|Broderick Crawford as Willie Stark|
|John Ireland and Mercedes McCambridge|
To build up his support across the state he had chosen a respected retired judge (an old family friend of Jack's) to be his Attorney General. However, this ends badly when the judge eventually learns of a scandal involving kick-backs to the Governor's staff. The judge goes public with the charges, and Willie has to fight it out on the floor of the state senate as well as in the field of public opinion. Things continue to go badly for the political machine of Willie Stark, even as the state begins to prosper and the average citizen's lot in life improves. Finally, when Governor Stark black-mails the judge to shut him up, things really go badly.
Something that I didn't really understand was the relationship between Jack and Anne Scranton; when she is introduced they seem to be engaged. Pretty quickly, however, Anne is shown to be the governor's mistress, and how that eats up Jack is never really explored.
As a political thriller there isn't much to this film. As a political melodrama, it begins to sink under its own weight towards the end. But as a character drama, or as an allegory of "Good" versus "Evil", it is definitely worth watching.
All The King's Men
*Academy Award Best Picture of 1949*
Produced & Directed
by Robert Rossen
by Robert Rossen
Screenplay by Robert Rossen
Based on the novel by Robert Penn Warren
(in alphabetical order)
A Letter To Three Wives
Twelve O'Clock HighThis is another year where I haven't seen the majority of the nominees. Battleground was absolutely unknown to me. I have seen The Heiress because it was on Japanese TV once. It won Olivia deHaviland Best Actress for her role as an unattractive yet wealthy woman being wooed by debonair Montgomery Clift. Twelve O'Clock High stars Gregory Peck as a bombardier commander; one of its actors, Dean Jagger, won Best Supporting Actor. And A Letter To Three Wives won Best Director and Best Screenplay for Joseph Mankiewicz, but I had never heard of it before researching this article. By the way, this is the second year in a row where the Best Picture and Best Director were not awarded to the same film. Anyway, we'll talk more about Mankiewicz next week.