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->''"When the President does it, it's not illegal."''

'''''Frost/Nixon''''' is a 2008 historical drama film based on the play of the same name by Peter Morgan which dramatizes the Frost/Nixon interviews of 1977. The film version was directed by Ron Howard and produced by Brian Grazer of Imagine Entertainment and Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner of Working Title Films for Universal Pictures.

The film reunites its original two stars from the West End and Broadway productions of the play, Creator/MichaelSheen as British television journalist/comedian David Frost and Frank Langella as former United States President UsefulNotes/RichardNixon.
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!!This film provides examples of:
* AffablyEvil: Nixon is pretty witty throughout.
* AgeLift: Swifty Lazar was six years older than Richard Nixon but Creator/TobyJones, who plays Swifty, is nearly thirty years younger than Frank Langella, who plays Nixon.
* ArtisticLicenseHistory: Ron Howard discusses in the DVD-commentary how he deliberately used dramatic license as the late-night phone call never happened and on the other hand talks about how Nixon's biography includes not so distant episodes.
** The movie also ignores that Frost and Nixon were already well-acquainted: Frost had interviewed Nixon during the '68 Presidential campaign, and Nixon even invited Frost to host his 1970 White House Christmas party. It's certainly true, though, that Nixon and his aides didn't take him or the interviews seriously at first.
* BerserkButton: Nixon does not like being questioned about Watergate.
* BigFancyHouse: La Casa Pacifica.
* BreakThemByTalking: Richard Nixon attempts to do this to Frost with a late night phone call, but as his drunken ramblings progress, all his lines only reveal how broken and full of self-loathing he is. Frost doesn't need to say ShutUpHannibal- he knows that all he needs to do is corner Nixon and he'll destroy himself.
* ChekhovsGun: Reston wants to check out some transcripts at the federal courthouse library. No, ''waste of time'', everyone assures him.[[note]]In real life, Reston found a couple unpublished conversations between Nixon and Charles Colson that proved beyond any reasonable doubt that Nixon was lying rather blatantly about when he first became involved in the conspiracy, and knew about the cover-up. The first conversation Frost quotes in the film actually came from a tape made not on June 20, 1972, but February 13, 1973. Furthermore, a tape made ''the very next day'' captures, in another conversation with Colson, Nixon revealing that he knew about said cover-up '''''a whole month''''' before the famous "cancer on the presidency" conversation he had with John Dean, which is the next conversation that David quotes. The February 14th tape ends with Nixon saying this: "That's where we gotta cut our losses. My losses are to be cut. The President's losses got to be cut on the cover-up deal." His [[OhCrap reaction]] upon hearing that quote said it all.[[/note]]
* ExpectingSomeoneTaller: {{Inverted|Trope}}. Upon seeing Nixon in person, Reston declares he's taller than he'd imagined. This is because Frank Langella, who plays Nixon, is about five inches taller than the President.
* FromNobodyToNightmare: Nixon views Frost as a nobody he can manipulate to improve his image. Thanks to this series, Frost became a famous interviewer.
* GilliganCut: Jim bitterly says that he'll never shake the hand of a monster like Nixon. Cue Nixon arriving and Jim being so starstruck he shakes Nixon's hand almost unconsciously.
* GoldenSnitch: Due to the necessity of creating more tension for the dramatization. Unlike what happened in real life, Nixon is in control for three of the four interviews, but Frost's success with the last one determines the whole outcome. This is {{lampshade|Hanging}}d by Reston.
* HardWorkMontage: Frost after the drunk phone call from Nixon.
* HistoricalVillainUpgrade: Jack Brennan as played by Kevin Bacon is a humorless military man devoted to Nixon, who threatens to ruin Frost if he makes Nixon look bad. In RealLife, Brennan, a former Marine, is known for his kind, friendly personality, with Diane Sawyer noting him as "The funniest guy you'll ever meet". David Frost called him a "delightful man" and had such praise for him and the rest of the Nixon team that he once said if ''they'' were his White House staff, the whole Watergate scandal might have been averted because they could have talked Nixon out of it.
** The portrayal of Brennan hews much closer to H.R. Haldeman, Nixon's White House chief of staff, who ''was'' both unflinchingly devoted to Nixon, and notoriously mean and humorless - he proudly said "I'm the president's son of a bitch." Presumably this comes down to RuleOfDrama; making Brennan a nice guy who cooperated with Frost's team wouldn't have provided much tension.
