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Movie Info

In his New Jersey study, Richard Nixon (Philip Baker Hall) retraces the missteps of his political career, attempting to absolve himself of responsibility for Watergate and lambasting President Gerald Ford's decision to pardon him. His monologue explores his personal life and describes his upbringing and his mother. A tape recorder, a gun and whiskey are his only companions during his entire monologue, which is tinged with the vitriol and paranoia that puzzled the public during his presidency.

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Critic Reviews for Secret Honor

All Critics (13) | Top Critics (3) | Fresh (10) | Rotten (3)

Audience Reviews for Secret Honor

  • Oct 27, 2011
    Altman returns to top form and delivers an amazing, tense and thrilling one man show. Phillip Baker Hall in his greatest role and Altman's camera does the rest.
    Graham J Super Reviewer
  • May 06, 2011
    Robert Altman was a scientist. He was constantly exploring new ways to tell cinematic stories and "Secret Honor" was one of his most daring experiments. During the 1980s Altman was shunned from Hollywood due to his underperforming films. He spent the better part of the decade directing plays, teaching classes and recording theater. When he did make a film, it was usually with the same select few cast and crew he was repeatedly using. "Secret Honor," a one man film about a fictional hour and a half of Richard Nixon's life, was a result of one of these collaborations. "Secret Honor" was the final 'project,' so to speak, of one of his Chicago based film classes. Students filled in the positions of crew. Philip Baker Hall reprises his role from the play in the film. "Secret Honor" is a stream of conscious, fictional, portrayal of a historical figure in crisis. The structure can get tiresome, as with any single location film, but there are moments of brilliance. Baker Hall can be riveting and over the top in equal measure, much like Nixon himself. I also enjoyed that this, much like Oliver Stone's "W." was a balanced portrayal, both judgmental and sympathetic. "Secret Honor" is not a home run by any means. The film can drag due to the fact it's essentially an endless monologue but it's still well worth seeing. It's a claustrophobic, anxiety ridden experience that, love it or hate it, you will not likely forget.
    Steven C Super Reviewer
  • Jun 04, 2010
    The screenplay is undeniably compelling and Philip Baker Hall's performance is wonderfully manic.
    Alec B Super Reviewer
  • Oct 19, 2008
    I found it rambling and incoherent. I didn't buy this portrait of Nixon.
    Morris N Super Reviewer

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