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
The airport in Vietnam is actually Camarillo Airport, Camarillo, CA. See more »
At one point Robert McNamara tells President Johnson that there are 13 US battalions in Vietnam, and goes on to say this is 51,000 troops. This would mean approximately 4,000 troops per battalion. Given that a US battalion would only have 500-800 troops he is actually talking about 13 brigades (each containing several battalions) and not 13 battalions. See more »
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. Everybody's got Bob McNamara's ulcer but Bob McNamara. Sometimes I think it's all just a Goddamn academic exercise to him.
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It is hard to watch 'Path to War' and avoid remarking the similarity between historic and present circumstances. Although dedicated to the presidency of Lyndon Johnson, the film brings to mind the situations the current US President had to face - after being elected on an internal social agenda, he has to face an external conflict and runs down on a spiral towards an external war costly in American and other peoples human lives. The film is interesting by itself, although there may be many comments to be made on the accuracy of the historical details. 'Path to War' also succeeds better than other films in bringing to screen historical characters and giving them a life of their own - Johnson, Clark Clifford, Bob McNamara are well built film characters in the film. I recommend this film, and not only to the history fans - 8 out of 10 on my personal scale.
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