Those resources indicated by a * are also in the main
of the annotated screenplay by Oliver Stone.
*American Experience: Richard Nixon.
Production, Directed by David Espar, Elizabeth Deane and Marilyn H.
Main Home Page: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/presidents/37_nixon/index.html
Teacher's Guide: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/presidents/37_nixon/tguide/index.html
This three-hour documentary is possibly the best and most
documentary on the topic of Richard Nixon's presidency. By using
live footage, interviews, photographs, and many other resources, the
present an engaging portrait of the president that is extremely useful
in understanding the major events in Oliver Stone's Nixon. Divided
into "The Quest," which shows his early political career, "Triumph,"
depicts his presidential years, and "The Fall," which covers the
years, this well-researched documentary does not cover Nixon's later
as an elder statesman.
An important aspect of this biography is the extensive
that PBS has set up at the American Experience website. Noted
is the main home page address, which includes several sections.
biography is divided into his "Early Career," "Domestic Policies,"
Affairs," "Presidential Politics," and "Legacy." In another
titled "The Film and More," researchers, students, and teachers can
a full transcript of all three tapes in the series, transcripts
of interviews with experts discussing different aspects of Nixon's
such as Henry Kissinger and John Ehrlichman.
American Justice: High Crimes and
Produced by Kurtis Productions, Ltd. & Towers Productions, Inc. for
A&E Network. New York: A&E Home Video: distributed by New
Video Group, c1998-1999. 50 minutes.
A slick television program in which several historians
comment on significant
presidential scandals including Watergate (Richard Nixon), Monicagate
Clinton), as well other politicians who faced impeachment or were
from their office, for example Judge Alcee Lamar Hastings who was an
district court judge. Hastings claimed that his investigation was
tainted (an FBI agent did come forward claiming that he lied in his
and his case indicates the problems inherent in the impeachment
The documentary traces the evolution of the term "High Crimes and
and the reasons for which the Founding Fathers felt the impeachement
and process are necessary for a democratic process. Historians
the impeachment of Andrew Johnson, the 17th president of the United
The video is both entertaining and educational and will provide
quick information about the origination and execution of the
process but is not useful in providing any particular information about
President Nixon or Watergate that cannot be gleaned from other
Death of a Statesman: The Final Journey.
Production of the Orange County Newschannel ; producer,
Wayne A. Brown ; producer/editor, Kim Cherry.
: Freedom Communications, c1994. 59 min.
A producton of the news staff Orange County NewsChannel
the story and events surrounding the death and funeral of Richard
A film traces Nixon's "return" to his hometown of Yorba Linda, the
resting place for the President and his wife. The film shows the
remarkable exodus of mourners and well-wishers that descended onto
birthplace as soon as it was announced he had suffered a heart
As his condition grew worse, many waited with candles, prayers, and
-- many touching interviews contain the same sentiment -- Nixon was a
leader who had accomplished much for the nation, and his few mistakes
inconsequential or not important enough to mar his achievements.
One woman put it best when she said, "he is not perfect, which is the
of his humanity and that we should all learn from our mistakes and live
to continue." Surprisingly, mourners included young children --
young girl had done a report on the president and her mother described
her as becoming "obsessed" with her subject. The third-grader
down, unable to speak to cameras. The documentary also contains
of the state funeral with speeches by Billy Graham, Bob
Dole, and Henry Kissinger. Many scholars complain about the
of coverage of Nixon's life as well as American opinion of him after
resignation, and this is an interesting resource to fill those gaps.
The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons from
the Life of
Robert S. McNamara. Dir. Errol Morris, 2003.
A documentary that examines the life of Robert McNamara,
Defense in the Kennedy and Johnson Administrations, and discusses his
in Cuban missile crisis, the fire-bombing of Japan during WWII, and his
role in design and prolonging of the Vietnam War. Winner of the 2003
for Best Documentary, the film should be watched by students of Nixon's
presidency because of its unflinching looks at leaders during times of
war. Although McNamara was fired by the time Nixon would be in
the eleven lessons that he outlines including No.1 and 2, "Empathize
your enemy" and "Rationality will not save us," or No. 7, "Belief
and seeing are both often wrong," and No. 8, "Be prepared to reexamine
your reasoning," would be put to the test, and according to Oliver
version Nixon failed at learning from any of McNamara or Johnson's
For so many scholars, the Vietnam War was in direct oposition to lesson
5, "Proportionality should be a guideline in war," to which Nixon would
probably respond with lesson 9, "In order to do good, you may have to
in evil." Watching McNamara speak reminds me of watching footage
of Nixon in his later years reflect on his presidency, and as Roger
writes, "the effect of The Fog of War is to impress upon us
frailty and uncertainty of our leaders. They are sometimes so certain
actions that do not deserve such certitude."
