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The War Room (1993)

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A documentary of the Bill Clinton 1992 presidential campaign and the organization who ran it.
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 6 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
James Carville ... Himself
George Stephanopoulos ... Himself
Heather Beckel ... Herself
Paul Begala ... Himself
Bob Boorstin ... Himself
Mike Donilon Mike Donilon ... Himself (as Michael Donnilon)
Jeff Eller ... Himself
Stanley Greenberg ... Himself (as Stan Greenberg)
Mandy Grunwald ... Herself
Harold Ickes ... Himself
Mickey Kantor ... Himself
Mary Matalin ... Herself
Mitchell Schwartz ... Himself
Dave Anderson Dave Anderson ... Himself
Collier Andress Collier Andress ... Himself
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Storyline

A behind-the-scenes documentary about the Clinton for President campaign, focusing on the adventures of spin doctors James Carville and George Stephanopoulos. Bill Clinton himself is almost never seen. Written by Tim Horrigan <horrigan@hanover-crrel.army.mil>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

They Changed The Way Campaigns Are Won.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for language
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Details

Official Sites:

The Criterion Collection

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

January 1994 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Die Kommandozentrale See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$901,668
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

From 1:08:19 to 1:08:29, you can see a man in a gray suit pickpocket a camera operator on the right side of the screen. See more »

Quotes

James Carville: Every time that somebody comes along, that's got some ideas, a Democrat comes along, a Republican come up here and they ambush him. Remember Muskie? Okay? That is standard procedure. And here comes Clinton, he comes to New Hampshire, people are hurting, they want hope, they want somebody with vision, he gives it to 'em. So what do Republicans do? They get together with, "Well just, just knock it off." If they succeed THIS time, it's gonna be EVERY time. You are never gonna get a presidential ...
See more »

Connections

Referenced in From Washington to Hollywood ...And Back (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

Get Back to Little Rock
Written by Jason D. Williams
Performed by Jason D. Williams
Published by Gold Finch Songs
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User Reviews

 
The direct insight of the 1992 US elections
3 February 2009 | by peapulationSee all my reviews

Although Bill Clinton became president of the United States, it was James Carville and George Stephanopolous won the elections in 1992. That seems to be what Hegedus and Pennebaker are telling us in their documentary The War Room, and for what it looks like, it must have been true. The democrats hadn't won an election in a long time. They, as people in charge of the Bill Vlinton electoral campaign changed the way campaigns would be run and seen. Or did they? History tells us that presidents have aways liked being presidents! They always tried to reach the audiences, always tried to use all the media at their disposals in the best of ways, and there always were people that managed their image and wrote their scripts. The premise seems to be pretentious and wrong. It is true, however, that this is possibly the one and only documentary that gives us such an insight of the organizing committee of a presidential campaign, and it is very interesting to see how things are run, and how people think. They are the underrated heroes. Before Clinton does anything, they think of it. In fact, we hardly ever see Clinton ourselves, which further strengthens the fact that it was them who won the elections, not him.

Pennebakes does what he does best: direct cinema. But in comparison to other direct cinema legendary films, this one is hard to get fully into. In fact, the scenes that we are allowed to get into through good editing and cinematography are great, but the rest is just annoying and confusing. Also, it's hard to keep track of all that goes on in the war room, and although that was never going to be easy to do, it should have been done better. Still, a lot of it is very good, and worth a look, because the concept, the most important thing in a direct cinema film, is very interesting, and now that we know how things ended, pleasant to watch (unless you're a republican...) WATCH FOR THE MOMENT - When Carville is asked by the media if Clinton went to Moscow. "Yes" answers Carville. He knows exactly what is doing.


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