All the King's Men is a novel by Robert Penn Warren first published in 1946. About the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0156012952/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0156012952&linkCode=as2&tag=tra0c7-20&linkId=5c47e07b192cc8c89f3c05303b6a680a
Its title is drawn from the nursery rhyme Humpty Dumpty. In 1947 Warren won the Pulitzer Prize for All the King's Men. It was adapted for film in 1949 and 2006; the 1949 version won the Academy Award for Best Picture. It is rated the 36th greatest novel of the 20th century by Modern Library, and it was chosen as one of Time magazine's 100 best novels since 1923.
Besides the early verse play version Proud Flesh, Robert Penn Warren has written several stage adaptations of All the King's Men, one of them in close collaboration with famous German theatre director Erwin Piscator in 1947.
The story was adapted for radio by NBC University Theatre and broadcast in January 1949. Wayne Morris played Jack Burden, with Paul Frees as Willie Stark.
All the King's Men, a movie made based on Warren's novel, was released several months later in 1949. The film won three Oscars that year: Best Picture, Best Actor (Broderick Crawford), and Best Supporting Actress (Mercedes McCambridge). The movie was also nominated for four more categories. In 2001 the United States Library of Congress deemed the film "culturally significant", and selected it for preservation in the National Film Registry. It is noted, however, for deviating significantly from the novel's storyline.
NBC network's The Kraft Theatre broadcast a television version of the story in May 1958. This adaptation was directed by Sidney Lumet and starred Neville Brand as Willie Stark.
A Soviet TV adaptation named Vsya Korolevskaya Rat' (All the King's Men) was produced in 1971 by Byelorussian TV. It starred Georgiy Zhzhonov (Willie Stark), Mikhail Kozakov (Jack Burden), Alla Demidova (Anne), Oleg Yefremov (Adam), Rostislav Platt (Irwin), Lev Durov (Sugar Boy).
Another film version was produced in 2006. Writer/director Steven Zaillian has said it was his goal to more faithfully follow Warren's version of the story than the original film did.
American composer Carlisle Floyd adapted the novel as a full-length grand opera entitled Willie Stark, commissioned and premiered by the Houston Grand Opera in 1981.
Adrian Hall adapted and directed a stage version of the novel at Trinity Repertory Company in Providence, Rhode Island in April 1987. This adaptation has been staged at Trinity and other theater companies in the years since.
All the King's Men portrays the dramatic political rise and governorship of Willie Stark, a cynical populist in the American South during the 1930s. The novel is narrated by Jack Burden, a political reporter who comes to work as Governor Stark's right-hand man. The trajectory of Stark's career is interwoven with Jack Burden's life story and philosophical reflections: "the story of Willie Stark and the story of Jack Burden are, in one sense, one story."
The novel evolved from a verse play that Warren began writing in 1936 entitled Proud Flesh. One of the characters in Proud Flesh was named Willie Talos, in reference to the brutal character Talus in Edmund Spenser's late 16th century work The Faerie Queene.
A 2002 version of All the King's Men, re-edited by Noel Polk (ISBN 0-15-100610-5), keeps the name "Willie Talos" for the Boss as originally written in Warren's manuscript, and is known as the "restored edition" for using this name as well as printing several passages removed from the original edit.
Warren claimed that All the King's Men was "never intended to be a book about politics."