All the King's Men Reviews

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May 26, 2010
A political film that's both interesting and relevant.
½ January 12, 2015
Best Picture? Really? The clunky dialogue and clumsy scene transitions and editing are unforgivable, and the performances are completely one-note. As unnatural and dull as a primetime soap opera...only watch if you're a Oscar completist.
½ November 30, 2014
I had only seen Rossen's Alexander the Great, but I enjoyed this film even more, about how power corrupts an American who initially at least seems honest and to have his heart in the right place. Amidst a fine supporting cast, Broderick Crawford and Mercedes McCambridge were excellent (and won Oscars, as did the picture), although I preferred Joanne Dru, who really exploded the screen with passion and angst any time she was there, as the second woman Willie cheats on his wife for, and who's caught in the middle of a bad can of worms. A fascinating and must-see character study that would make a fine double bill with The Candidate.
September 28, 2014
El director Robert Rossen logra adaptar a la perfección la novela ganadora del Premio Pulitzer de Robert Penn Warren sobre el ascenso y caída de un senador, muy similar a la vida de Huey Long. Broderick Crawford logra la mejor actuación de su carrera interpretando a este político. Ganadora del Oscar como Mejor película en 1949.
December 16, 2010
(First and only viewing - 2/24/2011)
June 2, 2014
More focused than Zallian's effort, this 1949 version of 'Men' tells a tighter story of ambition and corruption. It's photographed beautifully in black and white, and boasts a solid performance from Crawford. He combines charisma yet also a simpleness befitting his country roots. Furthermore, the shifts between political insight and a more personal story about manipulation is handled fairly smoothly, even if the transitions are a little too frequent.
Super Reviewer
½ April 29, 2014
A regional politician rises to power but loses his grip on his principles along the way.
The original man-ruined-by-the-system story, All the King's Men doesn't have much over its Sean Penn remake or the more modern The Candidate. The performances are all fine, but the story, which is compelling at its base, doesn't fully explore what motivates Willie's descent. Power-hungry characters aren't compelling if they're not power-hungry in ways with which we can identify.
Overall, in this case, the imitations are better than the original.
½ April 20, 2014
This is surprisingly faithful adaptation of the novel that somehow manages to largely miss the point, transforming a somewhat philosophical novel into a straightforward film about political corruption. It loses a lot of Stark's character and motivations, turning him into a guy who gets corrupted by power in the blandest sense. All of the leads, especially Crawford and McCambridge, are quite good, but I find the film's moralizing to be uninteresting since we really get no clue why Stark changes.
½ April 8, 2014
All the King's Men is based on the 1946 Robert Penn Warren novel of the same name and tells the story of the rise and fall of political heavyweight Willie Stark (based on the exploits of former governor of Louisiana Huey P. Long) through the eyes of those closest to him. Broderick Crawford masterfully portrays a sweet and honest man who becomes consumed by his own desires and lust for power. Mercedes McCambridge, who portrays Stark's assistant (and will most likely be familiar to fans of The Exorcist), also delivers a fine performance. Because of the pace of the film and the nature of how it was cut together, both the acting and the cinematography could have been looked over. It's easy to get caught up in it. There are hardly any static shots to be found in the film because the camera is always on the move. And for all of its clever camera work and tight editing, it's still a terrific drama, one that never bores and never strays far from its main subject.
½ April 8, 2014
A Kane-like film that brims with vitality. It focuses more on Stark himself than Warren's novel does, and this is a welcome change.
April 5, 2014
Crawford gives a fantastic, deeply layered performance that goes to the heart of the issue: power corrupts, even the good men
½ March 2, 2014
A movie that does not stand up to the test of time. The writing is hokey, the scene transitions are clumsy, and the acting is over the top.
October 24, 2013
Superb story that shows how power corrupts even the most well intentioned. Deserving of its academy awards.
October 27, 2012
While the first half is quite unimpressive and the film is filled with too many characters, All the King's Men also has strong acting and it is quite efficient thanks to its strong message about politics and the line which says that you can find some dirt on everyone is poignant and rings true.
September 3, 2013
Although it raises some interesting moral questions its a little to melodramatic by todays standards. The feeling that there is not one decent person in this whole film gives it a negative feeling and that people in general are just bad.
July 28, 2013
My Favorite Film Is 1941's Citizen Kane.
½ July 8, 2011
Not on par with other Best Picture winners.
July 4, 2013
Two hours isn't enough time for an adaptation of Robert Penn Warren's vivid and complex story. Although the adaptation was difficult, the film felt rushed to include almost everything Warren described in 600 pages or so. Aside from the book, the film was led by a spellbinding performance by Broderick Crawford, whose acclaim for this role is well-deserved.
½ July 3, 2013
Okay before I begin, I just want to say you won't believe how weirdly hard it was to finally be able to watch this movie. For a while when I trying to find the movie on the internet or the library, I would just about always get the 2006 version as a response...which as an 11% on rotten tomatoes or something...yeah...that's just not right. But anyway, here we are with the second to last best picture winner to review and the last one to review from the 40's. Here is finally my review for All the King's Men.

