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Recount: The Story Of The 2000 Presidential Election (2008)

Kevin Spacey , Laura Dern  |  Unrated |  DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (82 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Kevin Spacey, Laura Dern, John Hurt, Ed Begley Jr., Bob Balaban
  • Format: Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: Unknown
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: HBO Studios
  • DVD Release Date: August 19, 2008
  • Run Time: 116 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (82 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001AMHNKW
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #22,782 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Recount: The Story Of The 2000 Presidential Election" on IMDb

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Recount

Amazon.com

At the height of the 2000 election season, CBS anchor Dan Rather quipped, "The presidential race is crackling like a hickory fire." Director Jay Roach (Austin Powers) recaptures that blaze in his smart HBO docudrama about the thriller in Palm Beach County. Written by actor Danny Strong, Recount bounces between the Sunshine State, Gore's Tennessee headquarters, and Bush's Texas stomping grounds. Gore adviser Ron Klain (an excellent Kevin Spacey) provides a privileged window into those weeks when the American public first became familiar with obscure terms like "hanging chad." (Since Klain has an ax to grind with the vice president, neither he nor Gore appear completely heroic.) First, the Democratic candidate pulls ahead; then he falls behind. Just as he prepares to concede, Klain's colleague, Michael Whouley (Denis Leary), spots an anomaly in the vote count, and the race continues. Enter eccentric Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris (Laura Dern, a certain Emmy nominee), who orders a recount, and former Secretaries of State Warren Christopher (John Hurt) and James Baker III (Tom Wilkinson), who oversee a process that ends up in the Supreme Court (where Ed Begley Jr.'s David Boies represents Gore). Produced by the late Sydney Pollack, who originally intended to direct, Recount skillfully integrates news footage with dark comedy, most provided by the foul-mouthed Whouley and Bush adviser Ben Ginsberg (Bob Balaban), who's still livid about JFK's victory over Nixon. If the Democrats come across as more sympathetic, the Republicans come across as more colorful--and strategically effective. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
52 of 59 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Every Vote Counts June 4, 2008
Format:DVD
What exactly went on behind the scenes of the 2000 election voting disaster, the one that decided the fates of Al Gore and George W. Bush? The HBO film "Recount" gives what I believe to be a fair representation of an historical event, which is ironic since the recount process put the very concept of fairness under intense scrutiny. We obviously all have an opinion on who rightfully won the presidency eight years ago, but I'm not here to debate who was right and who was wrong; I wasn't even old enough to vote back in the year 2000. I'm only here to review a movie. Yes, it tackles a political subject, but that doesn't mean it takes a definite political stance--generally speaking, each side has equal say, and not surprisingly, each side makes valid and not-so-valid points. Writer Danny Strong deserves a lot of praise, not only for showing both sides of the political spectrum, but also for not forcing us to agree with any side in particular.

I have no doubt the recount was more exhausting for those running the campaigns, simply because they were doing all the hard work; both candidates did nothing more than wait for the end result. Overseeing much of Gore's campaign was his former Chief of Staff, Ron Klain (Kevin Spacey), a loyal Democrat embittered after being replaced, first by Tony Coelho, then by Bill Daley (Mitch Pileggi). On election day--November 7--the Gore team gets word of a problem in Palm Beach County, Florida: a number of voters, confused by the ballot voting system, felt they had accidentally voted for Independent Pat Buchanan. This led to a number of TV networks receiving differing poll numbers by the end of the day, some confirming Gore's victory, others confirming Bush's.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Recount: a historical re-enactment worth a re-watch June 23, 2008
Format:DVD
Like the " movie Titanic" we all know how this one is going to end. But don't let that stop you from watching Recount. Spacey, as always, delivers a believable and realistic performance. His presence somehow demands your attention. Laura Dern is completely transformed and becomes Kathleen Harris, the Florida Secretary of State. Her performance is by far the best.

There are details and personality involvements that even the most politically active person was probably not aware of that the production reveals, making it worth your time and attention. No matter how many hours you watched CNN when this historical drama unfolded, you will learn things about the Florida recount that you did not know.

