“You won’t have Nixon to kick around any more.”
Documentarian Emile de Antonio compiles news clips of Richard Nixon, tracing his political career from 1946 to his trajectory to the White House.
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
- Political Corruption
Peary lists a handful of films by documentarian Emile De Antonio in his GFTFF — beginning with Point of Order (1964) (about the 1954 Army-McCarthy hearings) and continuing with Rush to Judgment (1967) (on the Warren Commission), In the Year of the Pig (1968) (about the Vietnam War), and this pre-resignation take-down of Tricky Dick. As DVD Savant writes in his review:
Millhouse is a personal attack, undeniably. It begins with the installation of a (really bad) likeness of the President in a wax museum. Pat Nixon stares like a zombie at most public appearances, while the presidential daughters often look unhappy or uncomfortable. Nixon sweats behind microphones and avoids Q&A sessions in favor of a rigged meet-the-voters TV show complete with signs that ask the studio audience to applaud.
De Antonio — who died at age 70 of a heart attack — has a secure reputation as a no-holds-barred political “commentator” who eschewed voiceover in favor of deliberately provocative mise-en-scene; it would undeniably be fascinating to see what he could make of our current political climate. While film fanatics don’t need to see all De Antonio’s major titles, they will likely be curious to check this one out.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- A scathing compilation of news footage interspersed with mise-en-scene commentary
No, but it’s certainly recommended.