Watergate – Or: How We Learned to Stop an Out of Control President

Who does not know the famous images of Richard Nixon raising both arms to give a double victory sign? The last time he made this gesture was after his resignation in 1974, which he justified with the words: ‘the interests of America first’. This had been preceded by two years of tantalisingly slow revelations about a barely imaginable network of criminal machinations by the White House. The trigger was the break-in at Democratic Party headquarters in a building complex called ‘Watergate’. The story of this disclosure, much of which took place in public, has been told many times, also on the big screen. Since then, however, some crucial audio documents previously classified as secret have now been declassified, giving Oscar winner Charles Ferguson cause to reconstruct the case in its entirety. This four-hour montage of TV excerpts, interviews with contemporaries and re-enactments of tape recordings from the Oval Office takes on the momentum of a thriller. What emerges is an almost Shakespearean web of intrigue, lies and betrayal, conducted for, against and not least by a man who was not prepared to lose and who deeply despised the establishment.
by Charles Ferguson
with Douglas Hodge, John Hopkins, Mark Dexter, Elliot Levey, Will Keen, Jill Wine-Banks, Richard Ben-Veniste, George Frampton, Elizabeth Holtzman, John Dean, Carl Bernstein, Bob Woodward
USA 2018 English 262’ Black/White & Colour Documentary form


  • Douglas Hodge (Richard Nixon)
  • John Hopkins (H. R. “Bob” Haldeman)
  • Mark Dexter (John Dean)
  • Elliot Levey (Henry Kissinger)
  • Will Keen (John Ehrlichman)
  • Jill Wine-Banks (herself)
  • Richard Ben-Veniste (himself)
  • George Frampton (himself)
  • Elizabeth Holtzman (herself)
  • John Dean (himself)
  • Carl Bernstein (himself)
  • Bob Woodward (himself)


Written and Directed by Charles Ferguson
Cinematography Yuanchen Liu, Daphne Matziaraki, Morgan Schmidt Feng, Shana Hagan, Dennis Madden (reenactments)
Editing Joe Garrity, Amy Foote, Hemal Trivedi, Cindy Lee
Music Ben Holiday
Sound Michael Jones
Costumes Dominic Webb
Make-Up Dominic Webb
Casting Sasha Robertson, Sarah Trevis
Assistant Director Joe Garrity
Production Manager Steve Murphy
Producer Krista Parris
Co-Producer Caitlin Cutter
Executive Producers Mike Stiller, Molly Thompson, Jana Bennett, John Sloss, Dana O'Keefe

Produced by

Charles Ferguson

The filmmaker and writer is founder and president of Representational Pictures and the director and producer of the Oscar-winning documentary Inside Job. His film No End in Sight was also nominated for an Oscar, while Time to Choose focused on the effects of climate change and the challenge of global sustainability.

Filmography (documentaries)

2007 No End in Sight 2010 Inside Job 2015 Time to Choose 2018 Watergate – Or: How We Learned to Stop an Out of Control President

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2019