Clearly, there is no reason to avoid the biological fact of my non-existence during the Watergate scandal. In addition, I received minimal education on the topic during my formative years, and, having such a strong background in history coming out of high school, never was required to take a single history class throughout college. To sum up, my knowledge of the depth of the scandal, and the details surrounding it were vague at best.
For these combined reasons, I found the original Nixon interview with David Frost on the topic of Watergate to be both an enlightening recap of events from the proverbial horse’s mouth, and an ideal primer for the fictionalized, Oscar-nominated film Frost/Nixon.
The two DVDs could most certainly be packaged together; one lends depth and context to the other. If I understand correctly, the Original Interviews is an edited DVD presentation of the Watergate portion of the BBC series. What I got out of it was a more thorough understanding of the actual events of the break-in, and the longest sustained exposure I’ve ever had to Richard Nixon, albeit through the camera lens.
Watching the original interview made me appreciate Frank Langella‘s portrayal quite a bit more. Watching the real Nixon, you can see that:
- He is keenly aware of the television audience, and how he appears on camera
- He really appears to believe that he didn’t do anything wrong
- His regrets are not about the Watergate incident, but rather that he screwed up and couldn’t be president anymore
… all of these things were brilliantly conveyed by Langella, and I’m kind of sorry I didn’t watch the original interview first, because I might have enjoyed the performance even more.
If you have some interest in history, Nixon specifically, or political scandal generally, watching this pair is a fine way to spend 3 or 4 hours.