24-26 Leicester Square,
London, England WC2H 7JY

BFI London Film Festival: Opening night Gala - Frost/Nixon

Peter Morgan's electrifying depiction of the historic encounter between Richard Nixon and jet-setting television personality David Frost.

Peter Morgan's electrifying depiction of the historic encounter between Richard Nixon, the disgraced president with a legacy to save, and David Frost, a jet-setting television personality with a name to make, began its hugely successful life as a hit on the London stage. Now award-winning director Ron Howard brings this remarkable story to the screen, not only recreating the on-air interview, but also showing the motivations of both men, and the around-the-world, behind the scenes manoeuvring and machinations at play. For three years after being forced to resign, Nixon remained silent. But in summer 1977, the former commander-in-chief agreed to sit for one all-inclusive interview to confront the questions of his time in office and the Watergate scandal that ended his presidency. Nixon surprised everyone in selecting Frost as his televised confessor, intending to outfox the breezy British showman and rehabilitate himself in the hearts and minds of the American people.

Despite Frost's consummate grasp of the power and workings of television, his team harboured doubts about their boss' ability to hold his own. But as cameras rolled, a charged battle of wits ensued. Would Nixon evade questions of his role in one of the nation's greatest disgraces? Or would Frost confound critics and wrestle accountability from the man who'd built a career out of stonewalling? Howard, Morgan and their collaborators have comprehensively opened out the source material and made it thoroughly cinematic, whilst keeping its integrity intact. This includes sticking with the original stage play casting of Tony Award winning Frank Langella as Nixon, and Michael Sheen as Frost, adding to his already acclaimed repertoire of 'real life' roles. Supporting them is a formidable array of American and British acting talent, including Kevin Bacon, Oliver Platt, Rebecca Hall, Toby Jones and Matthew Macfadyen. Imaginative, intelligent and darkly amusing, this riveting study of a unique moment in cultural and political life makes a fitting opening for our festival, and we are proud to present the World Premiere screening.
Sandra Hebron

The screening on Sat 18 Oct with have subtitles and audio-description.

Directed by: Ron Howard
Written by: Peter Morgan
Cast: Frank Langella, Michael Sheen, Rebecca Hall, Toby Jones, Sam Rockwell, Matthew Macfadyen
Distributor: Universal Pictures International
Country: USA
Year: 2008
Running time: 122min

Added by Craig Grobler on September 11, 2008