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Frost/Nixon(film)

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Frost/Nixon
Frost nixon poster
Theatrical Poster

Directed By

Ron Howard

Written By

Peter Morgan

Released Year

2009

Distributor

Universal Pictures

Summary

Frost / Nixon is a historical drama based on the play by Peter Morgan which dramatises the the Frost / Nixon interviews from 1977.

Cast

  • Michael Sheen - David Frost
  • Frank Langella - Richard Nixon
  • Matthew Macfadyen - John Birt
  • Kevin Bacon - Jack Brennan
  • Sam Rockwell - James Reston
  • Oliver Platt - Bob Zelnick

Plot

David Frost is finishing an episode of his talk show Frost Over Australia, and he comes off set to see Nixon entering the helicopter on a television just after resigning his presidency. A few weeks later in the London Weekend Television (LWT) central office, Frost announces to his producer and friend, John Birt that he wants to interview Nixon.

Nixon is informed of the interview request by his literary agent Irving 'Swifty' Lazar. Lazar explains how he managed to talk Frost up to $600,000, so the recently ex-president agrees to meet him.

Frost and Birt fly to California. On the plane, Frost meets an attractive woman, Caroline Cushing, who he invites to accompany him to meet Nixon. Despite doubts from Nixon's post-presidential chief of staff, Frost manages to finance the entire fee, by selling his shares in LWT and by calling in help from wealthy friends.

He hires two investigators, Bob Zelnich and James Reston to help Birt dig for information. Frost tries to sell the series of four interviews (to be broadcast as four 90-minute specials) to the U.S. broadcast networks, but they all turn him down. Despite the financial issues, Frost is able to finance the hiring of recording equipment and a venue and the interviews begin.

Over the first eleven recording sessions, Frost is shown struggling to ask planned "on the spot" questions of Nixon, with Nixon able to take up much of the time during the sessions by making long speeches without enabling Frost to challenge him.

Four days before the final session on Watergate, Frost is awakened in his hotel room by a phone call from a drunken Richard Nixon. Nixon tells Frost that they both know the final interview will make or break the other's career. If Frost fails to implicate Nixon definitively in the Watergate scandal, then Frost will have allowed Nixon to revive his political career.

The conversation knocks Frost into action. As the final recording begins, Frost is a much sterner adversary, providing evidence of Nixon's full involvement and bringing up damning information.

Recording is stopped briefly by Brennan, but Nixon returns to complete the recording, finally admitting that he participated in a cover-up.

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