Reviewed by: Nicky VanValkenburgh
FBI leaders who play politics by leaking confidential, classified information to reporters
Bitterness at being passed over for a promotion
How to deal properly with disappointment when personal ambitions are blocked
The Watergate scandal of 1972—why it happened and what resulted
Unethical behavior on the part of governmental leaders
Dirty tricks / lies / spinning truth and lies / secrets / backstabbing
What part should morality play in politics? Answer
Does character matter in political leaders? Answer
Voting—Do Christians have an obligation to vote? Answer
|Featuring:||Liam Neeson … Mark Felt
Diane Lane … Audrey Felt
Tony Goldwyn … Ed Miller
Josh Lucas … Charlie Bates
Tom Sizemore … Bill Sullivan
Bruce Greenwood … Sandy Smith
Noah Wyle … Stan Pottinger
Eddie Marsan … Agency Man
Marton Csokas … L. Patrick Gray
Ike Barinholtz … Angelo Lano
Wendi McLendon-Covey … Carol Tschudy
Kate Walsh … Pat Miller
Brian d'Arcy James … Robert Kunkel
Maika Monroe … Joan Felt
Michael C. Hall … John Dean
Julian Morris … Bob Woodward
Stephen Michael Ayers … John Mitchell
Wayne Pére (Wayne Pere) … John Ehrlichman
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|Director:||Peter Landesman—“Concussion” (2015)|
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Sony Pictures Classics, a division of Sony Pictures Entertainment
“Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House” is a biographical spy thriller based on FBI agent William Mark Felt Sr.’s 2006 autobiography of the same title, which he co-wrote with John O'Connor. The film depicts how Mr. Felt became an anonymous source known as “Deep Throat” and exposed the Watergate scandal in The Washington Post.
The film begins in 1972, with the death of FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover (who’s spoken of, but remains unseen), and how President Richard Nixon (also unseen) comes into power.
Mark Felt (played by Liam Neeson) is the FBI Associate Director (its 2nd highest post), and it’s his job to hide and destroy incriminating evidence that Hoover collected over the years. Felt and his associates shred papers and empty filing cabinets. They also investigate attacks by the radical group, Weather Underground.
Shortly thereafter, the Watergate building in Washington, D.C. (headquarters for the Democratic National Committee) is broken into. Felt and his men begin investigating, believing that the break-in was somehow masterminded by The White House and President Nixon.
Meanwhile, Felt is passed over for a promotion, which disappoints his wife (Diane Lane). The newly appointed director, Pat Gray (Marton Csokas) wants the Watergate investigation shut down. That’s when Felt secretly leaks information to reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein of The Washington Post. Their editor nicknames the informer “Deep Throat,” based on the title of a pornographic movie. Felt keeps his secret, but the leak causes a lot of stress and tension at the FBI.
The movie does not mention, Chuck Colson, a former Nixon aide involved in Watergate, who later became a Christian. Colson blasted “Deep Throat,” insisting that the leaks were unethical and unnecessary. In a 2005 interview with Christianity Today, Colson contended that “Mark Felt had an obligation to report obstruction of justice to the officials and to a grand jury, if necessary—but not to leak it to reporters.”
“The Washington Post created a morality play about an out-of-control government brought to heel by two young, enterprising journalists and a courageous newspaper. That simply wasn’t what happened.
Instead, it was about the FBI using The Washington Post to leak information to destroy the president, and The Washington Post willingly serving as the conduit for that information while withholding an essential dimension of the story by concealing Deep Throat’s identity.”
For three decades, the identity of “Deep Throat” was one of the greatest unsolved mysteries of American politics. No one knew who it was until July 2005, when it was finally revealed to be Mark Felt, the former “Number Two” man at the FBI. Evidently, Mr. Felt revealed himself through an article in Vanity Fair magazine. However, reporters Woodward and Bernstein, and Mark Felt himself, had kept the name a secret for more than 30 years.
In 1980, Felt was convicted of having violated the civil rights of people thought to be associated with members of the Weather Underground, by ordering FBI agents to break into their homes and search the premises as part of an attempt to prevent bombings. He was ordered to pay a fine, but was pardoned by President Ronald Reagan during his appeal.
There is a lot of foul language in this movie, such as “f**k,” “bulls**t,” “s**t,” and other words. God’s name is used as a curse at least 10 times.
There isn’t any drug use in the movie, but characters smoke cigarettes and drink alcohol. There is not much violence in the film, but there are discussions about the death of Hoover.
Watching this film is a powerful reminder that absolute power corrupts absolutely, and that we can’t simply trust governments. I found the movie to be suspenseful and intriguing, and was sitting on the edge of my seat. The tone is often also dark and frightening, and shows how desperate people can be when they try to cover their tracks.
The Bible reminds us,
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.