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The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers (2009)

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"The Most Dangerous Man in America" is the story of what happens when a former Pentagon insider, armed only with his conscience, steadfast determination, and a file cabinet full of ... See full summary »

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Title: The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers (2009)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 5 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Peter Arnett ...
Himself - Associated Press Correspondent (archive footage)
Ben Bagdikian ...
Himself - Editor, Washington Post
Ann Beeson ...
Herself - Associate Legal Director, ACLU
John Dean ...
Himself - White House Counsel to President Nixon
Daniel Ellsberg ...
Himself
Patricia Ellsberg ...
Herself
Robert Ellsberg ...
Himself - Daniel's Son
Richard Falk ...
Himself - Professor of International Law
Max Frankel ...
Himself - Washington Bureau Chief, New York Times
J. William Fulbright ...
Himself - Chair Foreign Relations Committee (archive footage)
James Goodale ...
Himself - General Counsel, New York Times
Mike Gravel ...
Himself - Senator (D-Alaska)
...
Himself - Supervisor, Vietnam War Study (as Mort Halperin)
...
Himself - President (archive footage)
Randy Kehler ...
Himself - Draft Resister
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Storyline

"The Most Dangerous Man in America" is the story of what happens when a former Pentagon insider, armed only with his conscience, steadfast determination, and a file cabinet full of classified documents, decides to challenge an "Imperial" Presidency-answerable to neither Congress, the press, nor the people-in order to help end the Vietnam War. In 1971, Daniel Ellsberg shook America to its foundations when he smuggled a top-secret Pentagon study to the New York Times that showed how five Presidents consistently lied to the American people about the Vietnam War that was killing millions and tearing America apart. President Nixon's National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger called Ellsberg "the most dangerous man in America," who "had to be stopped at all costs." But Ellsberg wasn't stopped. Facing 115 years in prison on espionage and conspiracy charges, he fought back. Ensuing events surrounding the so-called Pentagon Papers led directly to Watergate and the downfall of President Nixon, ... Written by Anonymous

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Documentary

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Release Date:

17 October 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Amerikas farligaste man  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$1,114 (USA) (29 January 2010)

Gross:

$453,483 (USA) (30 July 2010)
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Did You Know?

Goofs

(at around 1h 19 mins) Three Black Hawk helicopters are shown disembarking combat-equipped soldiers, ostensibly in Viet Nam. While the first YUH-60 did in fact fly before the fall of Saigon, it was 1976 before three of them had been produced. Production aircraft were not delivered until 1978. See more »

Connections

References Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A man who changed the course of American history
1 May 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This documentary is a must-see for anyone interested in American history. The most important reason to see it is that it illustrates the cozy nature of press-government relations in the 1960s, and how that relationship changed radically, albeit slowly, as a result of Daniel Ellsberg's leak of the Pentagon Papers to the New York Times.

The Pentagon Papers were top secret documents that detailed the real reasons for America's entry into the Vietnam War. They clearly showed that presidents Kennedy and Johnson had lied to the American public and flouted international law in sending troops to Southeast Asia. What was revolutionary was the mainstream press's eventual willingness to publish the classified documents. This had never been done before in America. The story as told in this film is as riveting as any spy caper, and shows how individual acts of courage on the part of several people were crucial to the success of Ellsberg's efforts to reveal the truth.

There is also some black humor in the film, where President Nixon reveals his vengeful anger against Ellsberg on excerpts from his famous tapes. It is no exaggeration to say that Ellsberg almost single-handedly set in motion the events that would bring down the Nixon presidency and end America's involvement in Vietnam.


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