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The Man Nobody Knew: In Search of My Father, CIA Spymaster William Colby (2011)

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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 276 users   Metascore: 71/100
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A son's riveting look at a father whose life seemed straight out of a spy thriller. The secret world of a legendary CIA spymaster. Told by William Colby's son Carl, the story is at once a ... See full summary »

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Title: The Man Nobody Knew: In Search of My Father, CIA Spymaster William Colby (2011)

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A son's riveting look at a father whose life seemed straight out of a spy thriller. The secret world of a legendary CIA spymaster. Told by William Colby's son Carl, the story is at once a probing history of the CIA, a personal memoir of a family living in clandestine shadows, and an inquiry into the hard costs of a nation's most cloaked actions. Written by Act 4 Entertainment

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23 September 2011 (USA)  »

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Opening Weekend:

$15,411 (USA) (23 September 2011)

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$183,342 (USA) (24 February 2012)
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One Part History Lesson, One Part Personal Project
10 September 2012 | by (Bradenton, FL) – See all my reviews

A career retrospective of former CIA director William Colby, who stepped in to bite the bullet when congress smelled blood following Watergate and the Vietnam War. Left with nothing more than photos and questions in the wake of his father's mysterious disappearance on an early-morning canoe ride, Colby's filmmaker son doesn't seem to have any alternative but to seek his answers in the past. The result is a startlingly open, sweeping glimpse at the CIA's involvement in Cold War politics and the Kennedy / Nixon regimes. At times it's very dry, but the narrative is constantly loaded with historical nuggets from the men who lived it - like the kind of programming we could expect from the History Channel before it turned into whatever it is now. It's strange that, as the scale increases, Colby almost becomes an afterthought in his own story, but the film certainly tells a better story because of it. Bittersweet, insightful and informative, if too reliant on talking heads and Ken Burns photo zooms.


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