MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 946 this week

Path to War (2002)

TV Movie  -   -  Drama  -  18 May 2002 (USA)
7.5
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.5/10 from 2,035 users  
Reviews: 36 user | 1 critic

In the mid-1960s, President Johnson and his foreign-policy team debate the decision to withdraw from or escalate the war in Vietnam.

Director:

Writer:

0Check in
0Share...

On Disc

at Amazon

Editors' Spotlight

IMDb Picks: October

IMDb's editors share the movies and TV shows they are excited to see in October.


User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 35 titles
created 30 Nov 2012
 
a list of 39 titles
created 15 May 2013
 
a list of 21 titles
created 18 May 2013
 
a list of 21 titles
created 20 Aug 2013
 
a list of 35 titles
created 9 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Path to War" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Path to War (TV Movie 2002)

Path to War (TV Movie 2002) on IMDb 7.5/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Path to War.
Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 25 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

George Wallace (TV Movie 1997)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Following Alabama governor George Wallace through segregation, presidential elections, an assassination attempt and personal trauma.

Director: John Frankenheimer
Stars: Gary Sinise, Mare Winningham, Clarence Williams III
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

Cold War drama about two gung-ho border commanders (Roy Scheider, Jurgen Prochnow) who carry out their own private war against each other on the German - Czechoslovakia border.

Director: John Frankenheimer
Stars: Roy Scheider, Jürgen Prochnow, Tim Reid
Andersonville (TV Movie 1996)
Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

The story of the most notorious Confederate prisoner of war camp in the American Civil War.

Director: John Frankenheimer
Stars: Jarrod Emick, Frederic Forrest, Ted Marcoux
The Burning Season (TV Movie 1994)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Based on the true story of a Brazilian rubber tapper who leads his people in protest against government and developers, who want to cut down their part of the rainforest for a new road and ... See full summary »

Director: John Frankenheimer
Stars: Raul Julia, Carmen Argenziano, Sonia Braga
Action | Romance | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

David Raybourne is an American journalist covering political news in Italy during the 1970's. He is evolved with the Red Brigades when trying to help a friend (Alison King), who ... See full summary »

Director: John Frankenheimer
Stars: Andrew McCarthy, Sharon Stone, Valeria Golino
Ambush (2001)
Action | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A mysterious BMW driver must protect an eccentric old foreigner from criminals.

Director: John Frankenheimer
Stars: Clive Owen, Tomas Milian, Franklin Dennis Jones
The Challenge (1982)
Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A down-and-out American boxer becomes involved in a feud between two Japanese brothers.

Director: John Frankenheimer
Stars: Scott Glenn, Toshirô Mifune, Donna Kei Benz
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

The son of a German General becomes part of a mysterious conspiracy to gain hidden Nazi funds.

Director: John Frankenheimer
Stars: Michael Caine, Anthony Andrews, Victoria Tennant
Dead Bang (1989)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A cop is gunned down on Xmas eve. Jerry Beck, the homicide cop given the job of hunting the killer, investigates some leads which bring him into contact with a group of white supremacy ... See full summary »

Director: John Frankenheimer
Stars: Don Johnson, Penelope Ann Miller, William Forsythe
Riviera (TV Movie 1987)
Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  
Director: John Frankenheimer
Stars: Patrick Bauchau, Elyssa Davalos, Daniel Emilfork
Short | Action
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Biker Thief steals a bottle of 7UP from James Bond, then he chases thief down in a tank.

Director: John Frankenheimer
Stars: Eric Pilch
The Rainmaker (TV Movie 1982)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Traveling rainmaker Starbuck arrives at the drought-ridden Curry place, promising rain for the farm and perhaps a romance for 'spinster sister' Lizzie

Director: John Frankenheimer
Stars: Lonny Chapman, James Cromwell, Tommy Lee Jones
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
Richard Goodwin
...
...
General Earle G. Wheeler
...
...
Everett Dirksen
...
...
Marny Clifford
...
Luci Baines Johnson
...
Walt Rostow
...
Adam Yarmolinsky
...
Edit

