Films that are similar to "All the President's Men" ?
January 16, 2016 10:17 AM   Subscribe

I recent watched and loved All the President's Men. Journalists chasing the truth, 1970's aesthetic, Redford and Hoffman, it had lots of appealing aspects. I then saw and liked (but did not love), Three Days of the Condor. What similar films should I search out ?
posted by walkinginsunshine to Media & Arts (38 answers total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
You may like Zodiac.
posted by phunniemee at 10:20 AM on January 16, 2016 [7 favorites]

Spotlight playing right now is a great movie about journalists chasing the truth.
posted by Elsie at 10:33 AM on January 16, 2016 [10 favorites]

The current film "Spotlight" is considered the All the President's Men of today.
posted by Melismata at 10:34 AM on January 16, 2016 [1 favorite]

This year's movie "Spotlight," which is about events from early 2000s, is on the money for style, but not the era. Mike Rezendes, the journo played by Mark Ruffalo, doesn't do a single thing in that movie that couldn't be done in the 1970s, though possibly a barber in the 70s might've refused him that haircut. The action doesn't take place on cell phones, and computers are mostly in the background.

Anyway, 1970s: The Parallax View. Following an assassination of a politician (on the Space Needle!), Warren Beatty investigates a corporation that seems to have provided the assassin.

Fletch (1980s): Irreverent journo Irwin Fletcher investigates undercover to find who's supplying Venice Beach (I think) with drugs, and accidentally gets hired as a hitman. It's a Chevy Chase comedy, but I can't leave it off this list, because he does do some actual journalism and stuff. Arguably the only thing that separates it from a detective movie is that his story gets published. Based on the first of a series of books about Fletch; there was a movie sequel as well.

Kolchak, The Night Stalker: the first of a series of movies about Carl Kolchak, a journalist who investigates the paranormal (yes, it goes there). Chris Carter's inspiration for the X-Files, if that does anything for you. I think these movies were just multipart episodes from the TV series; I first saw it as TV. Note that they restarted this show unsuccessfully in the 2000s-- that's not what you're looking for.
posted by Sunburnt at 10:35 AM on January 16, 2016 [1 favorite]

The Thomas Crown Affair
Harper (Paul Newman)
posted by SemiSalt at 10:36 AM on January 16, 2016

If we can head east, how about 1982's The Year of Living Dangerously (Mel Gibson, Sigourney Weaver, and a great performance by Linda Hunt), set in revolutionary Indonesia. Gibson is the journalist, Weaver is ... I forgot, someone in diplomatic circles, and Hunt plays a local man who is Gibson's fixer/guide/investigator.
posted by Sunburnt at 10:41 AM on January 16, 2016 [3 favorites]

Try Absence of Malice and True Colors.
posted by willnot at 10:43 AM on January 16, 2016

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. Both the original series with Alec Guiness and the movie a couple years ago. Definitely shares the aesthetic.
posted by Cocodrillo at 10:45 AM on January 16, 2016

Ah, rats, it looks like they never made a movie out of The Honourable Schoolboy, the sequel to Tinker Tailor which was about a part-time British spy and full-time journalist working in Hong Kong. BBC skipped it for budget reasons and went straight to adapting Smiley's People, the third book. That second series should be as good a fit as Tinker Tailor.
posted by Sunburnt at 10:57 AM on January 16, 2016

Tinker, Tailor as suggested also shares the aesthetic.

But even more so, The Friends of Eddie Coyle is actually from 1973... Robert Mitchum (especially good) and Peter Boyle star and in some ways, this kind of crime movie is the inverse of a journalism movie.

The Year of Living Dangerously is also a good suggestion.

Another similar suggestion is the 1987 film Deadline with Christopher Walken putting the pieces together as a journalist in Lebanon during the civil war. It is sometimes available with the alternate title Witness in the War Zone.

Nick Nolte and Ed Harris star in Under Fire, a 1983 film about photojournalists set in Nicaragua in 1979.

It may not be everyone's cup of tea, but Oliver Stone's 1986 film Salvador is worth it if you get into the foreign correspondent thing.

1994's The Paper is another newspaper movie from before the full on digital era, but more comedic.

Then there's Live from Baghdad a 2002 HBO movie that follows the CNN crew at the beginning of the first Gulf War and stars Michael Keaton and Helena Bonham Carter.
posted by Jahaza at 10:57 AM on January 16, 2016 [1 favorite]

With some misgivings, I mention:
The China Syndrome
Erin Brockovich
JFK (Oliver Stone)

As movies, they have the chase for the truth that you want, but they are controversial, and i believe they are wrong and/or misleading about underlying real world issues.
posted by SemiSalt at 11:07 AM on January 16, 2016 [1 favorite]

'The Killing Fields'
'The Onion Field'
posted by clavdivs at 11:13 AM on January 16, 2016 [1 favorite]

The Nasty Girl (in German)
TV series: "Field of Blood"
Robert Fisk says "Foreign Correspondent" is the movie that lit fire to his boyhood journalism dreams. It's pretty cheesy fun.
posted by chapps at 11:19 AM on January 16, 2016

You may like State of Play, either the superior 6-hr miniseries by David Yates, or the simplified but not terrible Russell Crowe/Ben Affleck movie by Kevin McDonald.
posted by lewedswiver at 11:19 AM on January 16, 2016

The Pelican Brief.
posted by Melismata at 11:20 AM on January 16, 2016

Quiz Show (1994) which is incidentally directed by Robert Redford and based on a true story follows a Congressional lawyer trying to get to the bottom of the scandal involving the popular quiz show Twenty One in the 50's.
posted by maykasahara at 11:26 AM on January 16, 2016 [2 favorites]

Also, yes, Spotlight is amazing and absolutely heartbreaking.
posted by maykasahara at 11:28 AM on January 16, 2016

Good Night, and Good Luck.
posted by Alexandra Kitty at 11:28 AM on January 16, 2016 [3 favorites]

Day of the Jackal
posted by Thorzdad at 11:40 AM on January 16, 2016 [1 favorite]

You may also like Michael Mann's The Insider.
posted by shakespeherian at 11:46 AM on January 16, 2016 [1 favorite]

For 70's era vibe, the original Taking of the Pelham One, Two, Three is outstanding. If you really want to love it, listen to the Greg Proops podcast discussing the film and the actors. It's a classic! and a total nail biter! *swoon*

This is my favorite era of film EVER. I'll share some favorites, in no particular order....

