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The Weather Underground
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The Weather Underground (2002) More at IMDbPro »

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The Weather Underground -- This powerful Academy Award-nominated documentary traces the rise and fall of a notorious 1970Â’s radical group who declared war on the U.S. government.
The Weather Underground -- Home Video Preview


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Down 51% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Sam Green
Bill Siegel (co-director)
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Release Date:
13 November 2003 (Australia) See more »
The remarkable story of The Weather Underground, radical activists of the 1970s, and of radical politics at its best and most disastrous. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Nominated for Oscar. Another 4 wins & 3 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
The calm after the storm, and the myriad lessons drawn. See more (40 total) »


  (in credits order)

Lili Taylor ... Narrator (voice)
Pamela Z ... Narrator (voice)

Jim Lange ... Additional Narrator (voice)
Evan White ... Additional Narrator (voice)
Bernardine Dohrn ... Herself (also archive footage)
Mark Rudd ... Himself (also archive footage)
Brian Flanagan ... Himself (also archive footage)
David Gilbert ... Himself (also archive footage)
Bill Ayers ... Himself (also archive footage) (also as Bill Ayers)
Naomi Jaffe ... Herself (also archive footage)
Todd Gitlin ... Himself
Laura Whitehorn ... Herself (also archive footage)
Don Strickland ... Himself
Kathleen Cleaver ... Herself (also archive footage)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Skip Andrew ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Ivan Boesky ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)

Fidel Castro ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Eldridge Cleaver ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)

Bob Dylan ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)

Jane Fonda ... Herself (archive footage) (uncredited)

Gerald Ford ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Billy Graham ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Fred Hampton ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Abbie Hoffman ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)

Dustin Hoffman ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
George Jackson ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)

Martin Luther King ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Timothy Leary ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Charles Manson ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Zedong Mao ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Walter Mondale ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)

Richard Nixon ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)

Ronald Reagan ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
James Robison ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Evelle Younger ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)

Directed by
Sam Green 
Bill Siegel (co-director)
Produced by
Christian Ettinger .... executive producer
Sam Green .... producer
Mary Harron .... executive producer
Carrie Lozano .... producer
Sue Ellen McCann .... executive producer
Bill Siegel .... producer
Marc Smolowitz .... producer
Original Music by
David Cerf  (as Dave Cerf)
Amy Domingues 
Cinematography by
Andrew Black (director of photography) (as Andy Black)
Federico Salsano (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Sam Green 
Dawn Logsdon 
Art Department
Janet Raugust .... graphics
Sound Department
Jake Collins .... location sound
Elise Hurwitz .... location sound
Steve La Fayette .... location sound (as Steve Lafayette)
Rich Pooler .... location sound
David Westby .... sound mixer
Andre Philippenko .... assistant sound editor (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
David Fenton .... additional camera
Greg Gricus .... additional camera operator
Editorial Department
Herbert H. Bennett .... colorist (as Herbert Bennett)
Herbert H. Bennett .... on-line editor (as Herbert Bennett)
Angela Reginato .... assistant editor
Music Department
Jerry Busher .... composer: additional music
Brendan Canty .... composer: additional music
Ian MacKaye .... composer: additional music
Brooke Wentz .... music clearances: The Rights Workshop
David Cerf .... music editor (uncredited)
Amy Domingues .... music editor (uncredited)
Bob Massey .... composer: original music (uncredited)
Other crew
Lindsay Anderson .... production assistant
Jason Cohn .... production assistant
Charlotte Gutierrez .... production assistant
Sarah Harbin .... production assistant
David Harris .... production assistant
John Lithgow .... production assistant
Sarah Marx .... production assistant
Guy Morrison .... archival footage assistance
Kenn Rabin .... archival footage assistance
Sara Sculley .... production assistant
Lindsay Dellas .... production assistant (uncredited)
Sarah Harbin .... researcher (uncredited)
Terry L. James .... digital film transfer (uncredited)
Herbert H. Bennett .... special thanks (as Herbert Bennett)
Tom Hayden .... thanks
Guy Morrison .... special thanks
Alex Trebek .... thanks

