All The President’s Men (1976)
I love how this movie ends, the teletype headlines of the following years becoming louder and louder, as they eventually drown out the sound of Richard Nixon’s speech on the TV in the background. The film is still shown to aspiring journalism students.
Two reporters for the Washington Post, Woodward and Bernstein, are assigned to the story of the arrest of some persons at the scene for a break in at the Democratic National Headquarters at the Watergate Hotel. (The security guard who discovered the break in, Frank Willis, plays himself in the movie). Their dogged investigation is assisted by an inside informant codenamed Deep Throat after the pornographic film of the same name and the phrase “deep background”, a journalism term referring to information provided by a secret source that, by agreement, will not be reported directly. Deep Throat did not provide information, he put them in the right direction, gave them advice on how to approach the investigation and confirmed correctness or error. Their investigations eventaully brought down a President and the staff closest to him (“All the King’s horses and all the King’s men…”). The film covers the important first 7 months.
Bob Woodward: Well, who is Charles Colson?
Harry Rosenfeld: The most powerful man in the United States is President Nixon. You've heard of him? Charles Colson is special counsel to the President. There's a cartoon on his wall. The caption reads, "When you've got 'em by the balls, their hearts and minds will follow."
Woodward and Bernstein protected the identity of Deep Throat but in 2005 Vanity Fair magazine reported that Deep Throat was William Mark Felt, Associate Director (ie #2 man) of the FBI when he was the whistleblower to Woodward and Bernstein. After the story broke, Felt confirmed it, as did Woodward, Bernstein and Ben Bradlee, the executive editor of the Washington Post during Watergate.