If you are a history buff, you will want to add this to your collection. It is right up there with "Missiles of October."
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21 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Recount Counts June 23, 2008
Format:DVD
You can count on anything Kevin Spacey does as great, but the big surprise in this movie was Laura Dern playing Katherine Harris. She was outstanding as the Florida Secretary of State.

The movie does a great job of showing what went on behind the scenes, including the strategies of both sides, that led to the final outcome. (I guess I don't need to worry about disclosing the ending.)

If you watch this movie and still think we live in a democratic country, you need to see it again.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Watch it just for Laura Dern alone! May 17, 2009
Format:Blu-ray
HBO movie about the Florida voting recount in the 2000 presidential election. Especially hard to watch if you're a Democrat, it stirs up frustrations that you thought you had long buried and forgotten. Given the apparent dryness of the material, it's surprising how well this zips along, and with a good balance of comedy and drama. Special marks to Laura Dern for her incredible portrayal of Katherine Harris!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brings It ALL Back March 13, 2009
Format:DVD
Ah, yes. November, 2000. Florida. Palm Beach County. Hanging chads. Jim Baker. Katherine Harris. Lawsuits. Noisy demonstrations. The Florida Supremes. The U.S. Supremes. More lawyers than ants at a picnic. A nation in suspended animation.

As Dickens would say, it was the best of times. . .it was the worst of times, and the HBO film RECOUNT brings it all back--from the tension and drama to actual CNN, FOX, and network news clips. The story is told mostly from the Democratic point of view, but why not? Their side ultimately lost (which subsequently meant the entire country lost), so isn't this perspective inherently more interesting? We get to meet Gore campaign operatives Ron Klain (Kevin Spacey is superb) and Michael Whouley (Denis Leary, whose expletive-laced description of Florida voting machines had me rolling on the floor), who experience endless frustration and setback after setback in their attempts to get all the votes counted. The Gore legal team is led by former Secretary of State Warren Christopher (John Hurt), who (according to the film) gives up his strategy of diplomacy and appeasement and makes way for the more aggressive Klain. I also got re-acquainted with Gore legal beagle David Boies (Ed Begley Jr.), who argued so eloquently before the U.S. Supreme Court.

On the Bush side, Tom Wilkinson is fantastic as feisty ex-Secretary of State Jim Baker; while Bob Balaban gives a most admirable performance as Bush campaign strategist Ben Ginsberg. But Laura Dern steals the entire show as Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris; from her Frankenstein makeup to her obvious cluelessness, this was one lady in way over her head.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars as usual is great.
Spacey, as usual is great.
Published 14 hours ago by Milton F Williamson Jr
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Very, very interesting to see with hindsight.
Published 3 days ago by Mariel
5.0 out of 5 stars I highly recommend this political drama that "recounts" the debacle...
I highly recommend this political drama that "recounts" the debacle for Florida's 27 electoral college votes during the 2000 presidential race between then Texas Gov. Read more
Published 10 days ago by Debbie Blackstock
4.0 out of 5 stars Well worth a watch!
An excellent history of the final act of the tumultuous 2000 election. Well written and well acted, this is a good primer on American politics.
Published 18 days ago by William Tidwell
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly entertaining portrayal of one of America's Great Frauds
Good, clear plot. Great cast. Fantastic re-enactment of the great Election Robbery. Should be required viewing in all Civics classes! No preaching; just the facts.
Published 18 days ago by Dr. NELSON de Jesus
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Laura Dern was especially good.
Published 1 month ago by chillingillen
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great movie and good acting by all the characters
Published 1 month ago by christina roehl
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
AL GORE PAID FOR THE PRODUCTION... SORE GRAPES
Published 1 month ago by DanW
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy for you, your family, and friends.
Amazing movie that most people did't see when HBO released it in 2008. Provides a documentary feel even though it's a historical drama. Read more
Published 1 month ago by CT
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie.
I thought recount was excellent. I am praying that it had some hollywoodesque in it and it was not all factual, but it was well done and Kevin Spacey was great as usual. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Great Shopper
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