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All the King's Men

Score: 88%
Rating: Not Rated
Publisher: Sony Pictures Home

Region: 1
Media: DVD/1
Running Time: 110 Mins.
Genre: Drama
Audio: English
Subtitles: English


  • Sneak Peak of All the King's Men including interviews with James Gandolfini, Jude Law and Anthony Hopkins
  • Theatrical Trailer for All the King's Men

All the King’s Men, circa 1949, tells the story of one Willie Stark (Broderick Crawford), a small-town guy who just wants to make things better for his community – how? Through politics, of course. The story is loosely based on the political rise of Huey P. Long, Louisiana’s colorful Senator and Governor, known as the “Kingfish”. Willie’s humble beginnings cause him to want to speak out for the working man, the "hicks", as he calls them. Although he is unsuccessful in his first run for a small local office, the powers-that-be see him as the perfect pawn for their political game. If they can convince him to run full-force for the Governor’s office, he definitely won’t win, but he’ll split the vote. With his outspoken political aide, Sadie Burke (Mercedes McCambridge), by his side, Stark sets off to take the world by storm. Unfortunately for him, he has no idea he is simply being used, all the while boring the townspeople to death with his longsuffering speeches. He soon discovers the plot and his role in the political machine and this spurs him on to determine that he will win the race, in spite of them. He turns politics on its head and wins the race, eventually becoming a very powerful leader.

Along the way, he seems to forget his family and finds himself enjoying the company of the ladies a bit too much, all the while strengthening his position through blackmail and threats. It seems ol’ Willie has something on everyone. And while he continues to try to help the little man by opening a charity hospital so the poor can have adequate healthcare, he insist upon it bearing his namesake. (Huey P. Long Medical Center still operates today in Pineville, Louisiana.) But pride cometh before a fall and soon Willie finds himself having more enemies than friends. Suffice it to say that in reality, Huey P. Long was assassinated in the Louisiana State Capitol in 1935. Things don’t bode well for poor Willie.

Special features are scarce but do include the theatrical trailer for the upcoming release of All the King’s Men starring Sean Penn, James Gandolfini, Kate Winslet, Jude Law and Anthony Hopkins. There’s also a nice little preview on the movie that splices bits of the trailer with commentary and a behind-the-scenes look.

Although this movie is in black and white and is somewhat dry, for it’s time, it was an amazing drama and tale of the human spirit. It’s a bit of history and it is really interesting to see who is cast in the modern day remake as opposed to those from the classic film. The acting is excellent, especially Crawford and McCambridge, who completely own their roles as Stark and Burke. The film won scads of awards in its day, including the Oscar for Best Actor given to Broderick Crawford for the role of Willie Stark.

Although loosely based on history, it is a slice of the past and a novel watch for those about to see the remake of All the King’s Men or those just interested in the forever dirty politics of Louisiana.

-Psibabe, GameVortex Communications
AKA Ashley Perkins

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