NIXON (1995)
Scene Log

Stone and Hopkins
Oliver Stone and Anthony Hopkins
from Nixon: An Oliver Stone Film.


0:00:01  Film Start: Opening Credits
The film opens on June 17, 1972, the night of the second break-in by the plumbers at the Watergate Hotel.  The burglars are watching a sales training film that Howard Hunt rented since the men, who are actually about to break into the Democratic National Headquarters, are posing as sales executives.  Gordon Liddy and Frank Sturgis are also present.  The scene ends with a radio report announcing the capture of the burglars, and General Alexander Haig walking through the dark halls of the Executive Mansion.
0:00:21  Director's Note appears:  "This film is an attempt to understand the truth of Richard Nixon, 37th President of the Unites States.  It is based on numerous public sources and on an incomplete public record.  In consideration of length, events and characters have been condensed, and some scenes among protagonists have been conjectured."

0:00:32  Quote appears:  "For what shall it profit a man if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul?" -The Book of Matthew.

0:00:41  (B&W) 16 mm United States Dept. of Labor sales training film.  A sales manager, Bob, is instructing Earl.  Bob:  "Sure you've got a great product, Earl.  But you have to remember what you're really selling.  Yourself."

0:01:26  Shot of the projector lens with film title "Nixon."

0:01:32  Howard Hunt, Frank Sturgis, and other men watching film and drinking.  Title appears, "June 17, 1972."  Then: "The Watergate Hotel."  Gordon Liddy provides directions to the burglars and warns them if anything goes wrong to come back to their hotel rooms.  Howard Hunt comments that if anything goes wrong, he will be going to the President of the United States.

0:02:36  Cut back to sales film -- Bob:  "And remember Earl, always look 'em in the eye.  (Turns to camera) Nothing sells like sincerity."

0:02:55  (V.O.) Radio report announces the capture of the burglars, over shots of a dark room, with sounds of doors slamming: "Five men wearing surgical gloves and business suits, and carrying cameras and electronic surveillance equipment, were arrested early today in the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee in Washington.  They were unarmed.  Nobody knows yet why they were there or what they were looking for."  Interspersed with mug shots of the Watergate burglars.

0:03:20  Title appears, "December, 1973" -- then "(18 months later)."  We see the Executive Mansion through ominous thick black, iron bars and a limousine pulls up with General Alexander Haig.

0:04:26  Haig walks through the dark corridors of the White House with a manilla envelope in his hands.  Radio v.o. announces sentencing for Watergate.

0:04:55  As Haig walks through the Mansion, we hear an audio montage of radio broadcasts fade in and out, or blend together, interspersed with shots of newspaper headlines.

0:06:08  No Pistol
Haig and President Richard Nixon meet in the Lincoln Room to discuss the tapes.  Haig advises Nixon to make more appearances before the American public, but Nixon feel that this will make him appear "pathetic" before the people.  Nixon is showing the effects of anxiety and sleeplessness, and he cannot get his tape recorder to work.  Nixon makes a reference to suicide.  Haig puts the tape in for him and leaves the room.  Nixon listens to a conversation on the tape (slightly inaudible) where we hear him briefed by Haldeman about the tapes.
0:06:08  Haig enters the White House Lincoln sitting room, where President Nixon is listening to tape recordings.  We see a large painting of Lincoln dominating the fireplace. Haig notices that the air conditioner and the fireplace are on full blast and looks at the president with concern.

0:06:30  Nixon drops tape and exclaims "cocksucker!"

0:07:30  Nixon tells Haig that if J. Edgar Hoover were alive, then the tapes would never have gotten out.  Nixon tells Haig about "never getting our side of the story out"  as the camera cuts to a shot of Lincoln's painting.

0:08:20  Haig leaves Nixon listening to his tapes.  Nixon takes a swig of scotch and plays tapes.

0:08:54  White House Involvement
This scene begins in the president's hideaway office.  Nixon meets with Bob Haldeman, John Ehrlichman, and John Dean to discuss who approved the break-in.  Nixon agrees to pay Hunt to keep him quiet.
0:08:54  Title appears: "June, 1972, President's Private Office, 18 Months Later."  Nixon in a meeting with his aides in the Executive Office Building.  They discuss Martha Mitchell, and then Nixon is told that Watergate burglar Howard Hunt has been connected to the White House since "Chappaquidick."  Cuts to footage of Ted Kennedy and a bridge with a hole in the railing.  Haldeman establishes Hunt's association with Chuck Colson and says that he was an active member of the "plumbers," breaking into Bremmer's apartment after Wallace was attacked to plant McGovern's campaign literature.  [Footage of Wallace's assasination cuts in].  Nixon questions his approval of the Ellsburg break-in.

