Best Movies by Farr
Secret Honor Poster
Released Runtime Category
1984 90 Drama, The Criterion Collection
Director Language
Robert Altman English
Philip Baker Hall

Secret Honor

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What's it About

Shortly after his fall from grace and resignation following the Watergate scandal, former U.S. president Richard M. Nixon (Hall) sits alone in his private study late at night, dictating his memoirs, with a bottle of Chivas close at hand. Downing a few drinks, then a few more, Nixon rants bitterly about Khruschev and Kissinger, Castro and the Kennedys, revisiting his past glories and failures while attempting to rehabilitate his tainted image.

Why we love it

A filmed adaptation of Philip Baker Hall's tour de force one-man show, Altman's "Secret Honor" presents Nixon as a blustering paranoid-obsessive consumed by rage and a crippling insecurity, but also as a man with deep regrets about his life and legacy. Hall is haunting as the broken, isolated former leader, and Altman's unique visual sensibility lends a restrained but effective cinematic quality to the single-actor, single-setting environment. Disturbing and poignant, "Secret Honor" is a complex look at a misguided, misunderstood, tragic figure.

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BEST MOVIES BY FARR is your personal guide to great movies to rent, stream, or buy; to watch at home or on-the-go. Led by film advocate John Farr, the Best Movies by Farr team works as a "quality filter" for the discerning moviegoer. Every day, we bring you the best of the best, the fantastic familiar films and hidden gems, to answer that age-old question: "What should we watch tonight?"