All the King's Men (1949 film)
|All the King's Men|
original film poster
|Directed by||Robert Rossen|
|Produced by||Robert Rossen|
|Written by||Robert Rossen
Robert Penn Warren (novel)
|Music by||Louis Gruenberg|
|Editing by||Robert Parrish
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures|
|Release date(s)||November 8, 1949|
|Running time||109 minutes|
|Box office||$2.4 million (US rentals)|
All The King's Men is the story of the rise of politician Willie Stark (Broderick Crawford) from a rural county seat to the governor's mansion. He first teaches himself law and becomes a lawyer, championing the local people and gaining popularity. He then decides to go into politics. Along the way he loses his innocence, and becomes as corrupt as the politicians he once fought against.
The main story is a thinly disguised version of the rise and assassination of real-life 1930s Louisiana Governor, Huey Long. Also included is a series of complex relationships between a journalist friend who slowly sours to his ways, the journalist's girlfriend (who has an affair with Stark), her brother (a top surgeon), her uncle (a top judge who is appointed Attorney General but eventually resigns).
When his son becomes paralyzed following a drunk driving accident that kills a female passenger, Stark's world starts to unravel and he discovers that not everyone can be bought off.
The story has a complex series of relationships. All is seen through the eyes of the journalist, Jack Burden, who admires Stark and even when disillusioned still sticks by him. Stark's campaign assistant, Sadie (Mercedes McCambridge) is clearly in love with Stark and wants him to leave his wife, Lucy. Meanwhile Stark philanders and gets involved with many women, most notably Jack's own girlfriend, Anne Stanton.
When Stark's reputation is brought into disrepute by Judge Stanton (Anne's uncle) he seeks to blacken the judge's name. When he eventually succeeds the judge commits suicide. Anne seems to forgive him, but her brother, a doctor and the surgeon who helped saved his son's life after the car crash, cannot. The doctor eventually assassinates Stark after he wins an impeachment investigation. The doctor in turn is shot down by Sugar Boy, Stark's fawning assistant.
- Broderick Crawford as Willie Stark
- John Ireland as Jack Burden
- Joanne Dru as Anne Stanton
- John Derek as Tom Stark
- Mercedes McCambridge as Sadie Burke
- Shepperd Strudwick as Adam Stanton
- Ralph Dumke as Tiny Duffy
- Anne Seymour as Mrs. Lucy Stark
- Katherine Warren as Mrs. Burden (as Katharine Warren)
- Raymond Greenleaf as Judge Monte Stanton
- Walter Burke as Sugar Boy
- Will Wright as Dolph Pillsbury
- Grandon Rhodes as Floyd McEvoy
Rossen originally offered the starring role to John Wayne, who found the proposed film script unpatriotic and indignantly refused the part. Crawford, who eventually took the role, won the 1949 Academy Award for Best Actor, beating out Wayne, who had been nominated for his role in Sands of Iwo Jima.
The film was shot at various locations in California using local residents, something that was fairly unknown for Hollywood at the time. The old San Joaquin County courthouse in Stockton, built in 1898 and demolished about a dozen years after the film's release, was featured prominently.
Academy Awards 1949 
It won three Academy Awards.
|Best Motion Picture||Won||Robert Rossen Productions–Columbia (Robert Rossen, Producer)|
|Best Director||Nominated||Robert Rossen
Winner was Joseph L. Mankiewicz - A Letter to Three Wives
|Best Actor||Won||Broderick Crawford|
|Best Writing, Screenplay||Nominated||Robert Rossen
Winner was Joseph L. Mankiewicz - A Letter to Three Wives
|Best Supporting Actor||Nominated||John Ireland
Winner was Dean Jagger - Twelve O'Clock High
|Best Supporting Actress||Won||Mercedes McCambridge|
|Best Film Editing||Nominated||Robert Parrish and Al Clark
Winner was Harry W. Gerstad - Champion
In 2001 the United States Library of Congress deemed the film "culturally significant" and selected it for preservation in the National Film Registry. To date, it is the last Best Picture winner to be based on a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel.
- AFI's 100 Years...100 Movies—Nominated
- AFI's 100 Years...100 Heroes and Villains:
- Willie Stark—Nominated Villain
- AFI's 100 Years...100 Movies (10th Anniversary Edition)—Nominated
See also 
- "The Top Box Office Hits of 1950", Variety, January 3, 1951
- Higham, Charles; Greenberg, Joel (1968). Hollywood in the Forties. London: A. Zwemmer Limited. p. 79. ISBN 0-302-00477-7.
- 1931 Cimarron (7)
1935 The Lives of a Bengal Lancer (8) and Mutiny on the Bounty (8)
1936 Anthony Adverse (7), Dodsworth (7), The Great Ziegfeld (7) and The Life of Emile Zola (10)
1937 A Star Is Born (7)
1938 You Can't Take It With You (7)
1939 Gone with the Wind (13), Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (11), Stagecoach (7) and Wuthering Heights (8)
1940 The Grapes of Wrath and Rebecca (10)
1941 Citizen Kane (9), Here Comes Mr. Jordan (7), How Green Was My Valley (10) and Sergeant York (11)
1942 Mrs. Miniver (12), The Pride of the Yankees (11) and Yankee Doodle Dandy (8)
1943 Casablanca (8), For Whom the Bell Tolls (9) and The Song of Bernadette (12)
1944 Going My Way (10), Since You Went Away (9) and Wilson (10)
1945 The Bells of St. Mary's (8), The Lost Weekend (7)
1946 The Best Years of Our Lives (8) and The Yearling (7)
1947 Gentleman's Agreement (8)
1948 Hamlet (7), Joan of Arc (8), Johnny Belinda (12)
- AFI's 100 Years...100 Movies Nominees
- AFI's 100 Years...100 Heroes and Villains Nominees
- AFI's 100 Years...100 Movies (10th Anniversary Edition) Ballot
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: All the King's Men (1949 film)|
- All the King's Men at the American Film Institute Catalog
- All the King's Men at the Internet Movie Database
- All the King's Men at the TCM Movie Database
- All the King's Men at AllRovi
- All the King's Men at Rotten Tomatoes
- All The King's Men on NBC University Theater: January 16, 1949