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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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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

 
The story of a moral giant
26 February 2010 | by (Saffron Walden, UK) – See all my reviews

Daniel Ellsberg was an ex-marine and top policy wonk, who became convinced that the Vietnam War was wrong. He was also convinced that the government knew it was wrong, but continued to fight mainly to save face. Considering this a moral abhorrence, he leaked top secret papers to the press. They didn't betray really damaging information, but they were an embarrassment to the government who tried to prosecute Ellsberg. To discredit the leaker, President Nixon ordered his aides to burgle his psychiatrist, starting a chain of events that led to Watergate. Eventually, after Nixon had resigned, the war finally ended, although Ellsberg was disappointed that his publication of the truth has failed to turn public opinion decisively against it at an earlier time. It's a fascinating story, and this documentary re-lives it. Most compelling is the sense that Ellsberg gives of a man motivated by an extraordinarily strong inner moral compass; while the likes of Nixon would do anything to hold onto what they had, Ellsberg risked a life in prison in the hope of ending the war. Today, our politicians seem to some to be making the same mistakes their forebears did; we have also learned something of how they lie to us, but still have not stopped them. Ellsberg is still trying. He emerges from this film as a giant of a man.


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