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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 10 wins & 9 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
mostly McNamara, but just enough Morris to make it a masterpiece 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)

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


Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

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:
Errol Morris invented a device called the Interrotron not for this film. He did indeed use the Interrortron, but he invented it several years earlier, and has used it on several of his other films.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:
Referenced in The 50 Greatest Documentaries (2005) (TV)See more »
Soundtrack:
SnowingSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
64 out of 71 people found the following review useful.
mostly McNamara, but just enough Morris to make it a masterpiece, 8 November 2004
Author: Perini from Bozeman, Montana

People who watch Errol Morris' Fog of War will be left with a lot to think about. There are a number of parallels to be drawn between what Americans faced during the Vietnam War era and what Americans face now with middle-east conflicts. Morris has directed several controversial documentaries, but Fog of War is very different. He allows the subject of the documentary, Robert McNamara, to remain the focus of the film from beginning to end. Fog of War is very stylish but the artistic features don't take away from the social and political commentary. Instead, they add to it and make the film more enjoyable. This is an important film and while McNamara deserves most the credit for its success, Morris presented the content of this film in a way that made it both provocative and entertaining.

When Morris had an opportunity to interview Robert McNamara, he had no idea what was about to happen. Morris was making a film about Vietnam, not McNamara specifically. However, what was intended to be a 20 minute interview turned into a several hour candid conversation. This interview turned conversation became the backbone of Fog of War. It is obvious that something like guilt has been bugging McNamara and for whatever reason, Morris brought it out.

As a former secretary of defense for John F. Kennedy and then Lyndon Johnson, McNamara was one of the most important figures from the Vietnam War, in charge of things like bombing campaigns and overall military strategy. Before that, McNamara was a brain behind figuring out how to kill lots of people in World War II. At one point, McNamara says directly to the camera, '…we were behaving as war criminals. What makes it moral if you win but immoral if you lose?' He's making a point about the way the U.S. and allied forces bombed the hell out of Japan, sending hundreds of thousands to fiery graves, mostly civilians.

Morris uses what he calls the 'Interrotron', a device which allows the subject, here it's McNamara, to look directly into the camera and see the interviewer, here that's Morris. To the audience, it seems like McNamara is looking right at us, which makes it seem even more confessional than it already is. At certain times in Fog of War, McNamara seems so happy that he has an opportunity to talk about his experiences, but at other times, he seems like he's so defensive about his reputation. All of that seems to have something to do with the way Errol Morris asks questions. Morris is friendly but asks pointed questions that McNamara has a tough time avoiding.

Probably the most important moment of Fog of War is when McNamara talks about mankind and its inability to learn from history. He seems very pessimistic but has moments where he seems to think people can learn from the past. It's easy to think about Donald Rumsfeld and wonder what sort of conversations he might have with McNamara. Another great moment in Fog of War is when McNamara gets to meet a general from the Vietnamese army, one of McNamara's adversaries from 30 years ago. It's then where we see that McNamara still doesn't accept much responsibility for what he did during the Vietnam War. He thinks of himself as just being an employee working for the president.

Fog of War makes people think about a lot, but that's because of Robert McNamara more than Errol Morris. This was McNamara's film and Morris just happened to hold the camera in place when he probably felt like cringing or even laughing at times. During his famous acceptance speech for Fog of War, which won an Academy Award for Best Documentary, Morris reminded the worldwide audience to be careful, because the United States seems to be making the same mistakes it made during the Vietnam War. That's up to the audience to decide, but Fog of War definitely makes everybody think about that.

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Recent Posts (updated daily)User
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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