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Charlie Wilson's War (2007)

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A drama based on a Texas congressman Charlie Wilson's covert dealings in Afghanistan, where his efforts to assist rebels in their war with the Soviets have some unforeseen and long-reaching effects.



(screenplay), (book)
2,113 ( 194)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 5 wins & 22 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Paul Brown
Crystal Lee
Stoned Guy
Limo Driver


In the early 1980s, Charlie Wilson is a womanizing US congressional representative from Texas who seemed to be in the minor leagues, except for the fact that he is a member of two major foreign policy and covert-ops committees. However, prodded by his major conservative supporter, Houston Socialite Joanne Herring, Wilson learns about the plight the people are suffering in the brutal Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. With the help of the maverick CIA agent, Gustav "Gust" Avrakotos, Wilson dedicates his canny political efforts to supply the Afghan mujahideen with the weapons and support to defeat the Soviet Union. However, Charlie Wilson eventually learns that while military victory can be had, there are other consequences and prices to that fight that are ignored to everyone's sorrow. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (kchishol@rogers.com)

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Based On The Outrageous True Story. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong language, nudity/sexual content and some drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






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Release Date:

21 December 2007 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Juego de poder  »


Box Office


$75,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$15,952,430, 23 December 2007, Wide Release

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The movie makes a point of citing Charlie Wilson's close ties to the Israelis, including his contact with a Mossad agent who helps arrange the Stinger transfers with Pakistan, but an early draft of the script had a sequence taken directly from Joseph Crile's book, in which Charlie suspends working with Israel for a long time over his anger and disgust over events in the 1982 Lebanon War. The script dropped this, because Wilson and the Israelis got back to the point of working closely together, and it was decided the 1982-set subplot was unnecessary. See more »


As Gust breaks the office window and walks away, the maintenance man is holding a white rag in different hands between shots. See more »


[first lines]
CIA Award Presenter: The defeat and break up of the Soviet empire, culminating in the crumbing of the Berlin wall, is one of the great events of world history. There were many heroes in this battle but to Charlie Wilson must go this special recognition. Just thirteen years ago the Soviet army appeared to be invincible. But Charlie, undeterred, engineered a lethal body blow that weakened the communist empire. Without Charlie, history would be hugely and sadly different. And so for the first time a ...
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Crazy Credits

This film is carbon neutral with NativeEnergy See more »


Referenced in Peep Show: Burgling (2008) See more »


Bad Girls
Written by Donna Summer, Joe Esposito (as Joe "Beans" Esposito), Ed Hokenson (as Edward Hokenson),
Bruce Sudano
Performed by Donna Summer
Courtesy of The Island Def Jam Music Group
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A Sly, Sophisticated Piece of Film-making
26 December 2007 | by See all my reviews

I like Tom Hanks, and he is one of few actors who will draw me into the theatre regardless of any misgivings I may have concerning the film. I worried about Mr. Hanks return to "light comedy" as this is the arena where he made the transition from TV to film- remember "Big"? Well, "Charlie Wilson's War" is not light comedy. It is political satire, and extremely well-written political satire at that. The script is the star of this film, and the word-smithing by Aaron Sorkin is some of the best on offer this year.

Mike Nicols holds the entire escapade together, delivering a film that zips along in a very quick 90 minutes (timing is everything in comedy, and nothing is ever funny if it drags). Nicols' choice in sets and lighting are also very reminiscent of '70's and '80's TV, a move used deliberately to root the piece in period.

The return to the use of model work and stock photography over digital special effects also enhances the retro look and believability. Note to the production designers in your choice of stock footage: I know the difference between an F-16 and a MiG, and a Bell and a Hind. But that may have been part of the joke, too.

I saw this film in Philadelphia. It was interesting to watch and listen to the audience NOT get the historical references to their own history. History tends to repeat because the recidivists have forgotten what happened the first time around.

Kudos to both Mr. Hanks and that chameleon Phillip Seymore Hoffman. Sorkin's script is brought to life by these actors, and the entire production team is on the top of their game.

Heartily recommended.

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