×

All the King’s Men

With:
Willie Stark - Broderick Crawford Tom Stark - John Derek Anne Stanton - Joanne Dru Jack Burden - John Ireland Sadie Burke - Mercedes McCambridge Adam Stanton - Shepperd Strudwick Tiny Duffy - Ralph Dumke Lucy Stark - Anne Seymour Mrs. Burden - Katharine Warren Judge Stanton - Raymond Greenleaf Sugar Boy - Walter Burke Dolph Pillsbury - Will Wright Floyd McEvoy - Grandon Rhodes Pa Stark - H C. Miller Hale - Richard Hale Commissioner - Willlam Bruce Sheriff - A. C. Tillman Madison - Houseley Stevenson Minister - Truett Myers Football Coach - Phil Tully Helene Hale - Helene Stanley

Official Site: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0041113/?ref_=nv_sr_2

The rise and fall of a backwoods political messiah, and the mark, he left on the American scene, is given graphic celluloid treatment in “All the King’s Men.” It is a picture to stir talk and controversy, factors that won’t hurt its chances, but regardless of its boxoffice fate, it is a film that vividly impresses, with dramatic sureness the chicanery of politics as have been practiced in the past and may crop up again.

Robert Rossen produced and directed from his own script based upon the Pulitzer Prize novel “All the King’s Men,” by Robert Penn Warren. That its principal figure is the late Huey Long is hardly disguised at all, but the polltics practiced, in the story were not Long’s alone. Rossen’s three-way function compels attention, telling the drama with all the punch of a March of Time sharpening realism without lessening motion picture values.

As the rural Abe Lincoln, springing up from the soil to make himself a great man by using the opinionless, follow-the-leader instinct of the more common voter, Broderick Crawford does a standout performance. Given a meaty part, his histronic bent wraps it up for a great personal success adding much to the many worthwhile aspects of the drama.

The story is told through the eyes of John Ireland, newspaperman. He falls for Crawford’s line after seeing him pushed around by organized politics and becomes a devotee, pursuing the Crawford career from smalltime into bigtime as governor of his state with a motto that nothing shall stand in his way of attaining greatness. Ireland’s work is good, clarifying the narrative so carefully developed by Rossen’s handling.

The dramatic impact of mob scenes contrast with equally potent intimate scenes as the story is unfolded and over them all is spread just enough of the documentary technique to make them vividly alive. Crawford’s exhortations of his followers is true-life spellbinding. The sequence where the people await the verdict on his impeachment trial; the defiance of the man who has made himself a king by knavery and the force of power, and his final death scene after being shot down at the height of his triumph are among the many dramatic phases to be remembered.

Joanne Dru appears to advantage as a cultured girl, friend of Ireland’s who comes under Crawfords spell but the most compelling of the femme players is Mercedes McCambridge, the ironic, cynical and completely disillusioned secretary and mistress to the great man. Hers is the more colorful character and she registers strongly. John Derek, in the shorter part as Crawford’s adopted son, impresses. Anne Seymour, Crawford’s wife; Shepperd Strudwick, the sensitive doctor who shoots down the king; Ralph Dumke, a hanger-on; Raymond Greenleaf, a judge; Walter Burke, Crawford’s trigger man, and the many other members of the cast rate for their playing.

The Rossen production swings from rural to city settings to background the strong script and Burnett Guffey’s photography never misses a trick in making it live on the screen. Adding to the important production touches are score by Louis Gruenberg, the editing and other technical contributions.

Brog.

1949: Best Motion Picture (Robert Rossen Productions), Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Mercedes McCambridge), Best Actor (Broderick Crawford)

Nominations: Best Actor in a Supporting Role (John Ireland), Directing (Robert Rossen), Film Editing (Robert Parrish, Al Clark), Writing (Screenplay, Robert Rossen)

All the King's Men

Production: Columbia release of Robert Rossen production, directed and screenplayed by Rossen. Based upon Robert Penn Warren's Pulitzer Prize novel.

