Path to War (2002)

TV Movie  |   |  Drama  |  18 May 2002 (USA)
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In the mid-1960s, President Johnson and his foreign-policy team debate the decision to withdraw from or escalate the war in Vietnam.



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Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 26 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
General Earle G. Wheeler
Everett Dirksen
Marny Clifford
Luci Baines Johnson
Walt Rostow
Adam Yarmolinsky


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


While one war was being fought in Vietnam another was being fought in the White House. See more »




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Official Sites:



Release Date:

18 May 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Sur le chemin de la guerre  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$17,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


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 »


When Johnson is praying in the church, footage is shown of aircraft being launched from a carrier. The second aircraft is an F-14 Tomcat, which wasn't introduced until 1974. See more »


Robert McNamara, Secretary of Defense: This is a heavily-defended target in a very populated area.
Gen. Earle 'Buzz' Wheeler: The photos are right here, Mr. President ...
Robert McNamara, Secretary of Defense: The photos are meaningless! The target is heavily defended. The pilots jettison their bombs while they're under attack. Now, I've been asking for two years why they don't just come straight up the river - that way, they dump their bombs, they go in the water and not on the people, and I still haven't got an answer!
Gen. Earle 'Buzz' Wheeler: Coming in from the gulf involves an extra turn, with our backs to those heavy...
See more »


Featured in The 60th Annual Golden Globe Awards (2003) See more »


Artist's Life
Written by Johann Strauss (as Johann Strauss)
Performed by The Rick Fleishman Orchestra
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User Reviews

curious omission
16 May 2003 | by (Blacksburg, VA) – See all my reviews

Although I immensely enjoyed & admired this film, I was struck by

a curious omission: there is neither an appearance by nor a

reference to Hubert Humphrey, LBJ's VP at the time. Even his

appearance at the opening inaugural ball would have helped. If

his role were insignificant or non-existent, there should have been

some reference to this; if he tried to persuade LBJ to withdraw our

troops from Vietnam & were shut out of further counseling

sessions because of this, that too should have been mentioned.

When HH ran as Dem prez candidate in 1968, he was burdened

by the war just as LBJ would have been. If there were a line about

Humphrey (& 1 or 2 lines might be all that would be necessary), I

missed it. Or were there legal problems that made the director or

writer or producer determine not to allude to him?

7 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Recent Posts
Typical Hollywood tkema468
Superb, bravo! jk80
Always figured Johnson to be more of a hard-ass MisterKyle
The war was lost before it was fought dazfiddy
Alterior Motives?....... fjkj123
Why was Gary Sinise not credited cfosdick
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