Storyline

A portrayal of the Johnson presidency and its spiraling descent into the Vietnam War. Acting on often conflicting advice from his Secretary of Defense, Robert McNamara and other advisers, President Johnson finds his domestic policy agenda for the Great Society overtaken by an ever demanding commitment to ending the war. It also depicts his political skills as he crosses swords with political foes such as Bobby Kennedy and Governor George Wallace. Despite support and encouragement from stalwart friends such as Clark Clifford, Johnson realizes his management of the war no longer has the confidence of the American people and announces that he will not seek the nomination of the Democratic party for the the 1968 election. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Beyond the battlefields of Vietnam. Inside the halls of power. A different kind of war would decide the fate of a nation. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

18 May 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Sur le chemin de la guerre  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$17,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

16:9
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Gary Sinise:  Gov. George Wallace. He previously played Wallace in George Wallace (1997), also directed by John Frankenheimer. The footage of Wallace on television is from Sinise's performance in that film. In the scene right after he is also showed taking a publicly shot with LBJ, then talking to LBJ then ending with a press conference. See more »

Quotes

George Ball, Undersecretary of State: [Looking at McNamara and being slightly drunk] Look at him! His wife's got an ulcer. His kid's got an ulcer. Everyone's got Bob McNamarara's ulcer but Bob McNamara. Sometimes I think it's all just a Goddamn academic exercise.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The 54th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Fanfare for the Common Man
(uncredited)
Composed by Aaron Copland (1942)
Heard on soundtrack when LBJ enters Congress.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Lyndon Johnson: Tragic Figure?
8 September 2006 | by (Manitoba, Canada) – See all my reviews

Well-made, at times moving HBO dramatization of the goings-on within the White House as the Vietnam War escalated under Lyndon Johnson.

Michael Gambon plays the U.S. president as a sort of tragic figure torn between his passion for "Great Society" social programs and a resiliency to win the war. The Johnson seen in PATH TO WAR is certainly not the war-monger that protesters of his day alleged. He's meticulous and thoughtful, though perhaps too easily persuaded by his advisers, most notably Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara (Alec Baldwin in his most memorable performance in a long time) and Clark Clifford (an equally superb Donald Sutherland).

In his final film, director John Frankenheimer could be criticized for being a touch soft on Johnson. But this approach, fair or not, serves the film well, allowing us to more easily empathize with the straight-talking Texan. He had men of very high stature and respect telling him that just one more bombing, just one more plane full of troops, just a few more months and the war would be won. The viewer has the 20/20 hindsight of history, but Frankenheimer was careful to remind us that Johnson did not. This makes for some emotional moments. Scenes of the reluctant war president signing sympathy letters for families of the fallen are quietly moving, as is his trip to meet with the wounded in Vietnam. Just as poignant is the instance of Johnson stomping out of a meeting, instructing a speech writer that because of the war's costs, there could be no mention of his beloved Great Society in the next State of the Union address. It seems all Johnson wanted was a better life for Americans; all he got was a bloody quagmire.

As the film and war rage on, body counts rising, Johnson unravels. Consumed by years of warfare with no end in sight, he becomes tense, bitter and worn down. Whether they like Johnson or not, the viewer feels the weight on his shoulders. Even someone unfamiliar with how this story ends could predict it from watching PATH TO WAR. To conclude the 165-minute running time, Johnson delivers his famous televised address announcing he would not seek re-election. He may have wanted to, yet knew he could not.

PATH TO WAR is a sharp interpretation of a tragically fascinating era. Unlike some other versions of political history (Oliver Stone, anyone?), the film never comes off as mean-spirited, even toward characters who remain infamous. It is a straightforward look at the complexities of the often-muddy waters of war and politics. It is also a quite memorable piece of work.


6 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Typical Hollywood tkema468
Always figured Johnson to be more of a hard-ass MisterKyle
The war was lost before it was fought dazfiddy
Superb, bravo! jk80
Alterior Motives?....... fjkj123
Why was Gary Sinise not credited cfosdick
Discuss Path to War (2002) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?