IMDb > The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S. McNamara (2003)
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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Up 6% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
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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 10 wins & 9 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Here Comes Santayana. See more (153 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 (original music by)
 
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:
100,000 PeopleSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
34 out of 42 people found the following review useful.
Here Comes Santayana., 19 December 2004
Author: Robert J. Maxwell (rmax304823@yahoo.com) from Deming, New Mexico, USA

Where are you when we need you? A President from Texas acts upon faulty intelligence and gets the endorsement of Congress to use whatever force is necessary and then invades a country whose destiny is more or less irrelevant to the security of the United States. The war generates opposition at home and abroad. The President's domestic programs are cut in order to fund the war. Fifty thousand American lives are lost, and countless indigents die, despite the application of America's high tech weaponry. Having committed himself, not to mention the troops, the President is unable to back down because he doesn't want to lose. "Cut and run" is the expression he uses. In the end the country is united under an anti-American government and forgotten about.

This really should be required viewing for voters who may not remember, or may not choose to remember, Vietnam. Those who do not learn from history are condemned to repeat it, to roughly quote George Santayana. It's easy to get into a war, and much harder to get out.

And we should bear in mind that the subject of this interview, Robert Macnamara, didn't stand on the sidelines. He was at the center of the Vietnam conflict, which lasted about ten years. He was Secretary of Defense during eight of those years, until fired by Johnson for his increasingly public dissent. He organized the logistics of the war, gave JFK and Johnson advice. Sometimes the conflict was referred to as "MacNamara's War." So he's nobody's idea of an armchair analyst.

The most telling and relevant moment comes at the beginning, during the Cuban missile crisis of October, 1962. President Kennedy has received a letter from Chairman Krushchov, saying, basically, that if the US promises not to invade Cuba, the Soviet missiles will be withdrawn. Then a second letter arrives, taking a much harder line than the first, implying a Soviet attack on America.

What to do? Curtis LeMay, the Chief of Staff, thinks that since a war with the USSR is inevitable, let's begin it now while we have a 17 to one missile superiority. Another adviser suggests responding to the first, softer letter, while ignoring the second one. Kennedy demurs. What will that get us? He doesn't want to be seen as backing down. The adviser tells him, "Mister President, you're wrong about that." (MacNamara comments, "That took guts.") Kennedy finally gives in and agrees to follow the diplomatic route and responds to letter number one only. We wind up dismantling some obsolete missile bases in Turkey and in exchange the Soviets withdraw their missiles and war is averted. Who is the sage who would now tell the President, if a similar situation arose, that he was wrong? MacNamara comes across as a sympathetic and compassionate guy. He cusses a bit and his eyes tear up when he remembers picking out JFK's grave site in Arlington National Cemetery. He also describes -- without at all boasting about it -- his valuable contributions to the bombing campaigns of World War II.

I don't see any bias in Errol Morris's editing, although who knows what wound up on the cutting room floor? It's MacNamara's show all the way and he's candid, keeps the secrets he feels necessary, and never loses dignity. He wrote a book about his period in office admitting that he'd made many mistakes in the run-up to and execution of the Vietnam War. The general reception by the liberal reviewers was that apologies weren't enough. Nothing was enough. The reviewers showed a lot less in the way of compassion than MacNamara shows here.

The music is by Philip Glass, who is neat. It's hard to comment on the photography because so much of the footage is from newsreels or TV. It's a fine documentary and ought to be shown in political science classes. It should keep the students interested because it blends the human element with the political. The statistics that were so important to the President of the Ford Motor Company and the Secretary of Defense don't play much of a part in this documentary. What will keep the class attentive is the reenactment of all those human skulls bouncing down the staircase of a dormitory at Cornell University.

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would rumsfeld do one of these? Main14
Flat out Brilliant chris-1149
No Allied support ? Really kittyandme-412-615199
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
Tried for War Crimes? kgrayson
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