Powers of the President. Foreign
Policy: Nixon and
Ford. Producer, Jeremy Cooper ; BBC ; editor, Tony
Princeton: Films for the Humanities & Sciences, Inc., 1996.
An important, yet one-sided video for any student studying
of American involvement in Vietnam and Cambodia, as well as the
power to declare war. The documentary also covers Congress's 1973
War Powers Resolution, a bill which would control the president's power
in matters of foreign policies, and vetoed by both President Nixon and
President Ford, both arguing that the law would be
Several presidents are interviewed who argue that their office entitles
them to freedom in such matters, but students can make up their minds
to whether these presidents have properly applied their powers.
Nixon about Nixon. Las
Distributors of America, 1994. 60 minutes.
An hour-long documentary offers us a unique perspective on
many of the
events during Nixon's political career. In candid commentary,
Nixon shares his opinions on issues such as his race for the
and presidency, his historic trip to meet with Soviet leaders, the war
in Vietnam, as well as his trip to China. The presentation of the
documentary might not be student friendly since it is not very
and is slightly dated, but if coupled with the The Real Richard
provides a full portrait of the president's life, from his point of
The video sees Nixon as a visionary peacemaker and takes a positive
of most of his policies.
The Real Richard Nixon.
Director, Jesse Raiford ; writer, Frank Gannon ; executive
Raiford Communications, Inc. New York: Central Park Media,
"The only thing worse than being wrong on an issue is to
Whatever else they've said about me, I wasn't dull." --Richard M.
One of the best documentaries of Richard Nixon, featuring
from the president, on his early life, his marriage, his politics, and
the last days of his terms. The program comes in three parts: Early
Life, Pat, and Twenty Eight Days. Historian and
Frank Gannon talks to the president in a non-combative way and tries to
bring out the most frank details and discussion about his life.
memoir contains several photographs and videos of the president that
be seen in other places, and Nixon candidly comments on both the good
bad side of his political life. One of the more impressive parts
of the documentary is the "Pat" video. Although it is Pat's
through the eyes of Richard Nixon, it is one of few documentaries that
focus on her. The documentary presents an articulate,
and at times humorous Nixon, a far cry from the caricatures painted of
him by the press.
Richard Nixon Reflects.
in association with South Carolina Educational TV Network; producer,
Delaney, Jr.; cameras, Gary Henoch, William Johnson, Mark Chamberlain;
videotape editor, Jerry Manley. Oak Forest: MPI Home Video, 1990.
Morton Kondracke hosts a thorough interview with Nixon in
which he talks
about his career, politics, and his relations with the media. The
interview is alternated with file footage and commentary about Richard
Nixon. The documentary covers Nixon's rise as an elder statesman
and the similarities between his term in office and President George
Sr.'s tenure. Students can see great examples of Nixon's
humor as well as gain insight into several political issues with an
focus. A compelling point that Nixon makes towards the end of the
video is that television and the media has trivialized politics, making
the public and politicians too image conscious: "You should be more
about your makeup artist, than your researcher, the one that blows your
hairdryer, than what's between your ears." He adds that
is not about "serious discussion" but about what will fit in a
space on the eveninng news.
Watergate Plus 30: Shadow of History.
Several key players recall their roles in the Watergate
scandal up till
the resignation of President Nixon. The episode describes
as "one of history's great detective stories... a nearly unbelievable
of ordinary men corrupted by power and the desire to retain it by any
An interesting documentary, particularly for students of history since
we can hear from several of the men who were there, as well as
footage of the trials.
* Richard M. Nixon: His Life and Times.
The format of this compilation of clips is sometimes clunky,
with the dated presentation it provides a unique compilation of news
of the President Richard Nixon. Several ABC News journalists
Peter Jennings, Ted Koppel, and Barbara Walters among others, present
different memories of the Nixon presidency. The show also
footage from personal interviews by Walters when she accompanied him on
his historic trip to China in 1972. Not particularly useful for
classroom but provides enough information for history buffs or students
of Nixon's life.
* The Final Days (based on the
teleplay by Hugh Whitemore, directed by Richard Pearce.
* The Halderman Diaries, Nightline, ABC News.
* 20th Century with Mike Wallace: Presidents in
Quits and Nixon Resigns. A&E Productions, 50 minutes.
* Watergate, The Discovery Channel.
* Watergate. (two-part symposium) The
* Watergate: The Secret Story. Mike Wallace,