From Walt Disney Home Entertainment:
Three-time Oscar® winner Oliver Stone (1989 winner for Best Director, Born on the Fourth of July; 1986 winner for Best Director, Platoon, 1978 winner for Best Adapted Screenplay, Midnight Express) takes an unflinching look at the public and private lives of one of the key political players of the 20th century. Oscar winner Anthony Hopkins (Best Actor, 1991, Silence of the Lambs) is riveting as Nixon, who battled his way into the White House, only to be driven out in one of the most notorious scandals in American history.
Oscar® nominees Joan Allen (Best Actress, 2000, The Contender; Best Supporting Actress, 1996, The Crucible; Best Supporting Actress, 1995, Nixon), Ed Harris (Best Supporting Actor, 2002, The Hours Best Actor, 2000, Pollock; Best Supporting Actor, 1998, The Truman Show; Best Supporting Actor; 1995, Apollo 13) and James Woods (Best Supporting Actor, 1996, Ghosts of Mississippi; Best Actor, 1986, Salvador) head up a phenomenal supporting cast.
Nominated for four Academy Awards® (Best Actor [Anthony Hopkins], Best Supporting Actress [Joan
Allen], Best Original Screenplay [Stephen J Rivele, Christopher Wilkinson and Oliver Stone] and Best
Original Dramatic Score [John Williams], 1995), Nixon is a spellbinding examination of the man who
became known as America’s “imperial president.” Nixon’s ruthless ambition puts him at the pinnacle of
American politics, until he begins a disastrous attempt to wrest control of the nation away from the
Congress and the courts. As a small group of political zealots seek to concentrate the power and
prestige of the United States in the hands of one man, his personal demons drive him to undermine his
legacy with political “dirty tricks” and a conspiracy to cover them up.
Nixon Cast List
David Hyde Pierce
... Richard Nixon
... Pat Nixon
... Alexander Haig
... E. Howard Hunt
... J. Edgar Hoover
... John Mitchell
... Ron Ziegler
... John Dean
... Henry Kissinger
... Hannah Nixon
... John Ehrlichman
... H.R. Haldeman
... Murray Chotiner
Director Oliver Stone has made a successful career making highly polarizing films such as Platoon, Born on the Fourth of July and JFK. They are films that have a clearly political agenda that generally paints conservatives and the wealthy as warmongers and power-hungry. Looking past that, Stone's films are well-crafted and visually mesmorizing when he hits on all cylinders and in Nixon, Stone is on his game. The film is full of a stellar ensemble cast which really delivers. Stone's direction gives continual energy to what could be mundane expositional dialogue.
We did feel that there were times that Stone's direction also borders on turning some characters including Nixon himself into caricatures. The film also jumps around chronologically quite a bit, so it can be hard to follow for someone who is not familiar with Nixon and Watergate. The film does settle into a more linear story in the latter portions of the film so it has frenzied feel early on before settling in. What we consider the film's greatest flaw is that it's presented as a factual biography. However, like Stone's JFK, Nixon is full of conjecture, unproven conspiracies and outright fabrications all of which make it. Stone suggests that Nixon met with Texas businessmen and Cuban representatives the day before Kennedy's assassination and that they had some knowledge of Kennedy's fate. He also ties together the CIA and Cuba with long-held, but unproven conspiracies that he also gave credence to in JFK. Stone plays up the perceptions of Nixon's less refined personality, as with Nixon's "final" press conference following his loss in the 1962 California gubernatorial race. The moment is portrayed as a very sweaty and stumbling Nixon blasts the press when the actual press conference was not filled with long awkward silences though Nixon's displeasure with the press was indeed evident.
We suggest enjoying Nixon for the craft and skill of the filmmaking, but question every "fact" and by no means treat the film as a history lesson. Just as with JFK, there is enough real history in it to make it seemingly plausible, especially for younger generations who only know Nixon in the broad strokes that the modern media presents. If one does not view the film with a critical eye towards its historical basis, then one can easily fall victim to the very revisionist propaganda that the film (and Stone) accuse the conservative Republicans of perpetrating. But be prepared to be on guard for a while, since the director's cut runs approximately three and a half hours in length.
The Election Year Edition DVD:
The "Election Year Edition" features the rather lengthy director's cut which clocks in at three and a half hours. We wonder what else was still left out since Stone mentions the first cut was four hours long. The first disc also comes with two different commentary tracks from Director Oliver Stone. Stone tends to wander a bit, but it's usually insightful nonetheless. The second disc includes several deleted scenes some of which are actually part of the director's cut found on Disc 1. Stone adds some commentary on each scene. Also included is a new Nixon documentary by Sean Stone, son of Oliver Stone. It clocks in at just over thirty minutes and actually attempts to give a balanced look a Nixon's legacy by including conservative commentator Robert Novak. Oliver Stone's interview with Charlie Rose where they discuss Nixon's legacy with predictably one-sided opinions. Theatrical trailers round out the film's extras.
The rather lengthy director's cut alone is probably sufficient to justify the value of this special edition. Thus, the inclusion of two different commentaries as well as deleted scenes with yet more commentary simply add to the appeal. The Nixon documentary doesn't introduce any new ground-breaking insights into President Nixon, but is a nice companion piece since it does at least touch on some of the "liberties" that were taken by the film. That said, the documentary is the only new content that had not been released in the previous Collector's Edition. Of course, none of the material was previously released on Blu-ray so it's a no-brainer if you're already building a Blu-ray film collection.
Nixon: Election Year Edition DVD Extras: Disc 1:
• Two different audio commentaries from Director Oliver Stone Disc 2:
• Deleted Scenes
— Introduction by Oliver Stone
— Nixon's Limousine Through Protestors
— CIA Building: Richard Helms and Nixon
— Hoover and Nixon (Second Meeting) / Tricia's Wedding (Expanded)
— Cabinet Meeting
— Air Force One (Expanded)
— Jones Ranch Bull Ring
— Oval Office; Nixon, Dean, Haldeman & Ehrlichman
— Haldeman / Ehrlichman Walk (Expanded)
— The Rockefeller Party (Expanded)
— The Jones Ranch Barbeque (Expanded)
— The Director's Closing Remarks
• Beyond Nixon [~35:00]: new, never-before-seen documentary by Sean Stone featuring insights from author Gore Vidal and interviews with Washington insiders, including White House counsel to President Nixon, John Dean and notable political columnist and author, Robert Novak.
• Charlie Rose Interviews Oliver Stone
• Original Theatrical Trailer Buy Nixon: The Election Edition DVD Now!