All the King’s Men
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All the King s Men is a 2006 American political drama film written, directed and produced by Steven Zaillian based on the 1946 Pulitzer Prize–winning novel of the same name by Robert Penn Warren. All the King s Men had previously been adapted into a Best Picture Oscar–winning film by writer-director Robert Rossen in 1949. The film narrates the rise to power and dramatic demise of the ruthless Governor Willie Stark (played by Sean Penn), taking his office in the American South. The fictional character is loosely based on the life of Louisiana governor Huey Long, in office between 1928 through 1932. Elected as a U.S. senator, he was assassinated in 1935. The film co-stars Jude Law, Kate Winslet, Anthony Hopkins, James Gandolfini, Mark Ruffalo, Patricia Clarkson and Jackie Earle Haley.


Jack Burden, a Louisiana news reporter, takes a personal interest in Willie Stark, an idealistic small-town lawyer and parish treasurer. Circumstances develop that result in Tiny Duffy, a local political leader Burden knows, urging Stark to run for governor. Burden s upbringing makes him familiar with the undercurrent of politics – he was raised by his loving godfather Judge Irwin, a former state attorney general, while his good friend, Dr. Adam Stanton, and his sister Anne Stanton—also Burden s former lover—are the children of a former governor. Burden therefore decides to take Duffy s advice and travels as a reporter on Stark s campaign for governor.

The politically astute Burden soon deduces, and Duffy strategist (and Stark mistress) Sadie Burke confirms, that Duffy is using Stark to split his party s vote and thus allow the opposing party to win. They tell Stark, who begins to give speeches in a straightforward manner to appeal to the public, in defiance of the advice given to him by Duffy. His vigorous strategy attacks the corruption of the existing players and promises schools and roads for his fellow ignorant hicks , resulting in Stark winning the election. He manages Duffy by making him his lieutenant governor. Stark recruits Burden to work for him as an adviser.

Stark proves to be a very persuasive governor, delivering on many of his new projects. Irwin disapproves of Stark and publicly supports an investigation of possible graft in the new spending. Burden points out that graft is the elite s word for what the previous politicians had always done, while Stark openly tells his crowds that his crooks, unlike theirs, are itty bitty compared to the elite s. Stark convinces Stanton to head a new public hospital while he begins having an affair with Anne, provoking Burke s jealousy and Burden s disappointment.

Irwin continues criticizing Stark as political controversies begin to unfold. Stark demands that Burden seek information on the judge to be used against him. Jack insists that there is no such information, but eventually discovers evidence of a bribe that Irwin used to get his appointment many years prior, leading an opponent to commit suicide. Following this revelation, Irwin himself commits suicide. Burden s mother then tells him that Irwin treated him with such love because he was his biological father, which causes a great amount of guilt for Burden.

Stark utilizes many methods of corruption to consolidate his power, including patronage and intimidation. Adam is told that Stark is using the hospital project to rob the state and is framing him in the process. Burden and Anne both assure Adam that this is false. Adam also becomes enraged when he learns of Stark s affair with his sister. Adam waits at the state capitol and assassinates Stark, only to be immediately killed by the governor s bodyguard. It is later revealed that Adam was influenced by Duffy and Burke to murder Stark, allowing Duffy to succeed Stark as governor.


  • Sean Penn as Willie Stark
  • Jude Law as Jack Burden Joshua Davis as young Jack
  • Joshua Davis as young Jack
  • Kate Winslet as Anne Stanton Carrie Christmann as young Anne
  • Carrie Christmann as young Anne
  • Anthony Hopkins as Judge Irwin
  • James Gandolfini as Tiny Duffy
  • Patricia Clarkson as Sadie Burke
  • Mark Ruffalo as Adam Stanton Montgomery John as young Adam
  • Montgomery John as young Adam
  • Kathy Baker as Rachel Burden
  • Jackie Earle Haley as Roderick Sugar Boy Ellis
  • Talia Balsam as Lucy Stark
  • Travis Champagne as Tom Stark
  • Frederic Forrest as Donald Stark
  • Kevin Dunn as Alex Fauntleroy
  • Tom McCarthy as Mr. Henley
  • Glenn Morshower as Commissioner Sherman
  • Jay Patterson as Senator Kruczemark
  • Michael Cavanaugh as Mr. Payton
  • Caroline Lagerfelt as Mrs. Payton
  • Eileen Ryan as Lily Littlepaugh
  • Gary Grubbs as Sheriff Boyle


Filming took place in New Orleans, Morgan City, Donaldsonville, at the Louisiana State Capitol in Baton Rouge and many other places in Louisiana.

The film garnered strong Oscar buzz and was considered a contender by Entertainment Weekly even before its initial opening.

