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Secret Honor (The Criterion Collection)

The Criterion Collection

DVD

4.2 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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(Oct 19, 2004)
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The Criterion Collection
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Sequestered in his home, a disgraced President Richard Millhouse Nixon arms himself with a bottle of Scotch and a gun to record memoirs that no one will hear. Surrounded by the silent portraits of Lincoln, Eisenhower, Kissinger, and his mother, Nixon resurrects his past in a passionate attempt to reconcile his failed political career. Based on the original play by Donald Freed and Arnold M. Stone, and starring Philip Baker Hall in a tour de force solo performance, Robert Altman’s Secret Honor is a searing interrogation of the Nixon mystique and an audacious depiction of unchecked paranoia.

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A bravura performance by Philip Baker Hall and the probing eye of Robert Altman make Secret Honor a provocative--even haunting--speculation on history. The project originated as a one-man play, a fictional look at Richard Nixon dictating a lengthy monologue to a tape machine. The script offers some wild possibilities for explaining Watergate, but more importantly it attempts to understand Nixon the man (and succeeds far better than Oliver Stone's factual Nixon). Hall's flabbergasting performance, though it holds nothing back in its picture of a boozing, paranoid self-dramatist, manages to humanize Nixon. Altman's low-budget filming of the play tinkered little with the text or with Hall's performance, but the gliding camera, always picking out the telling angle or detail, is pure Altman. It received a tiny release in 1984, but Secret Honor now looks like a key American political fantasia, like The Manchurian Candidate wrought on a single set. --Robert Horton

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Special features

  • New digital transfer with restored image and sound plus new subtitle translation
  • New video interview with actor Philip Baker Hall (22 mins.)
  • Excerpts from archival films documenting key events in President Richard M. Nixon's political career (81 mins.)
  • Essay by film critic Michael Wilmington

Product details

  • Actors: Philip Baker Hall
  • Directors: Robert Altman
  • Writers: Arnold M. Stone, Donald Freed
  • Producers: Robert Altman, Scott Bushnell
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Unrated
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Criterion
  • DVD Release Date: October 19, 2004
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B00005JNG8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #102,523 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
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  • Learn more about "Secret Honor (The Criterion Collection)" on IMDb

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on December 27, 2004
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