Study Guide

All the President's Men Deep Throat (Hal Holbrook)

Deep Throat (Hal Holbrook)

A Loveless Relationship

No, you haven't accidentally clicked over to a part of the internet you don't want your mom to see. Bob Woodward's nameless informant has more in common with the Cigarette Smoking Man from The X-Files than the infamous Linda Lovelace porno his nickname is from.

The real-life "Deep Throat" didn't reveal his true identity—FBI agent Mark Felt—until 2005. In the film, Deep Throat is kept secret by Woodward.

WOODWARD: I'll never quote you. I wouldn't quote you even as an anonymous source. You'd be on deep background. You can trust me. You know that.

Deep Throat takes his role as covert operative very seriously, meeting Woodward only in dark parking garages and cloaking himself in cigarette smoke. You always expect him to throw a smoke bomb and disappear into thin air like a ninja. In one scene, Woodward turns away for a second, and when he turns back, he's gone.

If this were a David Fincher movie, we'd be suspicious that Deep Throat existed at all. The film uses these mysterious scenes to create a feeling of suspense.

The Puzzlemaster

But we know from real life that Deep Throat does exist, although he only parcels out hints to Bob Woodward in little cryptic bits. He's like the Old Man in the cave in Legend of Zelda. Pop quiz: Two of the follow lines are from the Old Man in the cave, one is from Deep Throat. Which one is Deep Throat's quote?

A. It's dangerous to go alone! Take this.
B. Master using it and you can have this.
C. Follow the money.

The answer is…

DEEP THROAT: Follow the money.

Deep Throat's an expert in giving Woodward hints that frustrate him just as much as they help. Woodward can't publish anything he says, and he often can't figure out where he's being led. Basically, Deep Throat frustrates Woodward by being more cryptic than a Sudoku puzzle on Friday.

WOODWARD: All we've got are pieces. We can't seem to figure out what the puzzle is supposed to look like.

Finally, after much run-around, Deep Throat confirms that Haldeman was behind the break-in. Come on dude, why didn't you say that in first place?