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All the King's Men [Blu-ray]

128 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Oscar(r)-winning actor Sean Penn (Best Actor, Mystic River, 2003), two-time Academy Award(r) nominee Jude Law (Best Supporting Actor, The Talented Mr. Ripley, 1999; Best Actor, Cold Mountain, 2003), four-time Academy Award(r) nominee Kate Winslet (Best Supporting Actress, Sense and Sensibility, 1995; Iris, 2001, Best Actress, Titanic, 1997; Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, 2004), and Oscar(r) winner Anthony Hopkins (Best Actor, The Silence of the Lambs, 1991) star in this riveting story of a humble man's rise to political power and the destructive force of corruption and betrayal that would ultimately unravel his soul, based on Robert Penn Warren's 1946 classic Pulitzer Prize-winning novel. Willie Stark (Penn) is an ordinary man from a rural town, demanding that crooked politicians and shady businessmen in Lousiana be held accountable for the collapse of a poorly built school. Urged to run for Governor by a dubious political advisor, Tiny Duffy (three-time Emmy(r) Award winner

Sean Penn, Jude Law, Kate Winslet, and Anthony Hopkins star in this riveting story of a humble man’s rise to political power and the destructive force of corruption and betrayal that would ultimately unravel his soul, based on Robert Penn Warren’s 1946 classic Pulitzer Prize-winning novel. Also starring James Gandolfini, Mark Ruffalo and Patricia Clarkson.

Stills from All the King’s Men (click for larger image)

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Mark Ruffalo, Patricia Clarkson, Anthony Hopkins, James Gandolfini, Sean Penn
  • Directors: Steve Zaillian
  • Producers: Mike Medavoy, Arnold Messer, Steven Zaillian, Ken Lemberger
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Blu-ray, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: French, English
  • Dubbed: French
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: December 19, 2006
  • Run Time: 128 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (128 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000K2UH6U
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #130,713 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "All the King's Men [Blu-ray]" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By J. Reynolds on February 5, 2007
Format: DVD
If you read the magnificent novel upon which this film is based, then you see that the movie does a pretty good job of bringing the story to the screen. Also, I am familiar with hicks in Louisiana, and a lot of them DO have the same accent Sean Penn assumed in his role.

The only improvement I could suggest would have been more frequent use of Robert Penn Warren's own dialogue. For instance, when Burden criticized Stark for boring his listeners, for showing them pie graphs and talking statistics and finances, he was brief and low-key. In the book, Burden railed at Stark -- "Make 'em laugh, make 'em cry, pinch them in a soft spot, but for God's sake don't try to improve their minds." Several other instances occurred where the author's exact wording would have worked better.

Also, two interesting book story points were omitted: Stark's boy, the football player, toward the end was injured during a play and paralyzed from the neck down; Lucy resigned the rest of her life to caring for him. Also, in the end, Jack Burden and Anne Stanton finally married, fulfilling their destiny from youth. It made a good wrap-up.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Roland E. Zwick on April 18, 2007
Format: DVD
Even a stellar cast made up of some of the finest talents in the business - Sean Penn, Jude Law, Patricia Clarkson, James Gandolfini, Mark Ruffalo, Kate Winslet and Anthony Hopkins - can't save "All the King's Men" from being a tired, pointless remake of the Best Picture Oscar winner of 1949.

Robert Penn Warren based his original novel on the life and career of the notorious Huey Long, aka "The Kingfish," who served as governor of Louisiana from 1928 to 1932. Like Long, Warren's main character, Willy Stark, is a charismatic leader who offends the powers-that-be with his populist rantings, yet eventually becomes as lowdown, vile and corrupt as the politicians he initially railed against to get himself elected.

This theme of the corrupting influence of power - and the corrosive effect that corruption has on the American political system - may have seemed fresh and insightful in Warren's day, but it is strictly old hat today. Moreover, in Steven Zaillian`s pretentious rehash, Stark transitions from being an idealist to a cynic in such record-setting time that the audience is completely at a loss as to how to read the character. Is he a man genuinely committed to helping his fellow citizens who eventually loses his way, or is he just another snake-oil salesman from the get-go exploiting the gullibility of the masses to get what he wants? The film doesn't seem to know, and the audience, quite frankly, doesn`t really care.

Stunningly, the movie is helped not one whit by its strictly A-list caliber cast. Penn hams it up shamelessly as the over-the-top Stark, spewing spittle and bile, regardless of whether he is whipping a downtrodden audience into an emotional frenzy or plotting the downfall of his manifold political rivals.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By R. Kyle VINE VOICE on March 30, 2008
Format: DVD
"All the King's Men" is based on the Pulitzer Prize winning novel written by Robert Penn Warren. Warren, who shifted from poetry to prose to write this novel, got his inspiration from the Populist Louisiana politician, Huey Long.

The film, based on a screenplay by Steve Zaillian, is also based in Louisiana. The politician, Willie Stark (Penn), runs a parallel course to Long's illustrious career. He started out meaning well and his interest was always in the common man, 'hicks' like him. The story is narrated by newspaper reporter, Jack Burden (Law) who works for Sparks.

There's a lot of strong messages in "All the King's Men." You can watch it from the perspective of a soap opera, a parallel to contemporary politics (the discussion of the oil companies' influence, for example) or an Ivory Tower comparison to Machiavelli.

This film could have been great, had they decided a few aspects differently. To quote the film itself: "You only get a couple of moments that determine your life. Sometimes only one. And then it's gone. Forever." Probably the worst decision the directors made was changing the timeframe the film is set in. If you ignore that the film's set twenty years past Long's time, it works a lot better. I don't agree with the decision that the 50's are interchangeable historically with the 30's.
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful By M. Dog on January 2, 2007
Format: DVD
This film had something very special going for it with its central casting of Sean Penn as Huey Long, the Kingfisher, the everyman governor of depression-era Louisiana (Willie Stark in the film). If ever there was a role designed for Penn's heated and emotive style of acting, this was it. True to that promise, Penn delivers a few (too few) wonderful scenes with Willie Stark delivering fire and brimstone from the campaign stump.

Other than these scenes, the film is an unformed washout. Willie Stark's transformation from righteous, wife loving common man to manipulative, self-serving adulterous political schemer is . . . . well there really is no transformation. It simply happens between scenes off camera, rendering a potentially fascinating character, rich with comment about the fallibility of human nature, into a black and white, boring nothing.

The film sort of meanders around with the character of reporter Jack Burden (played by the desperately miscast Jude Law)and his exceptionally average family story, which somehow includes lover Anne Stanton (played by the desperately miscast Kate Winslet) and her brother Adam Stanton, played by Mark Ruffalo (who was at least well cast but left hanging in limbo by some very lazy scriptwriting). On board also is the very talanted James Gandolfini, who must have owed someone a very big favor. I challenge anyone to explain to me what he was doing in this bumbling, mumbling role, so far beneath his station. All in all, I was left wondering how any of the principals managed to convince themselves the product was release-ready when watching the final edit.

Final note to Hollywood: let's strike a deal with England: From this day forth, no cross-accenting.
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Topic From this Discussion
Does deleted scenes have coonhound?
I agree that Jude Law's accent is not so great but Sean Penn's is spot on as far as I can tell. I thought he played the over-the-top character extremely well and made me almost believe the guy was for real (and not just a bafoon).
May 29, 2008 by R. C. Harris Jr. |  See all 3 posts
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