0:11:48  (B&W) Flashback to Hunt ???? stealing Pentagon Papers 

0:12:00  Nixon tells his aides to pay Howard Hunt for his "silence."

0:13:34  Nixon talks about taping conversations. Denies approving the Ellsburg break-in

0:14:47  Nixon refers to Watergate as a "comedy of errors."

0:15:12  Title appears "Lincoln Room --18 Months later."  President Nixon, listening to his tapes, refers to "Bay of Pigs."  Director Stone fabricates what is on the 18-minute gap.

0:15:57  Nixon drops medication bottle and pills and fumbles on the floor for them.

0:16:14  Stolen Fair and Square
This section covers Nixon's early political career.  The scene opens with the Kennedy-Nixon debates that were extremely influential in Kennedy's victory in the 1960 presidential election.  Nixon and his advisors suggest that Kennedy "stole" the election.
0:16:14  Title appears "1960 Nixon vs. Kennedy."  Televised debate between Nixon and John F. Kennedy (Footage of the latter B&W).  Cuts to shot of control room where we see Nixon's wife Pat, Herb Klein, his press secretary, and Murray Chotiner, Nixon's campaign manger.

0:17:57  Nixon argues with what appears to be a stand-in Kennedy.

0:18:20  Footage of Kennedy Inauguration.

0:18:25  Flashback to debates.  Nixon fumbling for a response.  Back in the control room, Haldeman announces "it's over."

0:18:56  Discussion of Kennedy's win.  Nixon and his friends demand a recount.

0:19:30  Pat cries in the bathroom.  Footage of Kennedy interspersed.

0:20:09  Herb Klein, after reading derogatory comments about Nixon by Harry S. Truman, tells him "that's what killed us Dick.  It's not Cuba.  It's a personality problem."   Nixon says that his loss is related to his class position.  Chotiner advises against contesting the elections, saying "they stole it fair and square."

00:21:08  Pat and Dick: On Losing
Pat trying to comfort Nixon after his loss to Kennedy.  Nixon then starts remembering his father and childhood.  We are introduced to Nixon's childhood and family in California: the grocery store the family worked together, dinner time, and other moments.  We are introduced to his parents, Hannah and Frank, and brothers Harold, Arthur, and Donald.  Nixon's mother is characterized as a devout Quaker, and his father a stern, but failed man. Nixon is shown as having a particularly strong and devoted relationship with his mother.
0:21:27  Conversation between Nixon and Pat.  Nixon tells her that he feels like a father who was a failure.

0:23:32  Title appears "1925."  Then "Whittier, California."  (B&W) Flashback to Yorba Linda, California.  Nixon's Childhood.

0:25:00  Conversation between Nixon and his mother, Hannah Nixon.  She has caught him receiving a corn silk cigarette from his older brother Harold.  She threatens to tell his father, but Richard begs her not to. Hannah Nixon:  "You may fool the world, even thy father, but you'll never fool me."  Richard (response):    "Mother, think of me always as your faithful dog."

0:27:02  A Little Man
Nixon's Childhood, continued.
0:27:02  (B&W) Family Dinner.  Hannah tells Richard to say grace.

0:28:50  Nixon's father, Frank, interrupts and says that he will do it, and tells his sons, "When you quit struggling, they've beaten you."

0:29:15  Title appears, "1930-1934, Whittier College."    Reenactment of Nixon's participation on the Whittier College football team. Nixon described as a tackling dummy.

0:30:00  Title appears, "1962, Brown vs. Nixon."  Footage and re-enactments of Nixon's political battle for the Governor's seat in California.

0:30:19  Marriage on the Rocks
This scene sets-up the Nixon marriage as troubled by Nixon's political career.
0:30:19  Nixon loses election to Pat Brown and blames Fidel Castro.  Pat criticizes him for his pettiness and self-pity.

0:31:00  Nixon sits at piano with drink and begins playing in an effort to drown out Pat's voice.

0:32:00  Pat tells Nixon she wants to leave him.  He responds, 'This is just what they want, Buddy."

