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Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Mark Felt and Watergate

This week's DVD rental is Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House ...

a 2017 American biographical spy thriller film directed and written by Peter Landesman, based on the 2006 autobiography of FBI agent Mark Felt .... The film depicts how Felt became an anonymous source ("Deep Throat") for reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, and helped them in the investigation which led them to the Watergate scandal. The film stars Liam Neeson, Diane Lane, Tony Goldwyn, and Maika Monroe.

Here's a trailer ...



The movie is pretty interesting because it gives the other side of the story of the investigation into Watergate than the film All the President's Men. What's eerie is the way it seems to foreshadow what's happening right now ... a president eyeball deep in a corruption conspiracy and warping the DOJ and the FBI in order to cover that up. Here's the beginning of a review from The New Yorker ...

“Mark Felt,” the Movie, and Donald Trump, the President

“Follow the money.” These are the words most closely associated with Deep Throat, Bob Woodward’s famous Watergate source, as memorably portrayed by Hal Holbrook in the movie version of “All the President’s Men.” As it happens, the phrase never appears in the book of that title, in which Woodward and Carl Bernstein chronicled their Washington Post investigations, and it is not spoken in a new movie, “Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House,” about the real-life person who was Deep Throat, which opens this Friday. But Felt’s sentiment, if not his exact words—about the central role that money often plays in political scandals—strikes a resonant chord at a time when the nation is confronting another crisis of political legitimacy.

Felt, who was the deputy associate director of the F.B.I., died, at the age of ninety-five, in 2008, three years after confirming his identity as Deep Throat, a secret that Woodward and Bernstein had kept for more than three decades. In the new movie, Liam Neeson plays Felt with a kind of lugubrious sincerity. He’s an unhappy man, beset by professional and personal woes, and he makes his secret alliance with Woodward for reasons that are both admirable and vengeful. (Felt is appalled by Watergate, but he’s also bitter that he was passed over for the directorship of the F.B.I., following the death of his boss, J. Edgar Hoover, in 1972.) The follow-the-money sentiment refers to Felt’s instruction to Woodward to examine how the Watergate burglary was financed. Who paid the five men who broke into the Democratic National Committee’s headquarters at the Watergate complex on June 17, 1972? Who paid for their lawyers after they were caught? Woodward learned that the money came from Nixon campaign contributors and people associated with the Committee for the Reëlection of the President (the notorious CREEP) ....


The movie didn't do well on the Tomatometer but if you're interested in Watergate stuff or simply like Liam Neeson :) you may find it worth a watch, as I did.

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