The world premiere was held at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 11, 2006, where the film was first screened to the press. A special screening was held at the Tulane University in New Orleans on September 16, 2006.


Box office

All the King s Men grossed $7.2 million in the United States and Canada, and $2.2 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $9.5 million, against a production budget of $50 million.

In the film s opening weekend it made $3.7 million from 1,514 theaters, finishing seventh. It then dropped to 11th place with a gross of $1.5 million in its second weekend, and by its third weekend fell to 27th place with $285,993.

Critical response

In spite of its high-profile cast, direction and production team, All the King s Men was a massive failure, both with critics and at the box office. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds approval rating of 11% based on 159 reviews, with an average rating of 4.30/10. The website s critics consensus reads: With a scenery-chewing performance from Sean Penn, an absence of political insight, and an overall lack of narrative cohesiveness, these Men give Oscar bait a bad name. On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 37 out of 100, based on 37 critics, indicating generally unfavorable reviews .

A. O. Scott of The New York Times expressed disappointment with the film: Nothing in the picture works. It is both overwrought and tedious, its complicated narrative bogging down in lyrical voiceover, long flashbacks and endless expository conversations between people speaking radically incompatible accents. Michael Medved gave All the King s Men two stars (out of four) calling it depressing and disappointing , a stodgy melodrama and a pointless, pretentious, plodding period-piece .

Richard Roeper also gave the remake a less than stellar review. Michael Phillips put it on his Worst of 2006 list.

Some reviews were positive. Richard Schickel of Time magazine liked the movie, arguing that it s much more faithful to the tone of the novel than the original. Kenneth Turan (Los Angeles Times) praised the film s undeniable moral seriousness and the actors exceptional ensemble work. He argued that Zaillian s script and direction expertly extracted the core of this greatest of American political novels, a work that is both of its time and outside it.


The film was featured in Nathan Rabin s ongoing feature for The Onion s A.V. Club, My Year of Flops. Of three categories (failure, fiasco, or secret success), he labeled All the King s Men as a failure and said of the film: Zaillian’s dud manages the formidable feat of being at once histrionic and agonizingly dull, hysterically over-the-top yet strangely lifeless.

Zaillian was stunned by the poor critical and box-office results of this film, which opened with only $3.8 million and barely made $7.2 million at the end of its run in US theaters. Another new wide release from the same weekend, the sequel Jackass Number Two, made $28.1 million. In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Zaillian said that the film s poor performance was like getting hit by a truck. … I don t know what to make of it. … We re all a bit shellshocked. I feel like Huey Long must have felt — you try to do good and they shoot you for it.


The film s score was composed by James Horner, who had previously worked with Zaillian on Searching For Bobby Fischer.

All the King s Men
Film score by

James Horner
Released September 27, 2007
Length 56:42
Label Varèse Sarabande
Producer Simon Rhodes and James Horner
James Horner chronology
The New World
All the King s Men
  • Main Title – 4:30
  • Time Brings All Things to Light – 1:45
  • Give Me the Hammer and I ll NAIL EM UP! – 5:59
  • Bring Down the Lion and the Rest of the Jungle Will Quake in Fear – 3:34
  • Conjuring the Hick Vote – 3:14
  • Anne s Memories – 2:47
  • Adam s World – 3:43
  • Jack s Childhood – 2:22
  • The Rise to Power – 3:17
  • Love s Betrayal – 2:54
  • Only Faded Pictures – 2:49
  • As We Were Children Once – 2:49
  • Verdict and Punishment – 6:00
  • All Our Lives Collide – 3:23
  • Time Brings All Things to Light… I Trust It So – 7:36

