Hard choices we have yet to face
THERE can be no gainsaying that All the President's Men ("AA", Warner 2) is a fine piece of quasidocumentary film-making. Everybody knows if only through Robert Redford's reticence with the national Press that his film follows the long tussle of the two Washington Post reporters, Woodward (Robert Redford) and Bernstein (Dustin Hoffman), to uncover the Watergate cover-up.
As a newspaper investigation thriller, it is thoroughly satisfactory if you haven't had enough of newspaper investigations on the screen already.
As contemporary or rather recent history it is a conscientious reconstruction. with Washington Post offices rebuilt in California, the bugging burglars in their masks, the garage meetings with the informer "Deep Throat" and the ingenious working into the screenplay of television broadcasts by President Nixon, About this aspect of the film I have reservations. For an American film to beat American breasts about American misdemeanours is all very well. But the most telling tine is spoken by one of the editors just as every thing is getting hotted up and every. American security arm involved.
-I happen to love my country." he says unhappily, "We're not a hunch of zanies trying to pull it down.The question May be asked whether that is not, after all, just what they did.
his reservation found curious confirmation from ,a French film shown to the Press and chosen to open the season of Argos Film movies at the National Film Theatre. Chansons S0115 I:Occupation is a lightish survey by Andre Halimi of the wail ime conduct of French stage and screen stars under Natii occupation.
All the old arguments about vvhether artists should or should not
involve themselves in politics are repeated. There is a certain amount of malicious gossip-columnish interest in seeing the stars familiarly supposed to have entertained the Germans. as well as some who did not. But. like the Watergate picture, it suggests something unappetising about foreigners (that is us) sitting like vultures taking their entertainment from judging friends for making hard choices we have riot yet had to face. The rest of the "Tribute to Argosseason at the NFT contains a number of distinguished French favourites.
The Count of Monte Crislo ("U" Dominion), Dumas Senior's superromantic adventure. turns up in a new version with a first-rate cast, directed by David Greene. Richard Chamberlain's unfailing charm as the wrongfully imprisoned Dantes combines with Trevor Howard's as the Ahhe Feria (each with many Years' growth of heard) to give real excitement to their tunnelling their way out of the Chateau d'IL Once 0111, the good Abbe dead, and Dantes sharing the treasure with his pirates before returning to France for his revenge. matters become more artificial. But for the young in heart, if there still are some. it should do quite nicely.
My eye was caught by the appearance of Tyrone Power's daughter I arvit. among such seasoned phis ers as Tony Curtis. Donaid Pleiisence and Louis Jourdan.
British popular cinema lost a much-leyed favourite last month when Sid tames died in Sunderland after Ladlopsing on the stage. Sid wOuld ti.ic approved of dying in harlicss, for he was a horn pro, ilthough he didn't establish himself as one until he Catne to this country from South Africa. 55 here both his parents were variety artists.
During the %kar he served in an entertainment unit in the Middle Fast. then came on here to becomc famous. first as Tony Hancock's "straight" stooge in the unforgettable "Hancock's Ilalf-Hour."