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The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S. McNamara
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The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S. McNamara (2003) More at IMDbPro »

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The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S. McNamara -- A film about the former US Secretary of Defense and the various difficult lessons he learned about the nature and conduct of modern war.
The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S. McNamara -- HV post

Overview

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View company contact information for The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S. McNamara on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
14 January 2004 (France) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
A film about the former US Secretary of Defense and the various difficult lessons he learned about the nature and conduct of modern war. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Awards:
Won Oscar. Another 9 wins & 7 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Lessons Learned See more (152 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order)

Robert McNamara ... Himself
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Fidel Castro ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)

Barry Goldwater ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)

Lyndon Johnson ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)

John F. Kennedy ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Nikita Khrushchev ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Curtis LeMay ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)

Errol Morris ... Interviewer (voice) (uncredited)

Richard Nixon ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Harry Reasoner ... Himself - TV interviewer (archive footage) (uncredited)

Franklin D. Roosevelt ... Himself (voice) (archive footage) (uncredited)
Woodrow Wilson ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
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Directed by
Errol Morris 
 
Produced by
Julie Ahlberg .... producer
Robert Fernandez .... co-producer
Jon Kamen .... executive producer
Adam Kosberg .... associate producer
Jack Lechner .... executive producer
Robert May .... executive producer
Errol Morris .... producer
Ann Petrone .... associate producer
Frank Scherma .... executive producer
John Sloss .... executive producer
Michael Williams .... producer
 
Original Music by
Philip Glass 
 
Cinematography by
Robert Chappell (director of photography) (as Bob Chappell)
Peter Donahue (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Doug Abel (edited by)
Chyld King (edited by)
Karen Schmeer (edited by)
 
Production Design by
Ted Bafaloukos 
Steve Hardie 
 
Set Decoration by
Liz Chiz 
 
Makeup Department
Donyale McRae .... make-up
Maria Scali .... makeup: interviews
 
Production Management
Tonya Bertram .... production supervisor
Brad Fuller .... post production supervisor
Sarah Gold .... production supervisor: China
Dia Sokol Savage .... production supervisor (as Dia Sokol)
Ben Schneider .... production supervisor: Berlin shoot (uncredited)
Ronald Vietz .... production manager: Germany (uncredited)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Lennie Appelquist .... first assistant director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
Jennifer Ho .... art department coordinator
Steve McNulty .... art director: interviews
Gary Shartsis .... property master
Chris Tragert .... prop assistant
Daniel Turk .... construction coordinator (as Dan Turk)
Jim Utter .... leadman
 
Sound Department
Coll Anderson .... supervising sound editor
Dan Bora .... additional engineer
Stephen Bores .... production sound mixer: interviews (as Steve Bores)
Brian Bowles .... dialogue editor
Hector Castillo .... recording engineer
Lee Dichter .... re-recording mixer
Sean Garnhart .... sound effects editor
Harry Higgins .... recordist
Terrance Laudermilch .... recordist (as Terry Laudermilch)
Ichiho Nishiki .... technical assistant
Tom Paul .... sound designer
Christian Rutledge .... production assistant: sound department
Marilyn Teorey .... assistant sound editor
Sean Garnhart .... sound re-recording mixer (uncredited)
Daniel Perlin .... sound effects editor (uncredited)
 
Visual Effects by
Robin Hobart .... visual effects supervisor
Zachary Morong .... 3D animator
Evan Olson .... animation
Evan Olson .... visual effects
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Sumaya Agha .... still photographer: interviews
Martin Albert .... gaffer: interviews
Dave Cambria .... gaffer: interviews
Steve Cardellini .... key grip
John Cardoni .... gaffer
Tim Carr .... key grip
Joe Christofori .... first camera assistant: interviews
Gregory Daniels Jr. .... first assistant camera (as Greg Daniels)
Elsa Dorfman .... portrait photographer: interviews
Claire Folger .... still photographer: interviews
Aaron Kaikko .... video assistant
Roger Marbury .... key grip: interviews
Robert Ragozzine .... first assistant camera (as Bob Ragozzine)
John Raugalis .... gaffer (as John Ragaulis)
Daisy Smith .... second assistant camera
Timothy M. Sweeney .... second camera assistant: interviews (as Tim Sweeney)
Peter Thomas .... gaffer
Brett Van Ort .... second assistant camera
Frans Wetterings III .... best boy: interviews (as Frans Weterrings)
Billy Witherington .... best boy grip (as Bill Witherington)
Eric Zimmerman .... first assistant camera
Glenn Corbett .... best boy (uncredited)
Tyrone Hoogendyk .... dolly grip: Germany (uncredited)
Charlie Newberry .... camera loader: Washington D.C. (uncredited)
Mark Walpole .... second assistant camera: Washington D.C. (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Eddie Marquez .... wardrobe
Critter Pierce .... wardrobe assistant
Julie Vogel .... wardrobe
 
