The film based on the play of the epic 1977 interview between the disgraced ex president Richard Nixon and the young celebrity interviewer David Frost. Both parties are sure the interview will work in their favour and that they will easily be able to gain the upper hand in this televised battle of wits and intellect.
In the blue corner you have Richard Nixon, three years after he resigned from the Presidency in disgrace over the Watergate affair. He is seen pedalling himself around the after dinner speech circuit, bored and in need of money, desperate to clear his name and move on from the whole incident that saw him removed from the Whitehouse.
In the red corner David Frost the young British arrogant and cocky talk show host trying to get the scoop of the century by securing a no holds barred set of interviews with Nixon. So sure is he of the success of this endeavour he bankrolls the project himself at a time when no one wanted to even speak to Nixon.
It's a great film providing a snapshot of a landmark event in television history. The lead actors (who originally played their parts on the stage) are incredible, Langella transforms into Nixon and the chameleon like Sheen yet again 'becomes' the real person he is portraying. I found it fascinating to see the work and preparation behind these long gone head to head epic interviews – I wish the format was still used today.
The film is presented in an almost flat style; the subject matter doesn't need any embellishments and Ron Howard is confident that his actors can easily hold the subject matter, which they do – from the leads to the supporting cast. It's a great subject matter and a fascinating film – well worth watching.
Director Ron Howard
Frank Langella – Richard Nixon
Michael Sheen – David Frost
Sam Rockwell – James Reston Jr
Kevin Bacon – Jack Brennan
Matthew Macfadyen – John Birt
Oliver Platt – Bob Zelnick
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