Dick Director On The Challenges Of Making A Watergate Comedy And Whether It Can Be Done Today

As Watergate turns 50, Andrew Fleming tells THR why he’s proud to have made the 1999 Nixon-skewered film, starring Kirsten Dunst, Michelle Williams, and Will Ferrell, even though it wasn’t a hit at the time.

The success of the Oscar-winning All the President’s Men

The attraction over the mysterious identity of Deep Throat, the Watergate whistleblower, helped fuel the success of 1976’s Oscar-winning All the President’s Men, but it also led to another, very unexpected project: 1999’s Dick, Two Teenage Girls. A bouncy comedy about someone who inadvertently finds himself at the center of a scandal.

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President Nixon’s dog walker

Dick focuses on Betsy (Kirsten Dunst) and Arlene (Michelle Williams), a pair of 15-year-old best friends who wind up as dog walkers to President Nixon and, somehow, Washington Post reporters Bob. For Woodward, the famous informant turns out to be Deep Throat. Ferrell) and Carl Bernstein (Bruce McCulloch). (It wasn’t until 2005 that Mark Felt, a former associate director of the FBI, revealed himself to be the post’s anonymous source.)

Co-wrote the Dick script with Sheryl Longin

On June 17, 1972, before the 50th anniversary of the break-in at the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee, which led Nixon to resign following his administration’s efforts to cover up his involvement, director Andrew Fleming—who along with Sherrill Longine Dick co-wrote the script. — tells The Hollywood Reporter that he remembers trying to come up with the right story to comment on what an early decade was like for himself.

The early ’90s are really hard to pin down in the decade

We kept trying to find the essence of the ’70s, but at the time it was hard to really look at the decade properly in the early ’90s. Was it deep throat?’ And we just laughed – it was really just a joke. And then we kept absorbing it, and it never went away. We just kept finding it amusing and telling people about it. He said, ‘It’s hilarious. No one will ever make that film.'”

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