Honest Man: The Life of R.Budd Dwyer
This independently produced feature-length documentary follows Budd Dwyer, a Pennsylvania politician who infamously committed suicide at a televised press conference. The film chronicles Dwyer's meteoric rise to political power and examines the bribery scandal and subsequent trial that pushed him to his breaking point. Honest Man also delves into the controversy and consequences of the uncensored airing of Dwyer's death on television stations worldwide.
Honest Man reveals a story that has remained untold for over 24 years. The film features exclusive new interviews, including William Smith, the man whose testimony convicted Dwyer, and Dwyer's widow Joanne--her last interview before her death in 2009.
Was Dwyer venal, or a victim? Did he kill himself because he couldn't live with being guilty, or because he couldn't live with being innocent? Honest Man allows audiences to judge for themselves.
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Top Customer Reviews
The facts are irrefutable:
1.) Mr. Dwyer did not accept any bribe.
2.) A witness, who had already been convicted of perjury, who later recanted his own testimony, and who had cut a deal with the state, is the testimony convicted Mr. Dwyer.
3.) Since this time, probably to prevent innocent people from being convicted when a criminal witness lies, a person accused of bribery will have to actually accept a bribe. (Again, Mr. Dwyer never accepted a bribe; According to the key prosecution witness, he said "Okay. Let's take that money." Again, later recanted. And, again, this witness who claimed this, was already a convicted perjure and had already cut a deal for himself when he had taken money.)
4.) Mr. Dwyer's love was so great for his family and children, that he didn't want them to suffer financially if he had lost his state retirement and he likely would have if he had to resign his office prior to his death. (Some may disagree with my statement "his love so great..." but I believe that he didn't want his family to suffer financially.)
5.) This film includes interviews with many, many people that knew Mr. Dwyer--including family, friends, colleagues, etc--and even if you think he guilt, evil, or whatever, the film is a terrific portrait of the man and the case.
Mr. Dwyer's desire was to help change the system and I can tell you that I've not stopped trying to fix the system! I've been involved in the Criminal Justice System since this time and now work as a college professor where I try to teach my students the importance of thinking for themselves.Read more ›
Initially I thought this documentary would be biased in Dwyer's favor because his family was involved, but it gained, not lost, credibility the longer it went on. Dwyer was, unfortunately, a country bumpkin who believed in honesty, truth, justice and America. Unfortunately when those people run up against the realities of the political and justice system they often get eaten alive, as this man did. It's pathetic that Dick Thornburgh, whose misuse of state funds appears to have been the driving force behind Dwyer's prosecution (or should I say persecution?), went on to high office. I don't know how he sleeps at night but that's the kind of guy who sadly gets ahead in politics, while the honest men get trampled underfoot more often than not. RIP Budd Dwyer.
A lot of people out there with minimal knowledge of this event might think a dead politician is something to be celebrated, especially if he was found guilty of corruption, but R. Budd Dwyer was an honest man, an innocent man, and this is what paradoxically put him in the cross-hairs of corrupt politicians, prosecutors, investigators and a "party judge" who wanted to crucify him because he didn't tolerate abuses of power during his time as State Treasurer.
He planned his suicide in part to protect the financial well-being of his family, as he was going to lose his hard-earned pension (from earlier work in education, not politics) as a result of his persecution... but he also had hoped that his suicide would shine a light on the state of the "justice" system in America, how the whole process has been corrupted and perverted to the point that if you rub a powerful politician the wrong way, you can be completely innocent of any crime and still be found guilty.
The message he tried to send in his final moments was all but lost in the gruesome suicide that followed, this movie and the accompanying materials resurrect that message: A call for reform, and a justice system that actually seeks justice for average citizens. Budd Dwyer WAS a modern-day Job; he is a martyr and a hero. Everybody should hear his story.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This doc offers a great timeline on a life that went from normal to depressingly sad in a short amount of time. A must watch for people who dig bizarre docs.Published 26 days ago by Nolan Strong
I though it was very thought provoking. He was an honest man, I give him that. Too bad that his death did not bring the outcome he had hoped for. Read morePublished 2 months ago by penpal
Having grown up with a mother who was a photojournalism teacher, I was well aware of the graphic media displaying Dwyer's death. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Julia C.K
Interesting look into a man's story behind his final moments.Published 3 months ago by Chase Metcalf
Sometime, dirty politics and dirty politicians destroy a good man.Published 3 months ago by wanderingwordeye