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The Weather Underground
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Overview

User Rating:
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Up 80% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Directors:
Sam Green
Bill Siegel (co-director)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Weather Underground on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
13 November 2003 (Australia) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
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:
Awards:
Nominated for Oscar. Another 4 wins & 4 nominations See more »
NewsDesk:
(39 articles)
Jordan M. Smith’s Top 10 Best Docs of 2014 So Far
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The Academy Invites 271 New Members for 2014
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271 Invited To Join The Academy
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User Reviews:
Troubling but Timely See more (39 total) »

Cast

  (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)
Billy Ayers ... Himself (also archive footage) (also as Bill Ayers) (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:
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)
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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)
 
Thanks
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:
Runtime:
92 min
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Language:
Color:
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
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 »
Quotes:
Mark Rudd:I think that part of the Weatherman phenomenon that was right was our understanding of what the position of the United States is in the world. It was this knowledge that we just couldn't handle; it was too big. We didn't know what to do. In a way I still don't know what to do with this knowledge. I don't know what needs to be done now, and it's still eating away at me just as it did 30 years ago.See more »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
CD #1, track #1See more »

FAQ

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9 out of 11 people found the following review useful.
Troubling but Timely, 1 February 2005
Author: eht5y from United States

The Weatherman faction remains one of the more troubling aspects of the 60s counterculture, for manifold reasons. How did a bunch of well-educated, relatively privileged white kids transform from idealistic protesters for peace into revolutionary terrorists? How were they able to reconcile the inherent contradiction of using violence as a means of pursuing peace? Can violence ever lead to reconciliation, or must it necessarily beget more violence? Sam Green and Bill Siegel's documentary examines all of these questions while remaining remarkably objective. It's a pity that we should feel surprised when a documentary filmmaker actually attempts to uphold the all-but-obsolete standard of objectivity; nevertheless, Green and Siegel deserve to be complimented for presenting a film that is perhaps more a window into the confusion of the times than a history of one peculiar faction of anti-government activists.

Green & Siegel intersperse archival footage with commentary by a number of the Weather Underground's leaders, most of whom retain their revolutionary idealism, even if they have grown circumspect about their methodology.

The film persuasively channels the aura of violence and political unrest that characterized American culture as the first vestiges of counter-cultural idealism gave way first to frustration as the war in Vietnam escalated and then to radicalism as, one after another, civil and human rights activists ranging from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to Chicago Black Panther leader Fred Hampton were brutally silenced, possibly by order of American government agencies such as the CIA, NSA, and FBI. Simultaneously, the tenor of apolitical American life shifted from the good vibrations of psychedelia to paranoia and suspicion. The image of the blissed-out, peace-loving, groovy hippie was replaced by the crazed expression of Charles Manson, whose murderous id made every God-fearing citizen's worst nightmares reality: acid-crazed hippies rampaging the suburbs, butchering innocents in order to start a revolution that would overthrow the status quo. Siegel's and Green's direction employs numerous archival clips that are shockingly graphic, including horrific footage of executions and the bodies of civilian casualties in Vietnam (including many women and small children) and uncensored crime scene photographs from the Tate-LaBianca murders ordered by Charles Manson. The material is somewhat objectionable, but serves the purpose of expressing the climate of fear that made it possible for the likes of Mark Rudd--now a quiet, somewhat melancholy math teacher at a community college in New Mexico--to drop out of sight and begin plotting the violent overthrow of the American political system.

The film presents the Weather Underground as admirable in its courage and determination, but also as terminally misguided. Weatherman leaders repeatedly express their solidarity with the Black Panthers and any revolutionary movement of underclass 'brown or black' people on the planet, but the few Panthers who comment for the film either disavow the Weathermen or express perplexity at their determination to identify with the struggle of blacks and other oppressed ethnicities. As adults, several of the group members acknowledge that, even when they were harassed or beaten by police, they were still treated far more humanely than their black counterparts, and so were never truly in the same struggle as those whom they supported. Some of the members still speak nostalgically about their Weathermen days and claim that they'd do it all over again; others express disdain and regret over their complicity in the deaths of innocents.

As we begin to see history repeating itself in Iraq, 'The Weather Underground' is all too timely. What was different about the 60s and 70s, when so many young people became committed to political activism, from the present, when the numbers are relatively few? Will the process that brought about the Weather Underground repeat itself, or was this particular group less a consequence of the times than of the choices of a few charismatic but misguided and naive twenty-somethings? Did Weatherman make a difference, or was it simply another small piece of the catastrophic collage of the Vietnam era? This film raises more questions than it answers--which is probably what art should always try to do.

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Did they really support Charlie Manson?? dododadadodo
How do we know they weren't goverment agents? forcexi7698
What is the song toward the end that starts 'And now its winter...' Stonberg1
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