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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.

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(screenplay), (book)
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3,049 ( 68)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 5 wins & 22 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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

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

Taglines:

A stiff drink. A little mascara. A lot of nerve. Who said they couldn't bring down the Soviet empire. 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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Details

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Release Date:

21 December 2007 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Juego de poder  »

Box Office

Budget:

$75,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$15,952,430 (USA) (23 December 2007)

Gross:

$66,661,095 (USA)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

At the function thrown by Joanne Herring (Julia Roberts) for President Zia (Om Puri), Charlie Wilson (Tom Hanks) denies to President Zia that he can guarantee anything, saying that he has already come close to violating the Logan Act. The Logan Act was enacted in 1799, at the beginning of the U.S.'s history, and prevents any individual from attempting to negotiate with, or influence, any foreign government over any matter of interest or significance to the U.S. government without the U.S. government's authorization. Since its adoption, there has never been a successful prosecution under the Logan Act, and no member of Congress has ever been charged with a violation of the Logan Act, despite public outcries over efforts by various members of Congress to express their own views about certain U.S. policies. See more »

Goofs

Towards the beginning of the movie, Charlie is at a Vegas Club in April 1980. The next day, he is back in Washington to meet with his constituent about a Christmas display. Later that evening, Charlie is with a young lady who sings along with "Angel of the Morning." However, the cover version by Juice Newton was released in 1981. See more »

Quotes

[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

Opening statement: The following is based on a true story. See more »

Connections

Features CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite (1962) See more »

Soundtracks

American Pie
(1971) (uncredited)
Written and Performed by Don McLean
(in trailer)
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Funny, sad, and ultimately frightening - a film that makes you both laugh and weep at the state of the world.
15 December 2007 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Mike Nichols in finest form. I was not a fan of "Closer", so it's refreshing to see him again right back on top with this comedy set in the darkest of circumstances. Just one slip in tone could have wrecked this compelling picture but Nichols and his very strong A-list cast never put a foot wrong in this biopic of a deeply flawed but utterly compelling Congressman.

Philip Seymour Hoffman as usual is scintillating and brilliant - here playing a damaged but ultra-smart CIA manipulator, and it is in the exchanges between Hanks and Hoffman's characters where the comedy soars. Rarely is movie humour laugh-out loud and also smart... This hits the spot time after time with a biting satirical edge that makes you both laugh and weep at the state of the world (often simultaneously).

One other major plus is the length of the picture. The film is based on George Crile's fat book of the same title. The temptation for screenwriter Aaron Sorkin (his claim to fame is "The West Wing") must have been to make a fat movie, but what we get is a breath-taking 90 odd minutes of great story with sweeping implications.

This film deserves to be seen and to be recognized for finding an extraordinary balance between the darkest of dark subject matter and the lightness of touch of it's sparkling witty script - even if it does flunk the obvious link between the help that Herring and Wilson provide and the ultimate consequences (9/11).


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