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I'm reminded of the old description of Robert Heinlein's female characters as "Heinlein men with breasts." Big ones. That you can touch.

While I enjoyed reading the book, a better book for getting a sense of what really went on during the time is Steve Coll's Ghost Wars. Unsurprisingly, it was a little more complex than Charlie Wilson single-handedly winning the Cold War.

Mike Schilling

I'm almost surprised Nichols didn't put black-framed horn rims on her so that he could have a scene where she takes them off and unpins her hair and shakes it loose to reveal that she's the most gorgeous woman in Charlie's life.

But Nichols did precisely that with the creche-loving constituent's daughter.



As outdated and out-of-touch as I am, I am still not old enough to remember Mike Nichols and Elaine May on television, other than in bad kinescope clips, so I may have missed something blindingly obvious from their early days.

But your diatribe about Charlie Wilson's War reminded me about how much I have always loathed Elaine May's The Heartbreak Kid, particularly the way she treated her own daughter on screen. Both Nichols and May seem to have attitudes about women that are a throwback to the 1950s -- in Charlie Wilson's War none of the women act like women in the early 1980s Washington professional world that I knew.

In some bizarre way, their caricaturized view of women is the flip side of male anxiety about women in the 1950s as seen in classic film noir.

I'm glad the forum on The Graduate is past my bedtime -- thinking about a supposedly "literate" director like Nichols more at home on "Broadway" than "Hollywood" in these terms is making my head hurt, particularly in light of the late political unpleasantness. I think I'm going to have to stick with Doctor Doolittle.


Sorry -- but when I throw Nichols' Carnal Knowledge into the mix, my headache just got a lot worse. But that look that Nichols gets out of Benjamin/Hoffman at the very end of The Graduate becomes a lot less enigmatic when you put Carnal Knowledge alongside.



Sorry, but I liked charlie wilson's war. It made me laugh. I thought the point was to show who was making these kinds of decsions so for me it was pretty effective. And hanks was spot on.

donna darko

Lance and I were discussing the same thing at Wednesday Night at the Movies. There's a streak of misogyny, even misanthopy, in his films. His women are static and conventional or they are victims of sexism, i.e. Closer, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Carnal Knowledge, The Graduate, Postcards from the Edge, Working Girl, Regarding Henry.


Hi Donna,

I didnt see any female victims of men in "Closer" - and Nichols was true to the text of the play - I saw it on Broadway. If anything, the young woman is using her sex, not the other way around.

I didnt see any sexism in the handling of Charlie Wilson's war either - the guy WAS/IS that way, Nichols didnt make it up. And if anything, the rich Texan woman is calling all the shots - not Charlie. That is kinda the point, I thought.

Don't know about the rest -

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