0:34:25  (B&W)  A beautiful flashback showing the Nixon's courtship, wedding, honeymoon, and first child.  Particularly moving because of the music of John Williams.  Nixon tells Pat that she "was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen," and he does "not want to lose her, ever."   Pat tells him that they can be happy together if he drops his political aspirations.

0:36:45    Nixon tells Pat: "I'll never run again, I promise. I love you Buddy, I love you."

0:37:02  Last Press Conference
This section highlights Nixon's career through a 16 mm film that treats Nixon's career as "political history that is now over -- a good summary for students (Hamburg 137).  However, it mixes both footage and re-enactments. For example, the Checkers speech is transcribed word for word but delivered by Anthony Hopkins as Nixon, after which we see him spliced into footage with Eisenhower.  It flashes forward to a New York City cocktail party, where Nixon meets Nelson John Rockefeller and Henry Kissinger, and the possibility of a political return are suggested to him.
0:37:02  Title appears, "1962 Beverly Hilton, Press Conference."  Nixon delivers what he believes will be his last press conference.

0:38:45  Nixon tells the press, "You won't have Nixon to kick around anymore."

0:39:15  16mm film that recreates and tracks Nixon's political career, including his involvement with HUAC and the trial of Alger Hiss.

0:41:58  Checkers speech.  The newsreel-like film announces in v.o. "It was a great story of its time, and, in California where it started, it has come to a crashing end.  It is too bad in a way, because the truth is, we never knew who Richard Nixon really was.  And now that he is gone, we never will..."

0:43:08  Title appears, "1963 N.Y."   Martha Mitchell, John Mitchell's wife, makes fun of Nixon (00:44:15).  Martha: "But where I come from, Dick Nixon is as misunderstood as a fox in a hen house -- and do you know why?  Because my darlin; they don't think your smile and your face are ever in the same place at the same time."  When he tries to walk away, she says, "I just think he's frightened by my charm."

0:45:31  Meeting with Nelson (John) Rockefeller, governor of New York, told he should consider running.  Nixon says he misses "making love to the people" and the "pure acting of it."  He adds, "I've got to get back in the arena."

0:46:10  Much In Demand
Nixon meets several sleazy Texas fat cats who try to convince him that not only should he run again, but they can guarantee Kennedy will not be a problem  in the '64 presidential election.  Kennedy is assassinated; Lyndon B. Johnson is sworn in as president but refuses to run in the '64 election.
0:46:10  Title appears, "1963, Dallas." Car show for the Studebaker.  An announcer introduces the new model of Studebaker, and several people come up to the President (wearing a cowboy hat) and ask for his autograph and whether he will run again.  Jack Jones, a Texas business man, and Trini Cordoza, a cuban businessman (composite characters of several wealthy business men Nixon knew), take Nixon to a party at Jones' ranch.  An attractive young prostitute, Sandy, tries to seduce him; however, Nixon refuses her advances.

0:47:18  Several Texan business men complain about President Kennedy and his policies to Nixon.  A Cuban business man says that if Nixon had won in 1960, Fidel Castro would be dead by now.  Another tells him that "Texas doesn't love Kennedy," and he is willing to give Nixon a "shit-pot" full of money to run in the coming election.  Nixon refuses, saying that he cannot beat Kennedy.

0:50:45   Shot of White House with ominous clouds rolling over a waving American flag.

0:51:56  Footage of President Kennedy and Jackie Kennedy landing in Texas, as well as the Zapruder film showing his assassination.

0:52:07  A Terrible Loss
Stone creates what a critic calls the "motif of death" by parallelling the deaths of the Kennedy brothers, John and Robert, with the deaths of Nixon's brothers, Arthur and Harold.  The deaths of Nixon's well-liked brothers provided him with money to attend school, and the deaths of the well-liked Kennedy's cleared his way into the White House.
0:52:07  Nixon talking on the phone with Herbert Hoover.  He is told Lee Harvey Oswald has a "Cuba connection."  Pat watches footage of funeral march and tells Nixon to call John Kennedy's brother, Robert.  Nixon refuses because he wasn't invited to the official funeral.  Pat reminds Nixon that he has also lost a brother, so he must know how it feels.

0:53:47  Nixon doesn't answer her but drifts off and flashbacks to a memory of his brother Arthur getting fluid drained from his smile.  His small face is contracted in pain, and he screams loudly as his family holds him down.  Several emotional clips of Young Nixon and Arthur growing up.  The scene ends with Hannah Nixon coming down the house stairs, and, as Nixon  attempts to comfort her, she pushes him away.  We then see Nixon mourning alone.

