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  • #5039845
  • Manufacturer: Sony Pictures
  • UPC #043396173811
  • Model #12/19/2006



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    Detail Description
    Detailed Description
    (Manufacturer # 12/19/2006 )

      The legacy of a populist Southern politician whose lofty ambitions for the future leave him open to corruption and scandal is detailed as author Robert Penn Warren's thinly veiled portrait of Depression-era Louisiana governor Huey Long comes to the screen -- again -- this time courtesy of director and screenwriter Steven Zaillian. Willie Stark (Sean Penn) is a man of the people, and for the people; at least that's what he tells the people. Propelled into a race for governor by opposing forces looking to split the "hick vote," Stark is convinced by a handler -- as well as by young journalist Jack Burden (Jude Law) -- to not kowtow to the powers that be. His rhetoric grows fiery, and he makes his way into office on a not-so-solid foundation of social-service promises. When idealism gives way to the harsh realities of the time, however, the fast-talking politico is quick to discover just how far one can fall when ambition and power lead to a betrayal of one's original motivations. Kate Winslet, Patricia Clarkson, James Gandolfini, Mark Ruffalo, and Anthony Hopkins round out an all-star cast in this second version of Warren's Pulitzer Prize-winning 1947 novel; the first won a parade of Oscars after its release in 1949. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi
    Movie Type
    Movie Level Themes
      Rise and Fall Stories, On the Campaign Trail, Class Differences, Fighting the System, Social Injustice, Political Corruption
    Movie Level Tones
      Elegiac, Biting, Forceful, Rousing, Earnest, Sweeping

    DVD Features

    • cc
    • Deleted Scenes
    • An American Classic - Featurette on Robert Penn Warren, the author of the Pulitzer Prize winning novel, All The King's Men
    • La. Confidential - On Location with All The King's Men
    • Shake Hands with the Devil - The cast of All The King's Men discusses politics and corruption in film
    • The Legend and Lore of Huey Long - This documentary investigates the colorful politician that provided the inspiration of the character Willie Stark
    • Making of Featurette
      AMG Rating


        Steven Zaillian was very smart to put together such a strong cast for his adaptation of Robert Penn Warren's All the King's Men. These remarkable actors understand what to do with the rich and flowery language Zaillian provides, seamlessly integrating Warren's original dialogue with his own additions. Individual scenes work very well as stand-alone vignettes, the cinematography is unobtrusively beautiful, and the set design is flawless. Sadly, Zaillian ignores the pulpier aspects of the original work, going for an overly serious tone. The pace of the film could charitably be described as stately, although the more honest description would be slow. The bombastic score does not underscore the drama onscreen, but circles it half a dozen times and highlights it in red, practically insulting the audience. In many of the dramatic moments, Zaillian resorts to a series of quick flashbacks in order to help the audience recall the confluence of events that led there. These rapid reminders might seem like a good idea because of the complex plot, but the deliberate pace of the movie keeps the plot in focus -- making the flashbacks entirely unnecessary. Although the editing attempts to help the viewer, these recaps feel, at worst, downright condescending. These faults could have been overcome if Zaillian had managed to make interesting parallels to the polarized political condition of the country in the first decade of the 21st century, but the 60-year-old story of a corrupted populist never really seems all that relevant in the age of George W. Bush. Steven Zaillian is a first-rate screenwriter who has proven himself remarkably adept at bringing respected books to the big screen. This time, however, he seems to have a little too much respect for his source material, making his interesting but flawed version of All the King's Men the first disappointment of his directorial career. ~ Perry Seibert, Rovi


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