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All the King's Men (1949)

Broderick Crawford , John Ireland , Robert Rossen  |  Unrated |  DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Broderick Crawford, John Ireland, Joanne Dru, John Derek, Mercedes McCambridge
  • Directors: Robert Rossen
  • Writers: Robert Rossen, Robert Penn Warren
  • Producers: Robert Rossen
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: September 5, 2006
  • Run Time: 110 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000BITV92
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #38,742 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "All the King's Men" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Sneak peek of the new theatrical film of All the King's Men, including interviews with James Gandolfini, Jude Law, and Anthony Hopkins
  • Theatrical trailer

Editorial Reviews

In a bravura performance, Broderick Crawford won the 1949 Academy Award(r) for Best Actor with his stunning portrayal of bull-headed, backwoods lawyer Willie Stark, in this powerful drama about political and personal corruption. A somber but realistic chronicle of raw, brutal power in force, ALL THE KING'S MEN is based on Robert Penn Warren's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name. It was brought to the screen in 1949 by producer Robert Rossen who also wrote the screenplay and directed thefilm. The story was inspired by the rise and fall of southern bigwig Huey Pierce Long, the infamous"Kingfish" who was Louisiana's governor and one-time senator. Long's cunning tactics of building public works during the depression to serve his own needs more than those of his constituents eventually brought about his own assassination in 1935. A compelling story of a self-made, self-styled politician, it was politics that almost prevented Rossen from making ALL THE KING'S MEN in the first place

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
45 of 48 people found the following review helpful
Format:VHS Tape
There are certain subjects that films in general and Hollywood in particular never handled very well--and chief among them are politics. But even some fifty years after it first hit theatre screens, ALL THE KING'S MEN still has plenty of power. Filmed in a "noir" style and based on the famous novel which was in turn based loosely on the rise and fall of Louisiana's Huey P. Long, the film offers the story of Willie Stark, a small-town lawyer who is nominated for govenor by a political party seeking to defeat their opponet by dividing the rural vote. When Willie gets wise to the plot he turns on his false benefactors and rockets to political power--but once in power the honest small-town-joe becomes even more corrupt than those who sought to manipulate him for their own gain.
Broderick Crawford justly earned an Oscar for his performance as Willie Stark, whose ego and thirst for power grows to horrific proportions--and whose corruption gradually taints even the most honorable people around him. The supporting cast of John Ireland, Joanne Dru, Anne Seymour, and Walter Burke (to name but a few) is also quite good. But the real knockout here is actress Mercedes McCambridge as Willie Stark's hard-edged assistant and sometimes lover; it is an astonishing performance which, in spite of its supporting status, remains locked in mind long after the film ends, a role for which McCambridge won an Oscar as Best Supporting Actress.
The script doesn't really do full justice to Warren's novel, the film is a bit slow to start, and the story itself feels a bit dry in the telling--but the performances and numerous memorable scenes carry it through to tremendous effect. ALL THE KING'S MEN is so explicit in its portrait of how corrupt politicians manipulate the public that it should be required viewing for every one of voting age. Recommended.
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34 of 37 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The classic still packs a punch January 15, 2004
I'm not much for political movies and thrillers, but I was pleasantly surprised to find this old classic still packs a considerable punch. Based on the life of Huey Long, it chronicles the rise to power of an obscure but ambitious backwoods Louisiana lawyer, Willie Stark, who initially seems to stand for honesty and reform in contrast to the entrenched and corrupt political machine he is fighting, which is determined to defeat him at all costs, rightly perceiving an honest man as a threat to everything they stand for.
Stark triumphs, however, and we watch as he himself takes on the trappings of official power, which he takes to like a duck to water. Stark builds new schools and colleges, hospitals for the poor, improves the roads, and seems to be everything the common man could hope for in a champion and leader. But there is a darker side to Stark, as he himself ultimately becomes assimilated by the corrupt machine he sought to topple and reform, and evidence surfaces that he has not only tolerated and even fostered corruption himself but was possibly involved in the murder of an innocent man who dared to challenge his authority. In the end, we see Stark using the same means and ends to further his power and to hold it at all costs that his enemies used against him at the very beginning of his career.
The movie raises the question as to whether Stark was really any different from the corrupt cronies he replaced, and the schools and hospitals he built just monuments to his ego and arrogance, or whether he was a good man who ultimately went bad in his quest and thirst for power.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Format:VHS Tape
This film is a fascinating study of the political process. It depicts the rise and fall of a Huey Long-like character, from his idealized beginning to his slow descent into corruption, alcoholism, blackmail and greed. Broderick Crawford gives the performance of a lifetime as Willie Stark, his powerful screen presence makes us at first admire his character, then we slowly start feeling bad for him, but at the same time scares and ultimately we get to pity this man that was corrupted by the system. Assured direction by Robert Rossen and a superb script keep the film moving at a steady pace. Also an amazing supporting cast of which Mercedes McCambridge stands out as Stark's tough-as-nails assistant. From a scale of 1-10 I give this film a 7!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lord Acton is Right Again June 15, 2001
Format:VHS Tape
All the King's Men is a wonderful movie about the corrupting effect of politics. It is a little abrupt in its transitions and glosses over the honest man becoming a demogogue to a great extent but it is still a brave and true film in having the guts to portray a system that leaves no character unmuddied. There are no heroes in this movie. It is not just about power corrupting but also about how appealing power can be to people in its vicinity. It turns strong men into toadies and women into, well let's just say it's in the Bible and Babylon had one. The script and direction by Robert Rossen are both very effective. There are also good performances by most of the actors, particulary Broderick Crawford. The stand out, though, is the stunning portrait by Mercedes McCambridge who allows the standard character of the fast talkin' dame to seeth with anger under her sharp tongue. There is more pain and defiance when she looks in a mirror that the other actors manage throughout the entire movie. A film that is still true and still powerful. It is the portrait of someone who kept his ambition on the outside where now a politician keeps it on the inside but it is the same ambition.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I love this great old movie & Joanne Dru!
Published 1 month ago by Cynthia
4.0 out of 5 stars The Earlier of Two Great Films Depicting Huey Long's Career and...
Having watched two different cinematic accounts of All the King's Men, the common assessment that the 1949 film, with Broderick Crawford as Willie Stark (Columbia Pictures/Sony... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Gerald Parker
5.0 out of 5 stars All the King's Men (the Original) Rocks on!!!!!!!
Wow what a fantastic movie this is. Its about a politician that makes promises in order to get elected
but he does not follow through with his promises. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Devils.Advocate666
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Broderick Crawford's best performance. Scene at the state house is well done.
Published 2 months ago by Frank McLaughlin
5.0 out of 5 stars Who really runs your state?
Great performances by Broderick Crawford and John Ireland. Oh my goodness, Is that John Ireland playing a good guy? He doesn't get shot either. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Perry Terrell
After viewing "ALL THE KING'S MEN"(1949), it goes without saying that nothing much has changed when it comes to corruption in politics. Read more
Published 3 months ago by MICHAEL STODGHILL
5.0 out of 5 stars A sad tale!
A sad tale of a good man going bad!
Published 3 months ago by Russell
5.0 out of 5 stars I love it
Published 5 months ago by Glenn Louis Syktich
5.0 out of 5 stars 10-4! 10-4! 10-4!
Bought this film because it's an Academy Award winner for Best Picture of 1949. Had to add it to my collection. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Glenn R. Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic political tale
Here's the Pulitzer novel by Warren in its first iteration, with several Oscar nominees among the excellent cast. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Mary Bellis Williams
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