Crew: Camera, Burnett Guffey; score, Louis Gruenberg; editor, Al Clark. Previewed Oct. 27, '49. Original review text from 1949. Running time, 109 MINS.

With: Willie Stark - Broderick Crawford Tom Stark - John Derek Anne Stanton - Joanne Dru Jack Burden - John Ireland Sadie Burke - Mercedes McCambridge Adam Stanton - Shepperd Strudwick Tiny Duffy - Ralph Dumke Lucy Stark - Anne Seymour Mrs. Burden - Katharine Warren Judge Stanton - Raymond Greenleaf Sugar Boy - Walter Burke Dolph Pillsbury - Will Wright Floyd McEvoy - Grandon Rhodes Pa Stark - H C. Miller Hale - Richard Hale Commissioner - Willlam Bruce Sheriff - A. C. Tillman Madison - Houseley Stevenson Minister - Truett Myers Football Coach - Phil Tully Helene Hale - Helene Stanley

More Film

  • Woolsey Fire Malibu

    Many Malibu Areas Still Off-Limits for Filming After Fire

    The California Film Commission has maintained its ban on filming in several Malibu areas hit by the massive Woolsey fire in Southern California last month. The commission announced Tuesday that due to continued clean-up and repair work along Pacific Coast Highway, permits for filming on the highway are not being issued at this time. PCH [...]

  • Against the Clock

    Film News Roundup: Andy Garcia's Spy Thriller 'Against the Clock' Bought by Gravitas

    In today’s film news roundup, Andy Garcia’s spy thriller is sold, “Battlestar Galactica” gets a screenwriter, and Brooklyn Decker gets an award. ACQUISITION Gravitas Ventures has acquired North American rights to spy thriller “Against the Clock,” starring Andy Garcia, Dianna Agron (“Glee”), and Justin Bartha, Variety has learned exclusively. The film, formerly titled “Headlock,” is [...]

  • 'Pacific Rim Uprising' film premiere

    John Boyega in Talks to Star in Legal Drama 'A Naked Singularity'

    “Star Wars” actor John Boyega is in talks to star in the legal drama “A Naked Singularity” with Ridley Scott’s Scott Free Productions on board to produce. The movie is based on Sergio De La Pava’s debut novel, which centers on a successful New York public defender whose life begins to unravel after he loses [...]

  • Penny Marshall Dead Obit

    Remembering Penny Marshall, Who Forged Her Own Path and Paved the Way for Others

    She was a natural comedian — fearless and funny, willing to trade on her natural Bronx brogue to craft a sassy and street-wise character that was tailor-made for sitcoms. But Penny Marshall, who died Monday night at the age of 75, proved throughout her long career that she had so much more in the way [...]

  • Aquaman 2018

    'Aquaman' Outpacing 'Wonder Woman' in Fandango Pre-Sales

    Pre-sales of “Aquaman,” which opens on Thursday night, are outpacing “Wonder Woman” at the same point in the advance ticket sales cycle on online ticketer Fandango. “Wonder Woman” opened with $103 million domestically during the June 2 to June 4, 2017, weekend on its way to a $412 million North American total for Warner Bros. “Aquaman,” [...]

  • European Union Placeholder

    Europe, Hollywood Hail Landmark E.U. Territorial Licensing Agreement

    Industry organizations and major companies in Europe and Hollywood welcomed Tuesday a high-level European Union agreement that in large part preserves producers’ ability to sell movies and TV shows on an exclusive territory-by-territory basis. Territorial licensing is a financial backbone of the film and TV business in Europe. Recognition of such licensing came last Thursday in [...]

  • Box Office: 'Aquaman,' 'Mary Poppins Returns'

    Box Office: 'Aquaman' Battles 'Mary Poppins Returns' in Crowded Holiday Weekend

    It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and the most competitive time at the multiplexes. This weekend sees two very different heroes vying for the box office crown with “Aquaman” and “Mary Poppins Returns” both eyeing sizable debuts. “Mary Poppins Returns” is getting a head start by opening on Wednesday, though estimates show “Aquaman” [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content