Friday, October 31, 2008

A President's Man Sits Down on TCM
John Dean, Former Counsel to President Nixon, Sits Down with Robert Osborne To Introduce Special TCM Presentation of All the President’s Men Oscar®-Winning Film Starring Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman Coming to TCM Sunday, Nov. 2, at 8 p.m. (ET)

John Dean, former White House counsel to President Richard M. Nixon, sits down with Turner Classic Movies (TCM) host Robert Osborne for an interview introducing TCM’s special election-week presentation of All the President’s Men (1976). Dean provides viewers an insider’s look at the Watergate scandal, which led to Nixon’s resignation. All the President’s Men will air Sunday, Nov. 2, at 8 p.m. (ET), just prior to Election Day on Nov. 4.

“Watergate was a landmark event in American history, and All the President’s Men is a riveting account of how the investigation unfolded,” said Charles Tabesh, senior vice president of programming for TCM. “We’re excited that John Dean is sharing his insights about Watergate and, of course, the way the events were depicted in All the President’s Men.”

Dean, who has written several books, says in an interview with Osborne that All the President’s Men is one of his favorite films. “It’s not the full story of Watergate by any stretch of the imagination,” he says. “It’s not a documentary.” But All the President’s Men is an entertaining story, he says, about a very complex topic. Dean also says the movie inspired two generations of investigative journalists.

All the President’s Men follows the story of Washington Post reporters Carl Bernstein (Dustin Hoffman) and Bob Woodward (Robert Redford) as they chased what became the most politically charged story of the era. The film opens as Woodward looks into the arrest of a group of men accused of breaking into Democratic campaign headquarters, located in the Watergate hotel complex. When two of the men prove to have connections to a White House aide, Woodward smells a potential scandal.

After taking his story to his boss, legendary newsman Ben Bradlee (Jason Robards), Woodward is teamed with Bernstein, who has more experience and more contacts. The two reporters pursue the story relentlessly, getting assistance from an insider they dub “Deep Throat” (Hal Holbrook) and a bookkeeper (Jane Alexander) who fears for her life. They come to realize that the scandal reaches all the way into the Oval Office.

Nominated for eight Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Director (Alan J. Pakula) and Best Supporting Actress (Jane Alexander), the movie took home four awards for Best Supporting Actor (Robards), Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Art Direction-Set Decoration and Best Sound.

Before becoming White House counsel in July 1970 at age 31, John Dean was chief minority counsel to the judiciary committee of the U.S. House of Representatives, the associate director of a law reform commission and associate deputy attorney general of the United States. He served as President Nixon’s White House lawyer for 1,000 days.

Dean did his undergraduate studies at Colgate University and the College of Wooster, with majors in English literature and political science. He received a graduate fellowship from American University to study government and the presidency, before entering Georgetown University Law Center, where he received his J.D. in 1965.

Dean has long written on the subjects of law, government and politics. He recounted his days in the Nixon White House and Watergate in two books: Blind Ambition (1976) and Lost Honor (1982). In 2001, he published The Rehnquist Choice: The Untold Story of the Nixon Appointment that Redefined the Supreme Court. He followed that with a biography of President Warren G. Harding and Worse than Watergate: The Secret Presidency of George W. Bush. In 2006, Dean published Conservatives Without Conscience. His newest book is Broken Government: How Republican Rule Destroyed the Legislative, Executive and Judicial Branches.

Having retired from his career as an investment banker, Dean now devotes his time to writing and lecturing. He lives in Beverly Hills, Calif., with his wife, Maureen.