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Additional Details

Also Known As:
92 min
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

In the segment about the accidental explosion of the Greenwich Village townhouse at 18 West 11th Street, Dustin Hoffman can be seen standing next to a fire truck observing the scene. He was living in the townhouse next door with his wife at the time, Anne Byrne.See more »
Bernardine Dohrn:Freaks are revolutionaries and revolutionaries are freaks.See more »
Movie Connections:
For Carl SaganSee more »


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17 out of 20 people found the following review useful.
The calm after the storm, and the myriad lessons drawn., 28 August 2004
Author: Sinnerman from Singapore

A friend of mine wrote:

"I have a very sparse knowledge of (The Weather Underground's) particular historical context. My interest here is more in terms of how the film was put together, what the archival footage and interviews with former Weathermen members NOW reveals to us about their sentiments, their motivations, their actions."

My sentiments exactly. Like the above well put thought piece, I foresee others more eloquent than myself will lavish raves (or rants) on The Weather Underground. Love it or hate it, you decide. That said, I shall post here, my expanded take.

There is an incredibly balanced portrayal of these people in The Weather Underground. Though objectivity is arguably frown upon in documentaries, this film worked for me. For it allowed me to understand the information presented (Yes, I am just as ignorant about 60s/70s American history) and it helped me in making my own conclusion.

This documentary shed interesting light on its subjects. The Weathermen failed in their radical movement. However turbulent that time and place might have been, the corresponding violence initiated by this splinter group did not contribute as much to the winding down of the Vietnam War, as did the natural progression of other events. Ironically, the continual pacifistic action from "the rest" arguably effected more of a shift in that period's socio politics (albeit gradually) than these radicals could ever accomplish.

One telling line from Mark Rudd, one of the movement's members said:

"I cherished my hate as a badge of moral superiority"

Therein lies the danger.

When smart, idealistic (more often than not, good intentioned as well) individuals share this belief that they stand on a higher moral ground, that they have a greater, grander purpose in their "calling", they'd willingly go to any lengths in pursuit of their causes. As a result, as one other interviewee put it, extreme violent actions would be considered. Ordinary human lives would ultimately become dispensable. Ergo, the seeds for terrorism has been planted. Mass Murderers are borne out of this ideological conceit.

This cinematic thesis also suggested the generalised "hippie" movement of the 60's/ 70's slapped the faces of the Left real hard. It torn apart the fabric of the nation. Its unachieveable idealism when intermingled with the "violent" dynamics of that turbulent period (Vietnam, Drugs, Hedonism, Multiple Assassinations of Cult of Personalities, Watergate etc) brought about disenchantment and despair. As a result, the pendulum swung and many people ran towards the Right for comfort, denial, escapism and a combination of these mixed feelings.... It gave us Olivia Newton John, Rambo, Ronald Reagan and Jane Fonda - The 80's (yikes).

I am actually quite glad the film ended on an optimistic note. These arguably misguided Weathermen brought with them enormous personal baggages all these years. Yet throughout this film, they were candid about their ideology and reflective about their frailties. Contrary to our natural expectations, these "failures" did not become jaded human beings. They moved on from this checkered past. They continued living their lives. One of them even won Jeopardy (Don't ask).

All in, their humanity shone through.

The Weathermen fought Da Man, and lost. Their strategies might not have been better thought out. Their continuous radical activities might have played into the hands of sophisticated government spin doctors. They might have lost steam due to gradually realising their movement's futility. Yes, their follies were explored abundantly in this movie. But their thoughts and actions were guided by the confusion of those turbulent times (however ironic this last sentence might have sounded). All in, their hearts were in the right place.

On the other hand, if we look beyond the talking heads and read between the lines, we would realise that the questions raised in The Weather Underground are just as relevant today. About 50000 American Soldiers died in the Vietnam War, millions more Vietnamese perished. Who holds more destructive powers? The Weathermen or their "enemy"? Who then were the mass murderers? Look at Iraq today, Afghanistan the day before and Bosnia before that.

Who then are the mass murderers?

In closing, I guess all should know that History is written by the victors. This cinematic document about the "losers" is hence IMO, a most important piece of work. It demands a wider audience and need be accorded higher archival priority than something as insidiously engineered and time wasting as The Fog of War.

For we have much more to learn from this Oscar losing flick.

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