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WASHINGTON: BEHIND CLOSED DOORS

4.7 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

"Fascinating political intrigue" —The New York Times "Very entertaining" —The Washington Post

"Great stuff" —The Philadelphia Inquirer

The award-winning miniseries based on John Ehrlichman’s post-Watergate novel The Company

CIA director Bill Martin (Cliff Robertson, Charly, Falcon Crest) knows that an incoming president means a new direction for the country—and another set of eyes on the top secret Primula Report. Martin tries to build a rapport with his new boss, but President Richard Monckton (Jason Robards, All the President’s Men) is more interested in settling old scores and cleaning house with the help of the FBI.

Against the backdrop of a war in Southeast Asia and antiwar protests at home, this high-intensity political drama tells the story of an increasingly paranoid president, an administration under siege, and a reckless group of White House aides desperate to hold on to power. Featuring Stefanie Powers (Hart to Hart), Robert Vaughn (The Man from U.N.C.L.E.), and Andy Griffith (Matlock). Special appearance by John Houseman (The Paper Chase).


Special Features

BONUS 8-page booklet with articles on the historical background of the program, the Vietnam War, peace movements in America, Nixon’s visit to China, and the Watergate scandal; plus brief biographies of the political figures of the period

SDH subtitles

Contains coarse and offensive language

Due to the age of these programs and the improved resolution that DVD provides, you may notice occasional flaws in the image or audio of this DVD presentation that were beyond our ability to correct from the original materials.

Due to music rights, this program has been modified for home video presentation.


Product Details

  • Actors: Cliff Robertson, Jason Robards, Stefanie Powers, Robert Vaughn, Lois Nettleton
  • Directors: Gary Nelson
  • Writers: David W. Rintels
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated:
    Unrated
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Acorn Media
  • DVD Release Date: June 5, 2012
  • Run Time: 550 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B007ISJS8M
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #54,833 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "WASHINGTON: BEHIND CLOSED DOORS" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
I first watched this mini-series on British TV some years ago, and found it riveting. Having since enjoyed the film "The American President" and the entire West Wing series, I think Washington Behind Closed Doors was the first of these political dramas, showing the behind the scenes jockeying for position, power and privilege. But it was shown at a time just before most of us in the West began to doubt and mistrust most of our political "leaders", so it was in some ways quite shocking at the time. But it was also funny, sometimes hilariously so. Nicholas Pryor springs immediately to mind as a young man desperate to climb the greasy political pole, but a man also greatly lacking in confidence, someone who would behave as though he were a lord of creation when things were going well for him, but who disintegrated into a wimpish, snivelling, sweating wreck when he saw his golden future disappearing in front of his eyes. It is a truly great performance. Robert Vaughn,in full Machiavellian mode,usually cut him down to size in no time at all, browbeating, intimidating and blackmailing everyone into following his instructions, and a first rate job he made of it, too.

Jason Robards made a wonderfully shifty, devious and underhand President. Cliff Robertson and Stefanie Powers were also in the cast, along with a dark-haired actress with hypnotically blue eyes, name of Meg, but I can't remember whether that was her character's name, or the first name of the actress playing her. I believe I read somewhere that she had been auditioned for one of the lead parts in "Cagney and Lacey", and was in fact in the pilot of that show, but subsequently replaced for the series. I have forgotten many of the plot twists, as it is now so many years since I saw Washington Behind Closed Doors on TV, and I am really looking forward to getting the DVD and enjoying it once again. Cassandra
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Format: DVD
It's 1977 but relevant as ever 35 years later. Astonishingly so! Pay phones-NO cells; no deleted expletives; VHS tape surveillance technology; and the film look of the late 70s--early 80s but its datedness is quickly forgotten THEN seen as a period political series with set-costume historic perfection. I lived the Nixon years (actually voted for him, OUCH!) This is powerful. Made me mad all over again, but also expect a compelling drive all the way to the 3 DVDs' end.
SUBTITLES for all 6 feature-length episodes.

One dialogue quote sums it up: "It's just so vicious. There's so much back-biting and insincerity." Perhaps too true in an election year. You may opt to stay away from the voter booth in favor of another viewing for this adaptation of Ehrlichman's book. Everyone knows the book and this series was about Nixon and Watergate. Author Ehrlichman was part of it. Like Haldeman, portrayed perfectly by Robert Vaughn under the fiction name of Flaherty, they did 18 months of jail time. Both the real man and Vaughn inspire disgust of politicians. Also giving such an astonishingly perfect performance that it makes a voter want to puke, was Nicholas Prior as Hank, anything-to-get-ahead boot-licker. And you'll be spitting nails at the see-saw politics of the CIA Director (Cliff Robertson plays Martin, but it was Helms in real Nixon life). Plenty of other stars like Jason Robards playing `Tricky Dick',President. I'm surprised congress didn't investigate the actor after the series, like they did the president--that convincing. Oh and who'd have thought Andy Griffith could play such a nasty former-Pres ESA (really LBJ)? Easy to spot Tessler (Harold Gould), or the real Kissinger, with German accent and dark frame glasses.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The first time I saw this mini series was it was shown on local TV n the late 70's or early 80's. Because of my work schedule, I missed a couple of episodes and was not able to put the whole series in sequence.
Now I have the opportunity to view the series in its entirety. I have only watched the first episode and it is even more entertaining and thought provoking than it was 30 years ago. The movie changes the names of the characters and adding some hollywood dramatization in a few areas to make things even more interesting. You may find yourself running back & forth to your computer searching for the names of the real people which were characterized in the mini series.
Keep your mind open and your laptops, iPads and browsing devices handy as you watch this. I hope you enjoy this as much as I am. You have heard the quote, "Truth is stranger than fiction." This is fiction related to truth. Enjoy
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Why does Monckton (Nixon) say "I'll take it" in the TV aired series, but here he just walks off without answering? Fantastic!, 1 Feb. 2015

This review is from: Washington: Behind Closed Doors [DVD] [1977] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)

Created in 1977 in the flames of the presidential scandal that was still unfolding with the "pardoning" of Nixon by Ford this series is a white hot prime time lavish concotion featuring a rosta of acting talent, sharp dialogue and slick screen play.

It's a great dramatization of a somewhat fanciful narrative loosely based on facts and real events by the Nixon aide John Erhlichman. In particular the extremely red blooded flamboyant characterisation of Nixon given by Jason Robards has to be taken with a pinch of salt, however watchable and charismatic. Similarly the emergence of a smoking gun in terms of a bundle of evidence implicating the White House in illegal goings on, that the harassed Director of the CIA - Cliff Roberston - confronts the President with in the final episode, on the eve of Nixon's landslide 1972 re-election, in order to secure his own retirement to a safe post overseas somewhere "not too heavy" - again this treatment of the CIA by Nixon, or mutual antagonism has no basis in fact.

This final showdown is followed rather closely by the film adaptation here, except in these points: the book gives Martin the CIA Director as finally divorcing his long suffering wife (who is drawn non too sympathetically in this film) and shacking up with in paradise with his lover Stefanie Powers (who has also been a useful tool in his machinations as well as bit on the side) but in the film there appears to be a reconciliation, and that is they way he bows out.
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