* HonorBeforeReason: Nixon claims this as his reason for not informing authorities of his men's actions, noting he had known them since they were children. He later calls his mistakes "Mistakes of the heart, not of the head".
* HypocriticalHumor: James Reston, Jr., the researcher who despises Nixon, swears he'll never shake hands with him; he does so moments later, stunned by being face-to-face with an ex-President of the United States. Zelnick wastes absolutely no time in reminding him of that: [[SarcasmMode "Oh, that was devastating.]] ''[[SarcasmMode Withering.]]'' [[SarcasmMode I don't think he's ever going to get over that."]] Reston promptly tells him to [[PrecisionFStrike fuck off]].
* ItHasBeenAnHonor: Nixon's drunk phone call.
* ItsAllAboutMe: Nixon can be like this at times. When answering questions about Vietnam, he frames answers by playing up his own moral strength and turning his decision into a noble self-sacrifice, casting himself as an undeserving victim. Snidely lampshaded by Jim who responds to Nixon's claims of "Being the last casualty of the Vietnam War" with a bitter "Tell that to the amputees".
* MindScrew: Nixon is a master at this, including a hilarious moment when he asks Frost if he'd spent the night fornicating moments before the cameras start rolling. Subverted when Nixon rings up Frost in the middle of his HeroicBSOD; at first it appears he's trying to further damage Frost's morale, but Nixon is actually drunk. When Frost realises just before his final interview that Nixon can't remember the conversation, it's our first sign that the advantage has passed to Frost.
* MoneyDearBoy: InUniverse, Nixon's reason for agreeing to be interviewed in the first place.
* NeverMyFault: Nixon refuses to accept any responsibility for Watergate, which is partly why Frost and Co. want to do the interview: They want him to finally confess and admit his own guilt.
* NiceToTheWaiter: Nixon is portrayed as being quite a pleasant man in this film, his relationship with Jack Brennan being almost fatherly. Whether it averts or sticks to the rule of this trope depends on your view.
* NiceJobFixingItVillain: Nixon's late night phone call motivates a demoralised Frost to get off his butt and start prepping for the crucial Watergate interview.
* NotSoDifferent: The phone call about [[SelfMadeMan self-made men]] struggling against the "snobs".
-->"Well, to hell with ''that''! We're not going to let that happen, either of us. We're going to show those bums, we're going to make 'em choke on our ''continued'' success, our ''continued'' headlines. Our continued awards, and power, and glory! We are gonna '''make those motherfuckers choke'''!
* PapaWolf: Inverted. Jack Brennan is extremely protective of Nixon, who serves as a father figure, and threatens to ruin Frost if he damages his image.
* PetTheDog: After the last interview, Nixon plays this completely straight.
* PrecisionFStrike: The usually elegant Nixon going on an enraged rant ending with "We are gonna make the motherfuckers choke!"
* RuleOfDrama: The two had considerably less riding on the outcome of the interviews than is implied.
* SpeechCentricWork: Both play and film.
* ScrewTheRulesIMakeThem: Nixon honestly believes he averted this.
-->'''Nixon''': When the President does it, it's not illegal.
** Doubles as WhamLine.
--->'''Frost:''' ''[[FlatWhat ... what?]]''
* VeryLooselyBasedOnATrueStory: Jack Brennan is actually quite funny and not all that stern, Nixon got 20% of the ad revenue from the interviews enticing him to want to get more people to watch it, there was no midnight call about "Cheeseburgers," and Frost thought he did a great job on the first three interviews. Also, the film overstates the impact of the interviews: Many in the media felt that Nixon got the best of Frost, Nixon didn't admit to anything that wasn't already public knowledge, and the ratings of the interviews dropped dramatically after the first night (when all of the Watergate material was discussed).
* WhereAreTheyNowEpilogue: A very short one reminding the viewers that Nixon's corrupt actions as President haunted him until his death in 1994 and that what he is most remembered for now is creating the [[ScandalGate -gate suffix to any political scandal]]. It also has information about Frost.
* WorthyOpponent: Nixon calls Frost this in the final scene.
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