0:55:15  Nixon tells Pat, "If I'd been president, they'd never would have killed me.  Clips showing the escalation of involvement in Vietnam by Lyndon B. Johnson.  Footage of Johnson speech interspersed with soldiers in Vietnam: "In a sad time for all people...I ask for your help.  We are going to see Vietnam through to an honorable peace...to defend an honored cause...whatever the price, whatever the burden, whatever the sacrifice...that duty may require."  Johnson ends speech by saying that he will not accept his party's nomination to run for president.

0:56:42  Interview with Hannah Nixon about her son's chances.  She tells the reporter that "if he is on God's side," Nixon will be fine. [Interviewer played by Oliver Stone.]

0:57:23  The Old Nixon Charm
Nixon decides to run in the '64 election and convinces Pat that he can win.  Director Stone stages a debate that never took place, where Nixon is challenged by an African American man.  Nixon deftly answers (dodges the question) and wins the audience.
0:57:23  Nixon enters his New York apartment with John Mitchell, Haldeman, Ron Ziegler, and others.  He has entered the presidential primaries and his chances look good according to his campaign advisors.  Pat confronts Nixon about his decision to run again and storms off.

0:58:08  Trini tells Nixon that they need her in order to win the election, and Nixon tells him, "I'll use the old Nixon charm."  Haldeman (Woods) responds, "Who can resist that?"  Pat says that if he really wants "this" referring to the election, than she will stick by him.  She asks him to kiss her, and then he swings her about in a dance.

0:59:56  1968, Presidential campaign footage of Robert Kennedy.

0:59:58  Televised question and answer session interspersed with shots of J. Edgar Hoover watching on tv.  All is going well until an African American man asks, "When are you going to take off your mask and show us your real face?"  In the control room, Nixon's advisors are agitated, but Nixon points to a little girl's sign that reads "Bring us together."  Nixon emphasizes that his mission is like President Abraham's Lincoln, and he will bring the country together as Lincoln had.  Cuts to Hoover's  home, where he tells a friend that he wants to meet with Nixon to remind him that he needs Hoover more than Hoover needs him in office.  Suggestion of a conspiracy.

1:03:51 At the Races
Beginning's of the "beast" imagery that becomes central to the film.  These scenes at the La Costa Country Club are also echoed in Stone's other film JFK.  Hoover meets with Nixon and tells him that he does not want another radical (Robert Kennedy) to enter the White House.  Nixon tells Hoover he will agree to whatever the latter has in mind.  As Nixon agrees he sees a black horse foaming at the mouth, a manifestation of the "beast."
1:03:51  Nixon at the races.  Hoover asks him if he knows Johnny Rosselli from Cuba.  Nixon denies it but flashbacks (B&W) to himself conversing with the mobster.  Nixon expresses fear that Robert Kennedy's popularity will result in him losing the White House again.  Nixon tells Hoover he wants to fight dirty, and he needs Hoover's help to do so.  Hoover says that one radical in the White House is enough for him.

1:09:04  Title appears, "1972, President's Private Office."  "Fever" is playing in the background. Nixon tells Haldeman that Johnny Rosselli was a gangster used to set up "Tract 2" in Cuba. (Cuban montage showing a young Nixon shaking hands with seedy business men and Johnny Roselli. )  Nixon describes "Tract 1" as the Bay of Pigs Invasion and that Tract 2 was "our idea" not specifying who "our" is.  Part of Tract 1, Nixon says, was the first assassination attempt on Fidel Castro in 1960.  He also tells Haldeman that Howard Hunt was a CIA contact and that Kennedy did not know about the CIA-Mafia plot to kill Castro.  Nixon:  "Because he didn't even know about it.  The CIA never told him, they just kept it going.  It was like...it had a life of its own.  Like...a  kind of 'beast' that doesn't even know it exists.  It just eats people when it doesn't need them anymore." Nixon tells Haldeman "four bodies" paved the way for his election, and when Haldeman corrects him, Nixon insists four, referring to his dead brother Harold and Arthur, as well as the slain brothers John and Robert Kennedy.