Network (1976) directed by Sidney Lumet and starring Faye Dunawaye

Nthing The Year of Living Dangerously so so hard!!

The Conversation (1974) starring Gene Hackman

The French Connection (1971) directed by William Friedkin, starring Gene Hackman and Roy Schieder

Klute (1971) Jane Fonda, Donald Sutherland, Roy Schieder

Marathon Man (1976) Dustin Hoffman, Laurence Olivier, Roy Schieder (the ending is so good!)

Being There (1979) Peter Sellars

Harold and Maude (1971) Ruth Gordon, Bud Cort

The Killing of a Chinese Bookie (1976) JOHN CASSAVETES (anything John Cassavetes. ANYTHING. Speaking of which...)

GLORIA (1980) directed by John Cassavetes, starring his wife GENA ROWLANDS (yes, yes I love them both...)

I could probably keep going forever on this vibe....

Leon: The Professional filmed in 1994 totally captures this feeling, starring a young Natalie Portman, Jean Reno, and Gary Oldman as the villain cop. Delicious.

Cruising (1980) directed by William Friedkin and starring Al Pacino

Many films from the 70's directed by Alan J. Pakula fit your description, I did not list a lot of those.

OK. I'll stop here. Memail if you need more.
posted by jbenben at 11:53 AM on January 16, 2016 [9 favorites]

Reading other answers... The Killing Fields.

True story. So great. So great.
posted by jbenben at 12:31 PM on January 16, 2016

I feel like The Sandbaggers may scratch that itch for you.
posted by mumkin at 1:35 PM on January 16, 2016

Shattered Glass has always reminded me of ATPM.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 2:15 PM on January 16, 2016 [2 favorites]

Darn, I came here to recommend Shattered Glass, but someone beat me to it. I have it sitting on my coffee table right now. It's... not the greatest movie ever made, but it's an interesting story, and I'm obsessed with turn-of-the-century political journalism like some people are obsessed with Kardashians.
posted by kevinbelt at 2:32 PM on January 16, 2016

Cry Freedom and Argo will probably appeal.
posted by DarlingBri at 2:52 PM on January 16, 2016

Hacks and conspirators movies?
posted by genghis at 3:02 PM on January 16, 2016 [1 favorite]

This may be way out of a left field, but The Fugitive with Harrison Ford is similar to me in that he is chasing the truth, trying to hunt down what really happened, and he is basically in competition with the police to uncover what's going on, I guess the way the Woodward and Bernstein were chasing the truth and competing against the FBI and other newspapers. All The President's Men is one of my very favorite movies and books.
posted by AppleTurnover at 3:07 PM on January 16, 2016

Echoing recommendations for The Conversation (1974). Possibly The Falcon and The Snowman (1985)?
posted by Transmissions From Vrillon at 4:45 PM on January 16, 2016 [3 favorites]

Twilight's Last Gleeming - I loved it when I saw it but that was at least thirty-five years ago so it may not have held up well.
posted by octothorpe at 4:56 PM on January 16, 2016

"Nixon" directed by Stone.
The left out footage, esp. With Dick Helms ( Sam Waterson) is great.

Redford/Pitt in 'Spy game' is ok.

There is an oft mentioned film starring Ian Richardson and Anthony Hopkins called "Blunt" if only for Hopkins accurate portrayal.

And "The Bedford Incident". Poitier at his edgy smooth to the twitching Richard Widmark. Note some bridge sounds, you'll hear them in Lucas' film.
posted by clavdivs at 5:26 PM on January 16, 2016

It's not the world's greatest movie, but with Truth, it feels like Robert Redford has put up the bookend to All the President's Men. It's a similar scenario, with Redford playing a real reporter chasing down a story, but in this case he's at the other end of his career, and experiences a different outcome.
posted by sardonyx at 5:51 PM on January 16, 2016

I remember the movie Salvador being pretty good. James Woods plays a reporter in El Salvador. I have not seen it in a while, so not sure how well it holds up.
posted by OrangeGloves at 7:29 PM on January 16, 2016 [1 favorite]

The Odessa File
posted by H21 at 7:49 PM on January 16, 2016

There was a show on AMC back in 2010 called Rubicon that was definitely in this aesthetic wheelhouse. It wasn't great, but it was pretty good. Unfortunately, it got canned after one season.
posted by zchyrs at 7:29 AM on January 17, 2016

You can see Redford play Dan Rather in Truth.
posted by Obscure Reference at 7:44 AM on January 17, 2016

RUBICON on amc was amazing and I loathe that it was cancelled. I still think about it once in a while and wondered where the story was going...

Yep. Both the James Woods film Salvador and the series Rubicon fit this aesthetic.
posted by jbenben at 3:03 PM on January 17, 2016

I love All the President's Men. Last week, while watching Laura Poitras' academy award winning Edward Snowden documentary Citizenfour, I couldn't help but think that it reminded me very strongly of All the President's Men, only it was real. Highly recommended.
posted by MacChimpman at 6:03 PM on January 17, 2016

« Older Is This Blender Salvageable?   |   Hack my move Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.