6.2/10
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184 user 129 critic

All the King's Men (2006)

Trailer
2:30 | Trailer
Based on the Robert Penn Warren novel. The life of populist Southerner Willie Stark, a political creature loosely based on Governor Huey Long of Louisiana.

Director:

Steven Zaillian

Writers:

Steven Zaillian (screenplay), Robert Penn Warren (novel)
1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Sean Penn ... Willie Stark
Jude Law ... Jack Burden
Anthony Hopkins ... Judge Irwin
Kate Winslet ... Anne Stanton
Mark Ruffalo ... Adam Stanton
Patricia Clarkson ... Sadie Burke
James Gandolfini ... Tiny Duffy
Jackie Earle Haley ... Sugar Boy
Kathy Baker ... Mrs. Burden
Talia Balsam ... Lucy Stark
Travis Champagne ... Tom Stark (as Travis M. Champagne)
Frederic Forrest ... Willie's Father (as Frederic F. Forrest)
Paul Desmond Paul Desmond ... Slade
Kevin Dunn ... Alex
Tom McCarthy ... Editor
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Storyline

In the 50's, in Louisiana, the smart populist, manipulative and wolf hick Willie Stark is elected governor with the support of the lower social classes. He joins a team composed of his bodyguard and friend Sugar Boy; the journalist from an aristocratic family Jack Burden; the lobbyist Tiny Duffy; and his mistress Sadie Burke, to face the opposition of the upper classes. When the influent Judge Irwin supports a group of politicians in their request of impeachment, Stark assigns Jack to find some dirtiness along the life of Irwin, leading to a tragedy in the end. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Some people will do anything to gain power. Some will do anything to keep it. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for an intense sequence of violence, sexual content and partial nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Germany | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 September 2006 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Les fous du roi See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$55,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,672,366, 24 September 2006, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$7,221,458, 15 October 2006
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

SDDS | Dolby Digital | DTS

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film cast includes four Oscar winners: Sean Penn, Kate Winslet, Sir Anthony Hopkins, and Tom McCarthy; and five Oscar nominees: Jude Law, Mark Ruffalo, Jackie Earle Haley, Patricia Clarkson and Frederic Forrest. See more »

Goofs

At the end of the movie when Adam and Stark fall on the Great Seal, Stark is clearly in the center of the seal and Adam on the edge with his arm and leg crossing the outside border of the seal. As the last shot pulls away they are both fully on the seal and Adam's arm and leg aren't even touching the outside border. See more »

Quotes

Adam Stanton: What is my weakness?
Jack Burden: You can't look at something that's broke without having to fix it.
Adam Stanton: Why is that a weakness? WHY IS THAT A WEAKNESS?
Jack Burden: It makes you do things you don't wanna do.
See more »

Connections

Version of All the King's Men (1949) See more »

Soundtracks

Smokestack Lightnin'
Written by Howlin' Wolf
Performed by Howlin' Wolf
Courtesy of Geffen Records
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
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User Reviews

 
Don't believe the (negative) hype
25 September 2006 | by peregrine1988See all my reviews

If there was one film in 2006 that suffered because of hype and rather uninformed critics, this would be it. First, the magazines played it up because of the all-star cast and fantastic source. Then, all of sudden, the nation's movie critics decided it wasn't what it was cracked up to be, and piled on it. One problem with the critics is that many of them clearly have not read the book. Richard Roeper complained in his newspaper review, for example, that the movie never shows you how Stark went from bad to good. Well, having reread the book in anticipation of the movie, I can state emphatically that that is because the book never explains it. Take your pick critics: is your criticism going to be that it's unfaithful or that it followed the book? Furthermore, the move is NOT a remake. The original All The King's Men movie, no matter how good it was, focused the story on Willie Stark. The real story (and this version) is focused on Jack Burden (which is why the whole backstory with Anne Stanton is thrown-in). To call it a remake shows how self-centered Hollywood can be (as fans of Brokeback Mountain are no doubt ruefully aware).

Now, what I thought of the actual movie: first and foremost, Sean Penn gives a absolutely brilliant performance, one of the best I've ever seen. I saw a Huey Long documentary a couple month before the movie, and Sean Penn evokes him magnificently. The scene where Willie Stark is stumping the state is simply film-making brilliance, as are his several hauntingly shot speeches. Jude Law gives a fine performance, as do all the supporting actors, especially Patricia Clarkson, who nails Sadie Burke. Some people had a problem with the accents, but I thought that Jude Law and Kate Winslet did adequate impressions and did not lose anything for it. And of course, the power of Warren's story shines through the whole movie. I do not personally know anyone who did not really like the movie.

Why did it not work with people? I'd say two reasons: first, first-person narrated classics are notoriously difficult to translate to film. Another example that comes to mind is The Great Gatsby, which has a similarly detached narrator, and did not succeed despite Robert Redford, Mia Farrow, Karen Black and Sam Waterston among the ensemble. Second, to be brutally honest, if your favorite films are normally comedies or horror movies, you won't like this kind of movie.

All I can say is that I am surprised and somewhat astonished at the negative piling on. For any moviegoer who likes an epic story of humanity and politics in their harsh reality, All The King's Men is a must-see.


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