1:14:24  Harold's Death
Stone explains Nixon's drive for success as rooted in his anguish for his brother Harold who died of tuberculosis.  Nixon's mother tells him that "God has chosen thee to survive."  Flash forward to the 1968 Republican convention where Nixon gives a rousing speech.  The scene ends with a B-52 dropping napalm on a Vietnamese jungle.
1:14:24  (B&W) Scene filled with tuberculosis cells. Cuts to shot of desert landscape.  Title appears, "1933, Arizona."  We see Harold retching, and a 20-something-year-old Nixon rushes out to comfort him.  Nixon discusses Harold's death with his mother.  He is saddened that he will now be able to attend law school because of his brother's death.

1:17:05  Hannah tells him that he cannot give up, "Thou must find peace in the center, Richard.  Strength in this life, happiness in the next."

1:18:06  Sharp cut to black screen over which we hear feedback noise from a tape recorder and microphone.  Feedback fades to Nixon's confused face before thousands of cheering people.  Title card appears, "1968," then "Miami Republican National Convention."  Shots of Nixon and his family rejoicing at their win.  He turns to Pat and says, "tell me you didn't want this, Buddy!"

1:19:40  Nixon's victory speech, interspersed with footage of civil unrest in the United States, including student protestors, civil rights marches, and images of the black panthers, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King.

1:22:19  Bold Moves
The President's men deal with the escalation of the war in Vietnam and warn Nixon that the bombing of Cambodia will be a public relations disaster.
1:22:19  Footage of bombs dropping.  Title appears, "1969-70" then "Laos and Cambodia," and finally "Secret Air Bombings, 245,000 missions."  Private meetings with President and his advisors -- Nixon wants to bomb Cambodia as does Henry Kissinger, even though other advisors are unsure if this is the best tactic.  Nixon: "We bomb the hell out of Cambodia."  Footage of Student protests -- ends with Kent State shootings.
1:26:50  Nudging History
A large part of this scene happens aboard the Presidential yacht.    Nixon threatens to "drop the big one" after being briefed about the student shootings.  He also decides to visit China, arguing his communist-hunting credentials will not make this decision look suspect.  The end of this sequence is particularly moving, with several insightful lines that add depth to Nixon's inner demons.
1:26:50  Photograph of woman screamng over body of slain student at Kent State. (Image at right)  Cuts to dark waters, and Title appears, "Presidential Yacht, Potomac River."  Nixon dining with his advisors, triangular diplomacy.

1:31:11  "I think that's when it starts, when you're a kid.  The laughs and snubs and slights you get because you're poor or Irish or Jewish or just ugly."

1:31:39  "I'd like to offer my condolences.  But Nixon can't."

1:31:57  Nightcap
1:31:57  Nixon in the kitchen with valet, Manolo.  Nixon asks him if he cried when Kennedy died.  Manolo says yes but cannot explain why.
1:33:57  The Beast 
For a detailed analysis of this scene, please see my Scene Analysis.
1:33:57  Shot of the Washington Memorial with the moon rising behind it.  Shot of the Lincoln Memorial.

1:34:07  Title card appears, "May 9, 1970," then "4:00 AM."  President Nixon walks up the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, past several sleeping protestors.  We can hear the "Battle Hymn of the Republic" behind him.

1:34:55  Nixon looks at the monument, and behind him the night sky is suddenly filled with daylight, and we see a huge fire from an explosion.

1:35:17  Cut to shot of young American  soldier in Vietnam.

1:35:20  Cut to picture of Abe Lincoln.

1:35:21  Offscreen someone mutters, "I'm telling you, it's the president."  Nixon turns around to a group of young men and women who are muttering to each other.

1:35:27  Shot of a group of students.

1:35:42  Nixon talks to young man from Syracuse University about their football program.  Young woman steps in to interrupt the conversation.

1:36:12  The 19-year-old woman accuses him of being powerless when Nixon admits he can't stop the war.  They talk about the nature of the beast.

1:38:53  Nixon's aides, including Haldeman, arrive at the monument and insist that he leave.

1:40:41  Title appears, "June 1971, A Year Later."  Protestors in D.C.  We cut to Tricia's White House Wedding.  Haldeman is taping the happy father, Nixon, as he dances with Tricia.  Nixon tells her, "I'm proud of you, princess."

1:42:15  Chuck Colson enters the room looking nervous.  Locates Nixon and whispers to him, "Some secret essays on Vietnam have been leaked to the New York Times."  Nixon responds, "I know, I know -- not now!"  Nixon continues enjoying the festivities; we see him dancing with his wife and, in voiceover, hear "This is the  happiest day of our lives."