Year 2006
ReleaseDate 2006-09-22
RuntimeMins 128
RuntimeStr 2h 8min
Plot Based on the Robert Penn Warren novel. The life of populist Southerner Willie Stark, a political creature loosely based on Governor Huey Long of Louisiana.
Awards Awards, 2 wins & 4 nominations
Directors Steven Zaillian
Writers Steven Zaillian, Robert Penn Warren
Stars Sean Penn, Jude Law, Kate Winslet
Produced by Scott Budnick,James Carville,Kevin Flatow,Andreas Grosch,Michael Hausman,Ryan Kavanaugh,Ken Lemberger,Mike Medavoy,Arnold Messer,Todd Phillips,Andreas Schmid,David Thwaites,Steven Zaillian
Music by James Horner
Cinematography by Pawel Edelman
Film Editing by Wayne Wahrman
Casting By Avy Kaufman
Production Design by Patrizia von Brandenstein
Art Direction by Gary Baugh
Set Decoration by Tricia Schneider
Costume Design by Marit Allen
Makeup Department Coni Andress,Ulla Gaudin,Stacey Herbert,Michelle Johnson,Kimberley Kirkpatrick,Don Kozma,Tina LaSpina,Mike Manzel,Robin Mathews,Linda Melazzo,Glenn Mosley,Scott H. Reeder,Paige Reeves,Marie-Ange Ripka,Manlio Rocchetti,Linda Williams
Production Management Desmond Cannon,Kerstin Dyroff,Scott Ferguson,James R. Maceo,Samson Mucke
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director G.A. Aguilar,Stephen E. Hagen,David McGiffert,Peter Thorell,Jimi Woods
Art Department Michael Arena,Mark Bachman,Doug Bernard,Paul Blanchard,David Keith Broome,James Brothers,Matthew Cavaliero,Gary Cergol,Ralph Chabaud,John B. Clarey III,Mary Clarey,Daniel Coe,Randall S. Coe,Daniel Coulthard,James Dupuy,Everette Eglin,Ellen Freund,Jeff Garbacz,Tommy Gilbert,Marcus J.N.A. Gill,Jon Graubarth,Wylie Griffin,Kevin Harber,Claire Hassig,Ryan Heck,Frank Hendrick,Michael Hendrick,John Herbert,William Hickey,Christina Eunji Kim,Joel Klaff,Andree Lago,John Lavis,Javier Marcheselli,Dave Merry,Molly Mikula,Garrik Palumbo,Gordon Lorne Peck Jr.,Adele Plauche,Joel Prihoda,George Sanchez,John Sanchez,Stephen Siersema,Marcus Turchi,Joe Walsh,David Weathers,Markus Wittmann,Jennifer Brown,Chad R. Davis,Brick Mason,Keith Wall
Sound Department Christopher S. Aud,Joshua Blanchard,Gary C. Bourgeois,Thom Brennan,Michael Broomberg,Stephanie Brown,Vincent Cirilli,David A. Cohen,Mark DeSimone,Terry Garcia,Kenneth Gilbert,Mark Goodermote,Detlef Halaski,Gary A. Hecker,Scott Hecker,Chris Hogan,Larry Hopkins,Drew Kunin,Howard London,Eric A. Norris,Brad North,Jordan O Neill,Greg Orloff,Mark Pappas,Michael Primmer,Brian Ruberg,Joe Schiff,James Simcik,Frederick H. Stahly,Greg Steele,David Werntz,Aaron Zeller,Greg Zimmerman,Deb Adair
Special Effects by Lester Bern,Guy Clayton,Heath Hood
Visual Effects by Billy Barnhart,Ron Barr,Joseph Brattesani,Zac Chowdhury,Marisa Clayton,Rick Cortes,Stuart Cripps,Julia Croon,Sean C. Cunningham,Nancy Hyland,Mark Intravartolo,Joni Jacobson,Kenneth Littleton,Margaux Mackay,Gray Marshall,Andrew Midgley,Jennifer Mizener,Eroc Moralls,Billy Orban,Robb Porter,Colleen Smith-Brattesani,Wilson Tang,Messrob Torikian
Stunts G.A. Aguilar,Chris Barnes,Joey Box,Jill Brown,John Cenatiempo,Trace Cheramie,Bob Colletti,Tobiasz Daszkiewicz,Frank Ferrara,James Fierro,Jeff Galpin,Heath Hood,Rick LeFevour,Tom Lowell,Carl Paoli,Steven Ritzi,Keith Siglinger
Camera and Electrical Department Sebastián Almeida,Robert M. Andres,Alison Barton,Angela Bellisio,Victor Brunette,Kenny Burke,Chip Carey,Andy Clapp,Stephen Consentino,Jon Baronn Farmer,Stanley Fernandez Jr.,Morris Flam,Matthew Gaumer,Tonja Greenfield,Dylan E. Griffin,David Shane Guild,Thairon Harvey,Kerry Hayes,Tony Jenzano,Dan Kubicek,Charles Landers,Clay Liversidge,Dave Lowry,Bruce MacCallum,Scott Maher,Louis Normandin,Rocco Palmieri,John Panuccio,Marek Rajca,Humberto Recio,Gerard Sava,Eric Schmidt,Scott Schrebinski,Lowell Schulman,Tom Shinn,Kennith G. Smith,David Taylor,Greg Travis,Tom Weston,Barry Williamson,Earl Woods,Richard Yacuk,Chris Lombardozzi,Matthew McGinn
