6.6/10
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The Pentagon Papers (2003)

Defense worker Daniel Ellsberg seeks to publish a series of classified government documents detailing the true nature of America's involvement in the Vietnam War.

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Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
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Patricia Marx
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Anthony Russo
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Harry Rowen
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John McNaughon
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Carol Ellsberg
Sean McCann ...
James Downing ...
Richard Fitzpatrick ...
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Neil Sheehan
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Jan Butler
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Randy Kehler
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Senator Fulbright (as George Robertson)
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FBI Agent
Roland Rothchild ...
FBI Agent
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Storyline

Daniel Ellsberg, a hawkish analyst for the Rand Corporation think-tank and later for the U.S. government, supports the war in Vietnam until two powerful occurrences: the experience, first-hand, of combat and political turmoil in Vietnam, and the discovery of secret Defense Department documents detailing the deliberate fabrication of reasons to initiate and expand the war. Facing a crisis of conscience, Ellsberg becomes convinced that the American people have not been told the truth about the war, its justifications, or its likely outcome. He decides to expose the secret history of the war in hopes that the American public, its eyes opened, will force the government to end the war. In order to do so, he must risk his career and his freedom, perhaps even his life. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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His greatest act of patriotism was an act of treason. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some war images and brief sexuality | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

9 March 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Pentagon-ügyirat  »

Filming Locations:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(archive footage)| (archive footage)| |

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The name of the corporate organization that Daniel Ellsberg (James Spader) first worked for was the real life "RAND Corporation". RAND is an acronym which stands for "Research AND Development". See more »

Goofs

The exterior of a bar supposedly located in Saigon clearly displays signs written in the Thai language, and some of the signs are from contemporary times, as evidenced by product logos, rather than from 1965. See more »

Connections

References The Pentagon Papers (1972) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Technically Brilliant
28 January 2005 | by (Melbourne, Australia) – See all my reviews

This is a wonderful film for anyone who appreciates the craft of film-making. There is a totally consistent vision throughout and it all fits and syncs beautifully. From the direction through to the dialogue, editing and sound. Also some truly inspired performances by the supporting cast. Spader is a little weak, but perhaps that's like saying David Ducovny is weak in the X-Files; when anything else would be camp. By the time you see the end of the film you realise that he has truly studied his character and the resemblance is profound. A brilliant conspiracy film, though as mentioned it's always best to read the book and do your own research before you start quoting facts and figures to your friends. Being a sound guy though, what inspired me most was the overall sound design for the film - the way they blend sound within the film and the musical score and the fact that the use of various instruments is relevant to each sequence in the story - the use of piano during the intimate bedroom scene (he was destined to become a concert pianist) and so forth. In conclusion, I've read above that this was made for TV, which greatly impresses me as I hired it from the video store... made for TV is never like this. And I must mention that the style is perfect - the documentary format of this film is perfect for the subject matter and the creative licence with the editing actually works, I'd be afraid of overdoing it but they throw in fades to itself and layering, throwing white-balance to the wind, it's a flawless production, I'm just so impressed, so inspired to translate this into my own short films and be more daring. 9/10


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