1:42:38  No More Mr. Nice Guy 
Nixon angrily responds to the exposing of the Pentagon Papers.
1:42:38  (B&W)  Flashback to Ellsberg stealing Pentagon papers.  Private meeting in President's office: "How do we screw Ellsberg?"  Formation of the Plumbers, described by Nixon as an "intelligence unit inside the White House."  Nixon compares Hiss to Ellsberg

1:47:23  Title appears, "Miami, Florida."  We see the inside of a cockfighting ring.  Howard Hunt and Frank Sturgis meet with some Cuban men.  Nixon to Pat: "They want to destroy Nixon."  Pat responds, "They'll never love you."

1:52:56  Ellsberg break-in.

1:52:51  The Enemy of the Enemy
President Nixon and Henry Kissinger's China trip to meet with Chairman Mao.
1:52:51  Title appears, "1972 China."  Nixon and Kissinger meet with Mao.  Scene ends with bombing of Hanoi.
1:58:02  Texas Strong Arms
This scene shows several Texan business men again trying to strong-arm the president and also includes footage of the assasination attempt on George Wallace that cleared the way for Nixon in the 1972 presidential election.  Nixon gives a press conference to announce the "end" of the Vietnam War.
01:58:02  Texan business men discussing losing Vietnam War.  One complains to Nixon about problems in Chile, and Nixon assures them that the CIA is working on assassinating Alenda.  Another complains about federal price controls on oil and threatens Nixon, telling him that he will not be re-elected to a second term if he doesn't get the EPA off the backs of businessmen.  Nixon refuses to relent (02:01:36): "Presidents don't threaten...they don't have to."  Scene ends with Nixon beating George McGovern.  Nixon is told that Kissinger is the leaker of information to the New York Times, however he does not want to fire him.  At a news conference, he announces the end of the Vietnam War but is angrily rebuked by the press.
2:07:56  Playing with Power
Nixon and his advisors discuss the break-in in the psychiatrist offices of Daniel Ellsberg, the firebombing of the Brookings Institution, and the planting of left-wing literature in in the apartment of Arthur Bremer, George Wallace's assassin.
2:07:56  Nixon goes into a rage about reporter's questions, throwing items around the oval office.  Confronts Kissinger about leaks.
2:11:46  Getting Personal 
John Dean attempts damage control in several meetings with Nixon.  The scene ends with a fictionalized account of meetings between Dean and Howard Hunt. [Historical note: Dorothy Hunt, wife of Howard Hunt, had died in a plane crash in Chicago.  In her luggage was found $10,000 in cash.  The money was "hush money" organized by Dean.  It is believed that Howard Hunt, devastated by his wife's death and worried about the future of his children if he went to jail, put pressure on Dean for more money and no jail sentence.]
2:11:46  John Dean briefs the president and recommends Nixon implicate John Mitchell in the Watergate Scandal.

2:13:32  Haldeman:  You think this is about politics?  This is about Richard Nixon.  You got people dying because he didn't make varsity football.  You got the constitution hanging by a thread because he went to Whittier, not to Yale.

2:15:10  Meeting with E. Howard Hunt Hunt and John Dean (02:15:53).  John Dean: Can I ask you a question? How the hell do you have the temerity to blackmail the President of the United States? E. Howard Hunt: That's not the question John.  The question is: why is he paying?

2:17:33  An Hors D'oeurve
2:17:33  Opens with news report about John Dean receiving FBI reports.

2:19:17  Dean refuses to become scapegoat for the scandal (02:19:17): "There's a cancer in the presidency and it's growing."

2:22:34  Whitewash
The resignation of two of Nixon's closest aides, Haldeman and Ehrlichman.

2:24:20  No Discussion
Emotional scenes in which Nixon is distanced from those he loves.  Pat finds out from Alexander Butterfield's testimony that Nixon has been taping conversations in the White House for at least three years.

2:24:20  Nixon and Pat eat dinner, but the air is tense.  He tells her, if Haldeman is convicted, he won't be pardoned.

2:20:29  Pat screams at him, "When do the rest of us stop paying off your debts?!"  She adds later, "Dick, sometimes I understand why they hate you."  They fight and Nixon insists that she leave the table and leave him alone.