Casting Department Ruth Caffery,Marty Keener Cherrix,Vanessa Curtis,Elizabeth Greenberg,Barbara Harris,Gavin Nassar,Lauren Rossi,Gary Michael Smith,Wendy Talazac,Leeba Zakharov,Diane Benz-Langsford
Costume and Wardrobe Department Michael Adkins,Wendy M. Craig,Sandi Figueroa,Suzy Freeman,Linda Gardar,S. Aimee Helms,Joni M. Huth,Joseph La Corte,Elizabeth Macaluso,Janet Melody,Marcia Patten,Christopher Peterson,Noel Rideout,Barnaby Smith,John H. Smith,Patty Spinale,Hartsell Taylor,Pamela Waggoner,Branden Watson,Ellen Ryba,Giselle Spence
Editorial Department Gordon Antell,Ron Barr,Jill Bogdanowicz,Marisa Clayton,Jason Fabbro,Michael Healey,Mo Henry,Laraine Moniz,Julia Nessling-Douglas,Jason Ninness,Desireh Sedaghat,Alexis Seymour,Bronwyn Shields,Lawrence Howard Williams,Jim Passon,Mark Sahagun,Everette Webber
Location Management Les Arceneaux,David Ross McCarty,Jessica Seifert McCarty,Virginia McCollam,Matt McLellan,John A. Mmahat Jr.,Jared Richard
Music Department Bob Badami,Michael K. Bauer,Dick Bernstein,T Bone Burnett,Sandy DeCrescent,Marc Gebauer,M.B. Gordy,Tom Hardisty,James Horner,Scott Hosfeld,Jason Lloyd,London Symphony Orchestra,Aaron Martin,Jennifer Nash,Darian Pollard,Simon Rhodes,Jay B. Richardson,Cassandra Richburg,Peter Rotter,Bob Sanders,Ann Savoy,Jay Selvester,Patrick Spain,James Thatcher,Ian Underwood,Sylvia Wells,The Hollywood Studio Symphony,Ryan Johnson,Bryan Pezzone,Tom Raney,Akkara Srauy
Script and Continuity Department Jane Goldsmith
Transportation Department Skip Barbay,Daryle K. Bartney Sr.,Mark Bascle,Virgil Bienemy,Donald Burdett,Donald Dibartolo,Monte Emery,Peter Gondrella,Beau Holden,Earl R. Hurst Sr.,Jerry Jackson,Brad Lips,Skip Long,Vicki Lybrand,Jesse Quiet,Paul Salard III,Albert Samson,Doug Stewart
Additional Crew Benjamin Adams,Malcolm Adams,Gloria Winship Ayon,Chris Barnes,Matthew Barrabee,Garrett Basch,Stephen Bauer,James Bearb,Josef Brandmaier,Bill Breaux,Nicholas Brown,Christopher Butte,Jason Calabro,Kami Calevro,Michelle L. Clarke,Danny Cosmo,Reed Daigle,Theaudric Davis,Frank Duffy,Fletcher Elkington,Andy Evans,Bridget Fenlason,Kenny Gallagher,Flax Glor,Maya Goodwin,Sean Hackett,Florian Harms,Susan Hegarty,Beau Holden,Heath Hood,Ben Jackson,Ingrid Johanson,Michael B. Johnson,Kelly A. Jones,Pamela Kay,Amir R. Khan,Liz Landers,Cynthia LeBlanc,Kelly Lind,Judd Lormand,Dixie Louviere,Aaron Martin,Doug McKay,Isaac Meisenheimer,Janet Melody,Aaron Merrell,Lauren E. Michon,Tim Monich,Charlie Newell,Jason Ninness,Berit Norrenberg,Nathan Parker,Matt Paull,Paul Pawlowski,Robb Porter,Gwendalane Ramos,Jennifer Ray,Crash Richard,William Scharpf,Eric Schmidt,Codie Scott,Claudia Sendlbeck-Schickor,Catherine Shao,Catherine Sibuma,Thomas M. Smalley,Tiffani L. Stephenson,Sean Kevin Sweeney,A. Rachel Tobias,Karla Torres,Ashleigh Tucker,Ian Underwood,Jason Van Haverbeke,Trish Vengoechea,Matthew Vitel,Troy Wagner,Georgianna Whitley,Travis Quentin Young,Ray Zimmerman,Mike Doto,Gale Hansen,Carter Mitchell,Joanna Spears
Thanks Kathleen Blanco,Albert Maysles,Ray Nagin
Genres Drama, Thriller
Companies Columbia Pictures, Relativity Media, Phoenix Pictures
Countries Germany, USA
Languages English
ContentRating PG-13
ImDbRating 6.1
ImDbRatingVotes 24751
MetacriticRating 37
Keywords pulitzer prize source,gender in title,color remake of black and white film,apostrophe in title,punctuation in title