I remember seeing this film in theatres when I was in college and being completely blown away by it. I watched it again with my mother a few years later, but I don’t think I’d seen it in close to five years before rewatching it last night. I forgot how simple and elegantly orchestrated it is. It’s an ensemble, but you never get lost in a sea of characters, nor do you truly get invested in most of them. I don’t mean that as an insult, though. The ensemble works as one to fight the system and topple Senator McCarthy with his own words (more on that later). The film was nominated for six Academy Awards, though it didn’t win any: Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction, Best Original Screenplay, Best Actor David Strathairn, Best Director and Best Picture. The other films up for Best Picture that year were Brokeback Mountain, Capote, Munich and winner Crash.
If you follow me on Tumblr, y’all know how much I love westerns, so I was really excited to find out about these two newly remastered films from the Warner Archive. The first is a Zapata spaghetti western Un esercito di cinque uomini aka The Five Man Army, from producer/director Italo Zingarelli with a screenplay co-written by master of Italian horror Dario Argento (who also co-wrote Once Upon a Time in the West). A Zapata spaghetti western, fyi, is an Italian western from the late-1960s/early-1970s that is set in Mexico and usually they have political (i.e. dealing with the revolution, etc.) themes. The second film is 1972’s The Wrath of God directed by Ralph Nelson (not to be confused with Werner Herzog’s similarly named film, which also came out in 1972).
Bob Zelnick: You gonna shake his hand?
James Reston, Jr.: Am I gonna shake… are you kidding me? After everything that prick’s done to this country? I’m not gonna shake his hand.
Frost: May I present Bob Zelnick, my executive editor?
Nixon: How do you do?
Bob Zelnick: Pleasure, Mr. President.
Frost: And Jim Reston, one of my researchers.
Nixon: Pleasure to meet you, Mr. Reston.
James Reston, Jr.: Mr. President.
Bob Zelnick: Wow. That was devastating, withering.
James Reston, Jr.: Fuck off.