6.6/10
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15 user 5 critic

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

Taglines:

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:

 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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(archive footage)| (archive footage)| |

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Anti War website says of this tele-feature: "The movie is not based on 'Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers,' (the script was written before 'Secrets' came out), and oddly, FX never contacted Dan ['Daniel Ellesberg'] about the film or consulted him in any way. (The only contact, an impersonal one, was to send Ellsberg.Net - along with hundreds of other websites - a mass email after the film was made, asking that we place their banner ad on the site, in exchange for a link from theirs, which we did). Someone with access to the film, who thought Dan should be able to see the film that portrays him before it airs, 'leaked' an an advance copy of the film (FX never gave it to him and was dismayed he had seen it before . . .". 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

Referenced in Spook (2003) See more »

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User Reviews

Amazing Story Told Amazingly Well
31 May 2003 | by (Santa Monica, CA) – See all my reviews

This is a terrific movie about a story that few know. I believe Walter Cronkite called Daniel Ellsberg's leaking of the Pentagon Papers war document the most important story of the latter part of the 20th Century. Performances are really strong and the direction excellent. This is one of those rare moments when a telefilm elevates itself and becomes something very important.


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