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All the King's Men

  • Drama
  • 1949
  • Robert Rossen
  • 105 mins
  • PG

Summary

Political drama starring Broderick Crawford. Honest Willie Stark, from the rural South, struggles to begin a political career. Although his first campaign is a failure, he continues to fight for power, losing his innocence in the process.

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Review

A star rating of 4 out of 5.

A blistering and still powerful political drama that deservedly won the best picture Oscar, with the best actor award going to gruff Broderick Crawford in the performance of a lifetime as Willie Stark, a thinly disguised portrait of Louisiana demagogue "Kingfish" Huey Long. Mercedes McCambridge is also superb as a political aide, gaining another well-deserved Oscar as best supporting actress. Today, this movie may seem a tad hysterical and over-performed, but it's important to view it in the context of the time in which it was made - a time of extreme corruption and bigotry. Editor (and later director) Robert Parrish was responsible for restructuring director Robert Rossen's cut, based on Robert Penn Warren's unfilmable book. Parrish added new scenes and dialogue, making the film worthy of its Oscar nod and at the same time winning the undying respect of Columbia boss Harry Cohn. Crawford parodied Cohn mercilessly in his next hit, Born Yesterday.

How to watch

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Credits

Cast

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Willie StarkBroderick Crawford
Anne StantonJoanne Dru
Jack BurdenJohn Ireland
Tom StarkJohn Derek
Sadie BurkeMercedes McCambridge
Adam StantonShepperd Strudwick
Tiny DuffyRalph Dumke
Lucy StarkAnne Seymour
Mrs BurdenKatherine Warren
Judge StantonRaymond Greenleaf

Crew

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DirectorRobert Rossen

Details

Theatrical distributor
Columbia Picture Corp. Ltd
Languages
English
Available on
video and DVD
Formats
Black and white
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