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All the King’s Men (1949)

One of Columbia’s most acclaimed films was a picture that studio head Harry Cohn didn’t believe in. Producer-writer-director Robert Rossen had to beg him to open it in Los Angeles to qualify for the 1949 Oscars and then paid for his own ads promoting the picture. It must have worked, as this thinly veiled portrait of corrupt Louisiana politician Huey Long won Best Picture, Best Actor (Broderick Crawford) and Best Supporting Actress (Mercedes McCambridge). Although there is no mention of Long or his home state or even the South in the film, Crawford studied newsreel footage of Long to play a man who moves from idealist to tyrant. He also had a model closer to home—Rossen asked him to base his characterization on Cohn himself. 

d. Robert Rossen, 110m, DCP