All the President's Men, 1976

Director

Cast

visit the film locations

Washington DC: Getting there: International flights to Dulles International Airport

Domestic: Reagan National Airport, smaller but much closer to downtown DC

Tourist info: Destination DC, 901 7th Street NW, 4th Floor, Washington, DC 20001-3719 (tel: 202.789.7000)

Visiting the Capitol

John F Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW (tel: 202.467.4600; metro: Foggy Bottom)

Library of Congress, First Street SE between East Capitol Street and Independence Avenue (tel: 202.707.5000) (metro: Capitol South, Union Station)


Trivia

After the discovery of the break-in, the arresting officer is played by future Amadeus Oscar-winning actor F Murray Abraham.

All The President's Men filming location: The Watergate Building, Washington DC

All The President's Men filming location: The Watergate Building, Washington DC

The third of Alan J Pakula’s excellent paranoia trilogy (following Klute and The Parallax View) which manages to make the potentially uncinematic uncovering of the Watergate story truly gripping, is brilliantly photographed around spookily benighted Washington DC locations by Gordon Willis.

Authenticity is all. The break-in was actually filmed in the Watergate Complex (not far from the Georgetown house used for The Exorcist), with Frank Wills – the very security guard who discovered the taped door – recreating the moment on the exact spot. The Democratic offices were on the sixth floor of the complex at 2600 Virginia Avenue NW, west of downtown Washington DC (metro: Foggy Bottom). If you feel like a souvenir, you can pick up a bottle of Watergate Whisky from the store in the complex. The Watergate Hotel closed for renovation, and was supposed to reopen in 2009.

All The President's Men filming location: Hall on Virginia Avenue, Washington DC

All The President's Men filming location: the old Howard Johnson: Hall on Virginia Avenue, Washington DC

Base 1, the lookout, is stationed – as he was – on the balcony of Room 723 directly opposite, which is now Hall on Virginia Avenue, 2601 Virginia Avenue NW at New Hampshire Avenue, student housing for George Washington University. Until 1999 this was the Howard Johnson Motor Lodge but, sadly, you can no longer book the room used by the burglars.

It’s worth remembering that, post 9/11, there may be restrictions on visiting certain buildings, and security arrangements are subject to change.

All The President's Men filming location: the Washington Post offices, 1150 15th Street NW, Washington DC

All The President's Men filming location: the Washington Post offices, 1150 15th Street NW, Washington DC

Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward (Robert Redford) and Carl Bernstein (Dustin Hoffman) work out of the paper’s building at 1150 15th Street NW between L and M Streets, downtown DC (metro: Farragut North).

The movie’s city room, in which the pair worry away at the burglary story, is, however, an elaborate set built on soundstages at Warner Brothers’ Burbank lot. The 32,000 square-foot set cost half a million dollars, and the obsessive detail went further than just reproducing all 250 of the reporters’ and editors’ desks in their correct positions and the graphics on the walls – it went as far as filling the wastepaper baskets with real waste from the actual Post offices, correctly assigned to each department.

All The President’s Men  filming location: Capitol Building, Washington DC

All The President’s Men filming location: more chicanery in DC: Capitol Building, Washington DC

Genuine Washington DC locations include, of course, the Capitol Building – the entrance for tours is on East Capitol Street, Capitol Hill (tel: 202.225.6827) (metro: Capitol South, Union Station).

All The President's Men filming location: Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress, First Street SE, Washington DC

All The President's Men filming location: sorting through request slips: Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress, First Street SE, Washington DC

The magnificent circular reading room, where the duo sort through the White House book-request slips, is the domed, marble Main Reading Room in the Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress, First Street SE between East Capitol Street and Independence Avenue (metro: Capitol South, Union Station).

All The President's Men filming location: Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, F Street NW, Washington DC

All The President's Men filming location:Woodward catches a cab to meet ‘Deep Throat’: Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, F Street NW, Washington DC

The concert building outside which Woodward catches a cab for his first assignation with enigmatic insider Deep Throat is the John F Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW (tel: 202.467.4600; metro: Foggy Bottom). The complex, which opened in 1971, houses two theatres, a concert hall and an opera house.

The highrise wilderness where Woodward keeps the rendezvous can be found over the Potomac River in Arlington, Virginia, though, if you want to see the car park itself, you’ll need to visit Los Angeles. The sinister garage was beneath the former ABC Entertainment Center, 2000 Avenue of the Stars at Constellation Boulevard, currently being redeveloped in Century City.

Bernstein meets up with his phone company contact at the site of all those sixties anti-war demos, Lafayette Park, north of the White House, on Pennsylvania Avenue and H Street NW between Jackson and Madison Places (metro: Farragut West). The lead takes him to the ‘County Justice Building of Miami’ where he tricks his way into meeting official Martin Dardis (Ned Beatty).

The building is no more ‘Miami’ than it is Washington DC. It’s Los Angeles City Hall, 200 North Spring Street, downtown Los Angeles, the home of TV series Dragnet and Superman. Also in Los Angeles, you’ll find the burger joint where Woodward and Bernstein hatch the plot to get Sloane to confirm Haldeman’s name (McDonald’s in Santa Monica), and disgraced lawyer Donald Segretti’s apartment, which overlooks the Marina in Marina del Rey.

All The President's Men filming location: J Edgar Hoover FBI Building, 10th Street, Washington DC

All The President's Men filming location: the J Edgar Hoover FBI Building, 10th Street, Washington DC

The FBI works out of the J Edgar Hoover FBI Building, 10th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue NW, downtown Washington DC, though the interior of the building, where Woodward and Bernstein badger the agent, is, surprise, not the real FBI HQ at all, but once again Los Angeles City Hall. Due to security concerns, public tours of the FBI Building have been suspended indefinitely (metro: Metro Center, Gallery Place, Federal Triangle).

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