2:27:14  Title appears, "June 1973 Senate Watergate hearings."  John Dean comes forward with evidence.

2:28:00  Meeting with Breshnev interspersed with Dean testifying.

2:30:00  Nixon's daughter Julie confronts him about a possible cover-up.  He denies any knowledge, and she says that she will give speeches for Nixon to show the public that he is a "kind man."

2:31:05  Footage of Martha Mitchell defending her husband.

2:31:38  Title appears, "1973 Hearings."  Alexander Butterfield confesses that President Nixon taped conversations in his office as well as his family members.  Pat watches announcement onscreen, her surprised and hurt face indicates that she had no idea.

2:32:33  Drunken Words
Nixon and Pat fight.
2:32:33  Nixon listens to his tapes in the Lincoln Room.  Pat confronts him about what is on them.  He accuses her of being drunk, and she tells him the tapes should be destroyed.

2:34:49  Nixon hallucinates his dead mother Hannah is sitting in a chair across from him.  The scene is recorded in color, but she appears in black and white.  Nixon turns away and throws a glass at her, but when he looks back, she is gone.  He reviews some more tapes and begins erasing a section of one.  Cuts to Nixon in his bed, bleeding from the mouth.  He screams out for his wife and is rushed to the hospital.  Scenes from his childhood flash before his eyes.

2:37:25  Nixon hallucinates himself lying dead under a pile of his tapes and then imagines himself in a coffin.  (V.O) Newscaster announces the resignation of Spiro T. Agnew.

2:38:42  No Tears
Nixon fights for his tapes but his claim of "executive privilege" is denied.
2:38:42  Nixon refuses to hand over tapes to Senate.

2:42:42  Newscaster announces that Cox is fired, Richardson quits, while back at the White House, Nixon is arguing with his advisors over transcripts of his tapes.  He insists that expletives and racist comments be deleted.

2:44:46  Nixon addresses the nation.

2:47:32  Smoking Gun
Haig warns and tries to prepare the president for the end by convincing him that copies of his tape might exist that contain the missing 18-minute gap.  Nixon in the Lincoln Room, playing "Victory at Sea" loudly and looking at old pictures of himself and his family.  Haig confronts Nixon about "smoking gun" tapes and advises that he consider resignation.
2:51:00  Nixon given resignation notice, which he signs.
2:52:37  A Prayer
Nixon and Kissinger pray together; Nixon seeks comfort over how history will treat his memory.  Kissinger tells him, "History will treat you more kindly than your contemporaries."  Nixon responds, "That depends on who writes the history."

2:57:55  In the Dark
Nixon is at his lowest point.  Nixon muses on a painting of JFK.  Pat and Richard share a loving moment.

2:58:26  "When they look at you, they see what they want to be.  When they look at me, they see what they are." 
3:00:37  Closing Remarks
Resignation speech and Nixon's funeral.
3:00:37  Nixon resigns.  We see his family behind him.  The camera pans over the audience.  Manolo's face is covered with tears, Haldeman and Kissinger looking on.  Nixon and Pat walk to the helicopter, and we hear the remaining part of his speech in voiceover.

3:05:17  Nixon's funeral.  Bill Clinton delivering eulogy.  "Shenandoah" is being sung in the background as we see the funeral cut with black and white photos of Frank and Hannah Nixon and, finally, a smiling 12-year-old Nixon.  Stone delivers an epilogue over these scenes: Nixon always maintained that if had not been driven from office, the North Vietnamese would not have overwhelmed the South in 1975.  In a sideshow, Cambodian society was destroyed and mass genocide resulted.  In his absence, Russia and the United States returned to a decade of high-budget military expansion and near-war.  Nixon, who was pardoned by President Ford, lived to write six books and travel the world as an elder statesmen.  He was buried and honored by five ex-Presidents on April 26, 1994, less than a year after Pat Nixon died.  For the remainder of his life, Nixon fought successfully to protect his tapes. The National Archives spent fourteen years indexing and cataloguing them.  Out of four thousand hours, only sixty hours have been made public.

Key
V.O./v.o.:  Voiceover
B&W:        Black and White (Unless specified, scene is shot in color).
Notes:
Clips or scenes that are  real news or archive footage will be specified.
DVD Specifics:    Nixon, Dir. Oliver Stone, Buena Vista: 1995.
 
 

Copyright (c) 2004 Mehnaz Ara Choudhury, Presidential Scholar at Lehigh University.

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