Editorial Department
Eric Alvarado .... digital intermediate systems colorist
Steven Hathaway .... associate editor
Peter Heady .... high definition on-line editor
Fred Heid .... color timer
Danny Hogan .... editorial assistant: io (as Dan Hogan)
Tom Karras .... colorist assistant
Dan Mooney .... associate editor (as Daniel Mooney)
Benjamin Murray .... digital intermediate titling
Charles Silver .... editorial consultant
Joe Violante .... coordinator: Technicolor
Tricia Wilk .... post-production assistant
 
Music Department
Cat Celebrezze .... associate music producer
Don Christiansen .... producer: CD soundtrack
Jim Keller .... executive music producer
John Kusiak .... additional music
Nico Muhly .... score preparation
Kurt Munkacsi .... music producer
Ichiho Nishiki .... music assistant
Michael Riesman .... musical director
 
Other crew
Christian Akers .... production assistant
Jamie Anschultz .... production assistant
Heidi August .... production accountant
Sarah Belanger .... intern
Kara Bilof .... studio manager
James Blight .... special advisor
Paul Brennan .... production counsel: Sloss Law Office
John Cefalu .... location manager
Karen Corsica .... production coordinator: interviews
Jeff Crocker .... research assistant (as Jeffery Crocker)
Matthew Davey .... laser film recording: Arri
Christopher Fadale .... technical supervisor: interviews (as Chris Fadale)
Joe Harley .... intern
Kevin Hayes .... production coordinator
Peter Heady .... io data editorial
Paul Hu .... photo: McNamara and Nguyen Co Thach
Jeff Huston .... laser film recording: Arri
Claire Jones .... research assistant
Chris Kasick .... assistant to the director (as Chris 'Ox' Kasick)
Dan Kemp .... location manager
Katherine Kim .... intern
Jason Kohn .... research assistant
Alex Kreuter .... graphics supervisor
Jeff Krulik .... research assistant
Janet Lang .... special advisor
John Latenser V .... location manager
Paul Loram .... research assistant
Justin Milner .... intern
Nico Muhly .... assistant: to Philip Glass & Michael Riesman
Ann Petrone .... archival research supervisor
Dina Marie Piscatelli .... production coordinator
Luke Poling .... production assistant
Andy Rice .... research assistant
Justin Rice .... assistant to the director
Ben Schneider .... assistant to production
Julia Sheehan .... special advisor
John Sloss .... production counsel: Sloss Law Office
Tim Spitzer .... executive producer: HD & data services
Shawn Tabor .... military consultant
Shawn Tabor .... research assistant
Jared Washburn .... office production assistant
 
Thanks
James Blight .... acknowledgment: archival footage and photographs provided by
Tim Bono .... special thanks
John Canaday .... special thanks
Jonny Cranson .... special thanks
Frances Fitzgerald .... special thanks
Ellen Fitzpatrick .... special thanks
Chris Florio .... special thanks
Deborah Fortson .... special thanks
Jim Gardner .... special thanks
Jane Gillooly .... special thanks
Harvey Goldberg .... in memory of: University of Wisconsin history professor
Alfred Guzzetti .... special thanks
Peter Hall .... special thanks
Alison Harris .... special thanks
Steven Harris .... special thanks
Paul Jankowski .... special thanks
Caroline Kaplan .... very special thanks
Alice Kelikian .... special thanks
Craig McNamara .... acknowledgment: archival footage and photographs provided by
Craig McNamara .... special thanks
George L. Mosse .... in memory of: University of Wisconsin history professor
Jamie Mylar .... special thanks
Tom O'Malley .... special thanks
Kenn Rabin .... special thanks
Deborah Ricketts .... special thanks
Ron Rosenbaum .... special thanks
Jay Rubin .... special thanks
Elizabeth Sadoff .... special thanks
Jonathan Sehring .... very special thanks
Gary Stern .... special thanks
Rosemary Taylor .... special thanks
Kathryn Tucker .... special thanks
Patricia Vanderbeek .... special thanks
Lawrence Waschler .... special thanks
Lewis D. Wheeler .... special thanks (as Lewis Wheeler)
Bonnie Willette .... special thanks
Kyla Wilson .... special thanks
Dino Zervos .... special thanks
 
