd indeed.
All in all a very good film that deserved every award it got in /49.It is a must have.Recommended.
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