On this edition of Parallax Views, Oliver Stone has proven to be one of Hollywood’s most controversial and political filmmakers for many decades now. After the release of his 1991 epic JFK he received a great deal of criticisms from elements of the press for undermining the official narrative of the JFK assassination. Put simply, Stone was, despite previous highly-regarded films as Wall Street, Platoon, and Salvador, branded a “conspiracy theorist”. Nonetheless, Stone kept making films and followed JFK up with another subject of historical interest to the Vietnam era: Richard Nixon. Starring the acclaimed Anthony Hopkins as Tricky Dick (a role that garnered him an Academy Award nomination), Nixon proved to largely be a hit with critics but underperformed at the box office. Although many had expected that Nixon would be “conspiracy” film or a mere attack on the former Republican President, Stone’s feature offered a complex portrait of the man that received flak from both Nixon’s critics and supporters.
Eric Hamburg, author of JFK, Nixon, Oliver Stone, and Me: An Idealist’s Journey from Capitol Hill to Hollywood Hell, acted as a producer on Nixon. He enjoys me to revisit that film as well as to discuss his time on Capitol Hill with John Kerry and Lee Hamilton, how he met Oliver Stone through JFK, his work on Oliver Stone’s football film Any Given Sunday, the potential effect that Vietnam had on Stone, Stone on dirty money and Hollywood, the attention to historical details in Nixon, the concept of “The Beast” described in Nixon, how Nixon came together, interviewing the Pentagon’s Robert McNamara and Watergate testifier John Dean as research for the film, and much, much more!
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