1949 / 110m - USA
All the King's Men poster


March 28, 2022


A highly moralistic political drama. It's no surprise this is an Oscar winner, as it is another film taking it up for "the little man", while criticizing those in power. It's an easy win, but like most of these films, the complete lack of nuance isn't too impressive. The dialogue-heavy nature of the film only makes things worse.

Willie Stark is a local politician who stands out because he takes it up for the regular folk. The established politicians fear him and try to stop him with all their power. At first, they succeed, but Stark takes up law and tries to better himself before he takes another stab at politics. The more Stark learns, the more he becomes what he used to rally against.

The performances are plain, the story is as predictable as they come, and the runtime is a bit excessive, though mostly because there are few twists and turns. This is one of those obvious Hollywood chest-thumpers, maybe it was more impressive in its time (though I doubt it), it's just not for me.