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Path to War (2002)

Not Rated | | Biography, Drama, War | TV Movie 18 May 2002
In the mid-1960s, President Johnson and his foreign-policy team debate the decision to withdraw from or escalate the war in Vietnam.

Director:

John Frankenheimer

Writer:

Daniel Giat
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3,973 ( 1,494)

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Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 27 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael Gambon ... Lyndon Johnson
Donald Sutherland ... Clark Clifford
Alec Baldwin ... Robert McNamara, Secretary of Defense
Bruce McGill ... George Ball, Undersecretary of State
James Frain ... Richard Goodwin
Felicity Huffman ... Lady Bird Johnson
Frederic Forrest ... General Earle G. Wheeler
John Aylward ... Dean Rusk, Secretary of State
Philip Baker Hall ... Everett Dirksen
Tom Skerritt ... General William Westmoreland
Diana Scarwid ... Marny Clifford
Sarah Paulson ... Luci Baines Johnson
Gerry Becker ... Walt Rostow
Peter Jacobson ... Adam Yarmolinsky
Cliff De Young ... McGeorge Bundy, National Security Advisor (as Cliff DeYoung)
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Storyline

A portrayal of the Johnson presidency and its spiraling descent into the Vietnam War. Acting on often conflicting advice from his Secretary of Defense, Robert McNamara and other advisers, President Johnson finds his domestic policy agenda for the Great Society overtaken by an ever demanding commitment to ending the war. It also depicts his political skills as he crosses swords with political foes such as Bobby Kennedy and Governor George Wallace. Despite support and encouragement from stalwart friends such as Clark Clifford, Johnson realizes his management of the war no longer has the confidence of the American people and announces that he will not seek the nomination of the Democratic party for the the 1968 election. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Beyond the battlefields of Vietnam. Inside the halls of power. A different kind of war would decide the fate of a nation. See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama | War

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

HBO Films [United States]

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 May 2002 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Sur le chemin de la guerre See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$17,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film cast unites three actors who portrayed American presidents: Michael Gambon plays Lyndon Johnson in this film; Gary Sinise played Harry Truman in _Truman (1995)(TV)_ and Philip Baker Hall portrayed Richard Nixon in Secret Honor (1984). See more »

Goofs

At one point Robert McNamara tells President Johnson that there are 13 US battalions in Vietnam, and goes on to say this is 51,000 troops. This would mean approximately 4,000 troops per battalion. Given that a US battalion would only have 500-800 troops he is actually talking about 13 brigades (each containing several battalions) and not 13 battalions. See more »

Quotes

George Ball, Undersecretary of State: [Looking at McNamara and being slightly drunk] Look at him! His wife's got an ulcer. His kid's got an ulcer. Everybody's got Bob McNamara's ulcer but Bob McNamara. Sometimes I think it's all just a Goddamn academic exercise to him.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The 60th Annual Golden Globe Awards (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Hail to the Chief
Written by James Sanderson & Walter Scott (as Walter Scott)
Performed by The Rick Fleishman Orchestra
Played when LBJ arrives in Saigon
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Another excellent historical docudrama from HBO...
19 May 2002 | by =G=See all my reviews

...on the heels of "The Gathering Storm". "Path to War" begins with Lyndon B. Johnson's inaugural ball and ends with his rejection of candidacy for another term. Between, unlikely Brit-cum-Texan Gambon delivers a masterful portrayal of President Johnson as a crude but sagacious politician who struggled with the demons of the Vietnam era not unlike another American president who served during an unpopular war which tore at the fabric of this country a century before. A well crafted HBO documentary which needs and takes little license with history, "Path to War" will likely prove a spell-binding watch for those interested in American political history and a good historical review for anyone with an interest in the Vietnam era.


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