Talk:All the King's Men

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Also produced as an oft revived off-Broadway play. --OGRastamon 01:48, 26 September 2005 (UTC)

Original version of the book[edit]

Should there be some mention here of Warren's original version of the book--the so-called "Restored Edition"--in which the main character's name is Willie Talos? There is little significant difference in plot, but historically I think it matters.--Ramon omar 23:54, 26 October 2005 (UTC)

I agree. The first version I had exposure to was the "Restored Edition"; I had until now only known the main character as "Willie Talos".

Perhaps someone would care to add a few bits of information concerning the differences between the original and the restored edition, and the reason behind it? -- 18:14, 31 March 2006 (UTC)

Page numbers[edit]

The page numbers are different for each book, I suggest chapters as well —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk)

Seperating Movie and Book?[edit]

Do we think there should be seperate articles for the movie and book versions, or perhaps combing the two movies into one page, it seems odd for the three of them to be seperate in the manner they are.

As a person who has read the book and saw the 40's version and will see the new version, I think the novel should be seperate from the movies. The book is drastically different and stands on merit of it's own. Yanksox 03:26, 21 April 2006 (UTC)


The narrator explicitly indicates that the novel has to do with time and man's relation to time.

There ought perhaps to be some indication of this in the same section in which Anne Stanton and the Twitch are mentioned.

I went ahead and edited it.

-Ross Hunt

Other film with same title[edit]

There was a TV film in 1999 with the same title but a different subject - see [[Royal Norfolk Regiment WW1 history.GraemeLeggett 12:15, 6 April 2006 (UTC)

The BBC TV drama was All the King's Men (1999 tv film). Ned de Rotelande 23:06, 18 July 2007 (UTC)

Plot spoilage[edit]

There are quite a few, non-background related details in the various character descriptions that really give out the plot. Would it be insane to either WARN the reader at the top of the page, or creating separate section that contains the plot information?

It's funny how people go through such great lengths to spoil every bit of a movie upon it's release on wikipedia and jump at the chance to tell people "you shouldn't have looked at the page if you didn't want to know", yet this never seems to happen with classic literature. I understand the people who tend edit pages for books are probably a little more sensible than the people who edit movies but I would think the ranking editors would at least try to show some consistency.

What's worse is shitty obscure movies usually get a short blurb, but good and popular movies get a 3,000 word description. (talk) 09:34, 5 September 2008 (UTC)

Relation to Huey Long and his career[edit]

It seems the discussion of the novel should include that it was inspired or influenced by the career of Huey Long. I believe that was what people understood when the novel was first published, and also in the years since then. This factor deserves more than a link at the bottom of the page. Long's character and career fascinated people.--Parkwells 17:12, 30 October 2007 (UTC)

Robert Penn Warren, author of All The King's Men, disagrees. In attempting to explain, Warren refers to attempts to relate All The King's Men and one of its characters, Willie Stark, to Huey P. Long, to be "innocent boneheadedness." The claims of Long's serving as inspiration or influence are pervasive despite the clear contradictions written by Robert Penn Warren himself.

Robert Penn Warren says the novel evolved from a verse play, a drama he began writing in 1936, Proud Flesh, one of whose characters was Willie Talos; Talos was the name of the brutal character in Edmund Spenser's late 16th century work The Faerie Queene. [1] All The King's Men was "never intended to be a book about politics." [2]

Warren goes on in some detail in the Introduction to the Modern Library edition to explain it is wrong to equate Willie Stark with Huey Long: [3] "One of the unfortunate characteristics of our time is that the reception of a novel may depend on its journalistic relevance. It is a little graceless of me to call this characteristic unfortunate, and to quarrel with it, for certainly the journalistic relevance of All The King's Men had a good deal to do with what interest it evoked. My politician hero, whose name, in the end, was Willie Stark, was quickly equated with the late [US] Senator Huey P. Long....

"This equation led," Warren continues, "in different quarters, to quite contradictory interpretations of the novel. On one hand, there were those who took the thing to be a not-so-covert biography of, and apologia for, Senator Long, and the author to be not less than a base minion of the great man. There is really nothing to reply to this innocent boneheadedness or gospel-bit hysteria. As Louis Armstrong is reported to have said, there's some folks that, if they don't know, you can't tell 'em.

"But on the other hand," Robert Penn Warren writes, "there were those who took the thing to be a rousing declaration of democratic principles and a tract for the assassination of dictators. This view, though somewhat more congenial to my personal political views, was almost as wide of the mark. For better or worse, Willie Stark was not Huey Long. Willie [Stark] was only himself....

Robert Penn Warren concludes, [4] "[T]he difference between the person Huey P. Long and the fiction Willie Stark, may be indicated by the fact that in the verse play [Proud Flesh] the name of the politician was Talos--the name of the brutal, blank-eyed 'iron groom' of Spenser's Fairie Queene, the pitiless servant of the knight of justice. My conception grew wider, but that element always remained, and Willie Stark remained, in one way, Willie Talos. In other words, Talos is the kind of doom that democracy may invite upon itself. The book, however, was never intended to be a book about politics. Politics merely provided the framework story in which the deeper concerns, whatever their final significance, might work themselves out."

"Robert Penn Warren, New York City, 1953."

These lengthy quotes of the author's clear explanation of his characters and of his intent might help illuminate an enduring phenomenon -- what Robert Penn Warren calls the "innocent boneheadedness" of the novel’s persistent interpreters. Mcronin943 (talk) 08:47, 5 February 2009 (UTC)

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102,345 words?[edit]

How is the exact word count notable or relevant? Seems like trivia to me, certainly not something that should be in the lead sentence. (talk) 06:11, 11 April 2014 (UTC)

 Done Agreed, I've removed this from the opening sentence. Roberticus talk 11:48, 11 April 2014 (UTC)

Assessment comment[edit]

The comment(s) below were originally left at Talk:All the King's Men/Comments, and are posted here for posterity. Following several discussions in past years, these subpages are now deprecated. The comments may be irrelevant or outdated; if so, please feel free to remove this section.

The article fails to adequately inform readers who know nothing about the novel. It needs some kind of summary.

Last edited at 02:29, 22 July 2009 (UTC).

Substituted at 07:22, 29 April 2016 (UTC)

  1. ^ See All The King's Men, published 1946 Harcourt, Brace and Co., and 1953, by Random House, publisher of the Modern Library.
  2. ^ page vi of the Modern Library edition
  3. ^ See page iv
  4. ^ page vi of the Introduction to the Modern Library edition,