Design Moments & Techno Flashbacks from All the President’s Men

As a kid, I wanted to be Woodward and Bernstein (both of them, yes). I could barely tell you what Watergate was about, or where they followed the money to, but I read the book in my tent in the backyard at age 10 and was absorbed – by their investigative intensity, the puzzle-solving, the clever interview techniques, the big journalistic personalities. The movie got me into the book and I recently rented it. What great production design, and how interesting to see all the pre-chip technologies at play (and the use of which advances the story, one of the most amazing things about the movie is the drama they brought to interviews, phone calls, phone book searches). Anyway, some fun screenshots:

a photocopy of a typed phone list(!):



phones that were heavy enough to be murder weapons in other shows but, for this movie, where you screw off the voice piece to listen in instead of hitting mute:

UHF and VHF for close to 15 stations accessed with knobs that turn:


if it weren’t for the thumbtacks, and the fact that Robert Redford would never do requirements gathering, I might think this was a card sort:

before people just threw them out, there was a time when there were rooms full of phone books:

and, sadly, one last thing lost to that era: the bad-ass newspaperman who still thrills to a story, cares about the free press, and totally kicks ass:

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