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Recount: The Story Of The 2000 Presidential Election

4.4 out of 5 stars 217 customer reviews

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Recount

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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

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Kevin Spacey, Laura Dern, John Hurt, Ed Begley Jr., Bob Balaban
  • Format: Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: Unknown
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Unrated
    Not Rated
  • Studio: HBO Studios
  • DVD Release Date: August 19, 2008
  • Run Time: 116 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (217 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001AMHNKW
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #24,440 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Recount: The Story Of The 2000 Presidential Election" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
Fascinating dramatization about the Bush-Gore election of 2000 and how the key players jostled for advantage as events unfolded. Even though we know how things turned out, the story is still compelling to watch, with its quirky characters, and fast moving plot twists.

The narrative is slightly biased toward the Gore camp, but is even-handed enough that the viewer also gets to see how the Bush side interpreted the situation. The final arguments to the Supreme Court are faithfully reproduced and help explain the issues that ultimately decided the case, especially the violation of the Equal Protection Clause resulting from having different standards for counting votes in different counties.

I remember thinking at the time, like many people, that the Supreme Court had simply stolen the election for Bush. But after watching this film, I came away with a deeper understanding of the legal reasoning that led to the Supreme Court's decision.

In retelling the story, the film raises many provocative questions about our system and the process of counting votes. The central question remains: in a close election where the instructions and voting mechanisms are clearly imperfect, is it any more fair to use a subjective and inconsistent system of trying to ascertain the intent of the voter? The Court said no, but your opinion will probably be based on who you supported in the election.
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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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While the cast was impressive, this film isn't exactly riveting unless you're a political junkie. If this isn't a topic you're extremely interested in, this film is probably not for you.

I've been borderline obsessed with the 2000 election for just shy of 16 years now and yes, all of these things really did happen. The film gets the major points pretty spot on, but some of the illegal and/or unethical tactics used by the GOP were not included. (For example, in this situation, Congress should have been the branch to make the final decision according to the Constitution, but Bush had ties to most of the Supreme Court justices.)

This film is especially interesting in the midst of the chaos/circus of our current presidential race. I hope people see this and begin to see our election process from a new perspective and be inspired to fight to get our democracy back.
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