ALL THE KING'S MEN (1949) B/W 109m dir: Robert Rossen
w/Broderick Crawford, Joanne Dru, John Ireland, John Derek, Mercedes McCambridge, Sheppard Strudwick, Ralph Dumke, Anne Seymour, Katherine Warren, Raymond Greenleaf
From The Movie Guide: "Academy Award-winning rise and fall of a rotten politician, based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Robert Penn Warren. This scathing, grimly realistic film, long a pet project for producer-director-writer Robert Rossen, served as a breakthrough for Broderick Crawford, who had previously been confined to B films. As Willie Stark, Crawford lets loose a fierce and awesome acting tour de force he never again equaled (and won an Academy Award for his work). The character of Willie Stark himself was most certainly inspired by Louisiana's Huey Pierce Long, the controversial 'Kingfish' who ruled the state as governor (and later senator) with an iron hand and an enduring populist appeal, soaking the wealthy and enhancing his personal power unscrupulously. Long's demagoguery, so accurately profiled in this film, ended with his assassination in 1935 by Dr. Carl Austin Weiss, a 29-year-old Baton Rouge physician whose sister may or may not have been raped by Long.
"Rossen's film chronicles this life of raw power with compelling scenes, and Crawford's performance is well-supported by the rest of the cast --- especially McCambridge, in her film debut, as a conniving political aide. Rossen shot the film in Stockton, California, a working-class town, and enlisted the aid of hundreds of citizens as extras and bit players, adding an edge of authenticity to the production of this hallmark political film."
ALL THE KING'S MEN won three Oscars: Best Picture, Actor, and Supporting Actress (McCambridge). It was also nominated for Best Director, Supporting Actor (Ireland), Screenplay, and Editing (Robert Parrish, Al Clark).