The Pentagon Papers (2003)

TV Movie  |  R  |   |  Drama, History, Thriller  |  9 March 2003 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 1,162 users  
Reviews: 14 user | 5 critic

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


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


His greatest act of patriotism was an act of treason.

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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




Release Date:

9 March 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Pentagon-ügyirat  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


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 »


Referenced in Spook (2003) See more »

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User Reviews

Very timely!
10 March 2003 | by (Los Angeles) – See all my reviews

Although it places a "black and white" label on today's pro-war vs. anti-war attitudes, this film is an excellent insight into the mechanisms of political maneuvering. It is the truth told by one side - therefore a very good "half truth". Even if it is so authentic, and it refers to Vietnam, the intended analogy with today's issues is very obvious. Definitely a "Must See" for anyone concerned with what's going on with the Iraq war and other political priorities - regardless of one's individual position. (I only wish that the "other side" was intelligent enough to make a case as compelling at this - but that's another issue.)

As a film - it's quite good - maybe an 8 on a scale of 1 to 10. All in all

  • definitely worth your time, and worth recommending it to friends and


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