Crew believed to be complete


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Additional Details

Also Known As:
"The Fog of War" - International (English title), USA (short title)
See more »
MPAA:
Rated PG-13 for images and thematic issues of war and destruction
Runtime:
95 min | USA:107 min (theatrical version)
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
McNamara originally agreed to an hour-long interview for the Errol Morris PBS series, "First Person" (2000). The interview lasted eight hours and McNamara stayed for a second day of interviewing. He also returned months later, for two more days of interviews. Morris found himself with more than enough material for a feature-length documentary.See more »
Quotes:
[first lines]
[Per contact at the Errol Morris Foundation, the date is 8/5/1964, and the clip is from Press Conference on The Gulf of Tonkin Incident, National Archives #111-LC-48220]
Robert McNamara:[archival footage from the press conference on the Gulf of Tonkin Incident, 5 August 1964] Is this chart at a reasonable height for you? Or do you want it lowered? All right. Earlier tonight - first let me ask the TV, are you ready? All set?
See more »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
Statistical ControlSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
34 out of 38 people found the following review useful.
Lessons Learned, 11 July 2004
Author: Roland E. Zwick (magneteach@aol.com) from United States

For his award-winning documentary, `The Fog of War' – a study of the moral complexities of war and those who wage it - Errol Morris has found the perfect subject in Robert S. McNamara, the man who served as Secretary of Defense in the early days of the Vietnam War. McNamara is astute, articulate, lively and thoughtful, and as a wizened man of 85, he is able to look back on the events of his life with the kind of analytical clarity and sober-minded judgment that only old age can provide.

Wisely, Morris allows McNamara to speak for himself, providing very little in the way of poking and prodding as interviewer and filmmaker. McNamara looks at his long and varied career through the prism of eleven lessons he's learned about life and human nature. Each of these revelations is tied into a specific chapter of that career and life. We see McNamara taking stock of his actions as they relate to World War II, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and most notably, of course, the Vietnam War, in each case ruminating aloud about the moral imperatives and ethical decisions he faced on a daily basis as his crucial role in all of these events played itself out. Some may find his comments to be a bit self-serving, an attempt to whitewash the facts and minimize his own responsibility, particularly as concerns his involvement in the Vietnam War. Yet, in many instances, McNamara accepts the judgments of history and admits his culpability, even if he generally does so in a broader war-is-a-necessary-evil context. There are moments during his reminiscence when McNamara actually wells up with tears, thinking about the immense loss of life and personal tragedy that inevitably result from man's insane obsession with destroying his fellow man – while all the time acknowledging that at times wars must be fought and casualties endured for a greater cause. All throughout the film, McNamara returns to this refrain, additionally warning us that, in the nuclear age in which we live, the human propensity for warfare could very easily lead us over the precipice to global devastation and annihilation as a species. We have little reason to believe that McNamara is not being sincere in his comments, although some more cynical viewers may wonder if he isn't merely saying what he thinks he should be saying in order to secure a more favorable reputation and image for himself as his life comes to a close. If that is, indeed, the case, Morris seems blissfully unaware of it, since he basically accepts McNamara's statements at face value. As an added – and perhaps unintended bonus – much of what McNamara says has a pertinent, timely, almost prescient ring to it, as the U.S. struggles through yet another foreign engagement, this time in Iraq.

As a documentary filmmaker, Morris demonstrates his usual skill at combining archival footage with one-on-one interviews as a way of bringing his subject matter to life. The caveat here is that Morris provides no counter voices to challenge any of McNamara's statements or his interpretation of events. Yet, as McNamara relates the story of his life, a fascinating history of 20th Century American foreign policy emerges in the background. We see many of the seminal figures from McNamara's time playing out the roles history and the fates assigned to them, from John Kennedy to Lyndon Johnson to Nikita Khrushchev to a whole host of other key players on the world stage. In addition, Philip Glass and John Kusiak have provided a haunting score to go along with the haunting images.

As the title suggests, this is a complex film on a complex subject and McNamara and Morris leave us with no pat or easy answers. That is as it should be.

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would rumsfeld do one of these? Main14
Flat out Brilliant chris-1149
No Allied support ? Really kittyandme-412-615199
McNamara was a troubled man filmfanaticNorCal
Am I the only one bothered by the targeting of 'wooden houses' of Tokyo Errand
What is it that McNamara isn't saying in the epilogue? albin-morner
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