Plot: The story begins with reporter Jack Burden who is assigned to write a story about Willie Stark: a man who taught himself law and become a lawyer while also attempting to go into politics. His efforts go horribly wrong at first due to how he's more honest and innocent compared to the corrupted politicians he's fighting against, but eventually he figures things out and eventually goes as far as becoming the governor of the state is loved by everybody. But things start to go wrong when people around begin to feel that he's becoming corrupted by the power he is given.

Okay now I understand why some people seem to think it doesn't hold out as much as it did in '49. Because let's be honest, the story about people being corrupted by power is becoming a more common and therefore becoming a bit more of a cliche then it was back then. But that doesn't necessarily stop it from being a good movie for what it was. The story was told very well, the acting was very well done, heck it was interesting to know that this movie was basically based off a real Louisiana governor from the mid 30's where apparently everything that happens in this movie pretty much happened back then. On a whole, it's a movie that goes into what happens when power really corrupts and it gives a very good idea at what it can really do to people. Plus this film also focuses on what happens to the people around Willie Stark when he become corrupted and reckless in some ways which is good. But I think what interests be the most from watching this movie again is not just how Broderick Crawford's performance gave us a man who completely lost his innocence throughout the film (although it is the main factor as to why he deserved to win Best Actor for it), but also how it was hinted that he was going to be corrupt. Maybe I"m just taking his performance a completely different way then how I should, but watching roughly the first half of the movie again, I realized that even when he was down on his luck, there seemed to be hints that he's not quite as good as you'd expect. That these moments showed how maybe he wasn't 100% on the focus of the people and possibly focused on things just to get the power and be loved and that made it easier for him to be corrupted. Again, I might've read too much into that, but if that's the case, then that's a little interesting that the character Willie Stark and what happens to him may not be quite as black and white as I remembered. Anything else to say, I didn't quite care much for Jack and Anne during the second half because of how they would still be loyal to Stark despite what happens that makes everyone unsure/hate him.

And that's my review for All The King's Men. If you don't like it because of some of the characters or how the moral is more of a cliche then it was before, that's understandable. But otherwise, it's a very well done movie with a good story, well done acting, a main character that was not only well acted, but maybe was not quite as black and white and you might think making him a little more intriguing. It's a very enjoyable film and considering its time at the very least, it's little wonder that it won best picture.

So that's every single best picture winner I have reviewed...except for one. What in the world could that possibly be? Well you are going to find out soon as you might have noticed that I'm not very far away from reaching 500 reviews. So stick around for more as I work my way all the way to my 499th review and I shall finish going through the final one to review as my 500th review. See you then!
June 20, 2013
This movie is good but not the kind of good that I would enjoy or that inspires great emotion after fade out. I wasn't even sure who I should be rooting for or liking. The pacing is all wrong as if every scene is cut short before the punchline. While this movie may have really played on the feelings toward politicians at the time, today the tone, acting, and writing cannot evoke the same emotions even though we live in a time where many of us feel the same mistrust and anger toward our leaders. The movie does a fine job in illustrating its points, themes, and morals, but there's no growth, it's just sad, depressing, bereft of any sense that things could get better and people will overcome their temptations. It doesn't shed a nice light on the end of the 40s, instead it leaves a bad taste in your mouth. But again, this movie ends abruptly and feels like a part 1. Maybe that's the biggest message, that it's up to us, the audience, to rectify the flaws in ourselves and leaders, but I don't know, definitely not a favorite of mine.
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