The film tells the story of the 37th President of the United States , Richard Nixon , in non-chronological order . The focus is on the period from 1960 - Nixon's defeat in the presidential election by John F. Kennedy - until his resignation in 1974.
1972: A group of men prepare to break into the headquarters of the Democratic Party . The burglars are surprised and arrested, an event that later became famous as the beginning of the Watergate Affair . The next scene shows the drunk Nixon shortly before his resignation in 1974, who has his Chief of Staff Alexander Haig deliver tapes of conversations from the White House to listen to incriminating material and delete them if necessary.
In the following, not chronologically arranged flashbacks, you can see stations from Nixon's political career, including his campaign against Alger Hiss in the late 1940s, the lost candidacies for the office of president in 1960 and the post of governor of California in 1962, and his campaign against civil unrest and the Vietnam War overshadowed presidency from 1969 to 1974. There are also reviews of his poor, strictly religious childhood in southern California. Only the death of two brothers from tuberculosis makes it possible for the family to raise the money for Nixon's law studies.
The film portrays Nixon as a man vying for popularity, but still feeling rejected in the highest office, who cannot resolve the contradiction between his sometimes ruthless approach and his strict moral standards shaped by his parents. In addition, he feels inferior compared to his role model Abraham Lincoln and his former competitor Kennedy. In the later years of his presidency, he fell into increasing bitterness and paranoia , due to which he had recordings made of conversations held in the White House, among other things. When the White House's connections to the Watergate scandal become public, Nixon sacrifices his closest confidants, including Haig's predecessor Bob Haldeman .
Towards the end, the film returns to Nixon's control of the tapes given by Haig. When impeachment threatens, Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and Haig advise him to resign, which he finally approves. The film closes with his farewell speech to his employees and excerpts from the funeral service for his funeral in 1994.
Nixon premiered on December 20, 1995 in the USA and on February 22, 1996 in the Federal Republic of Germany . The film was shown in a 192-minute version in cinemas and was later released in the USA as a 212-minute director's cut on DVD and Blu-ray .
“'Nixon' is a bold biography, rich in imagination and originality, with a provocative, often subversive sense of personality and history. […] Towards the end, Stone's demeanor takes on something of a dizziness. After all the offenses and expletives exposed, the director seems to want to say that Nixon was a man like everyone else - part good, part bad. In doing so, he does what all sons symbolically do with their fathers: he prunes him. […] But 'Nixon' undoubtedly overshadows everything that American cinema has had to offer since ' Schindler's List '. "
“Subtlety can be an overrated virtue. One has to credit Stone for not keeping a back door open that could later point to a misinterpretation. But its heavy symbolism is laughable. […] Hopkins' exaggerated portrayal of Nixon is at the heart of a film that constantly turns into camp in its conception and presentation . "
“Historical events serve more to underpin a tragedy of Shakespeare's proportions than to illuminate the ongoing deformation of political understanding and confidence in the United States. An interesting, dramatic and formally effective film, but questionable in its primarily psychological perspective. "
"Gripping and differentiated character study."
In 1996, Nixon was nominated for four Oscars (Best Actor Anthony Hopkins, Best Supporting Actress Joan Allen, Best Music and Best Screenplay) and a British Academy Film Award , among other things . Actress Joan Allen has received awards from the National Society of Film Critics, the Boston Society of Film Critics, the Kansas City Film Critics Circle, and the Los Angeles Film Critics Association. Allen and director Stone each received an award from the Chicago Film Critics Association, while actor Ed Harris received an award from the Broadcast Film Critics Association. The "Political Film Society" honored Nixon in its "Exposé" category for "Films that make the public aware of previously hidden truths about political processes".
The German Film and Media Assessment FBW in Wiesbaden awarded the film the rating particularly valuable.
The voice actors for the German version:
- Nixon in the Internet Movie Database (English)
- Nixon atRotten Tomatoes(English)
- Nixon on Turner Classic Movies
- Review on Kinolounge.de
- Review on Kinofenster.de
- Review on Filmstarts.de
- Nixon in the Internet Movie Database
- Nixon on Turner Classic Movies
- "" Nixon "is an audacious biography rich in imagination and originality, with a provocative, often subversive sense of character and history. [...] In the end, Stone's attitude is something of a cheat. After all the crimes and expletives undeleted, the director seems to be saying that Nixon was a man like any other - partly good, partly bad. In doing so he does what all sons symbolically do to their fathers: He cuts him down to size. […] Still, without question, "Nixon" dwarfs everything in the American cinema since "Schindler's List." ”- Nixon: A Heart of Stone. Reviewed by Hal Hinson in the Washington Post on December 22, 1995, accessed May 3, 2012.
- "Subtlety can be an overrated virtue. To his credit, Stone doesn't leave himself the out of being misinterpreted. But his heavy-handed symbolism is laughable. […] Hopkins' exaggerated portrayal of Nixon is the linchpin of a film that in its conception and presentation consistently veers into camp. ”- Review by Mick LaSalle in the San Francisco Chronicle of December 20, 1995, accessed on May 3, 2012.
- Nixon in the Lexicon of International Films
- Film review on Cinema.de
- Definitions of Award Categories ( Memento of the original from May 26, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. of the Political Film Society, accessed May 3, 2012.
- synchronkartei.de: Nixon. Retrieved August 21, 2015 .