A portrayal of the Lyndon B. Johnson (Sir Michael Gambon) Presidency and its spiralling descent into the Vietnam War. Acting on often conflicting advice from his Secretary of Defense, Robert McNamara (Alec Baldwin) 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 Robert F. Kennedy (himself) and Governor George Wallace (Gary Sinise). Despite support and encouragement from stalwart friends such as Clark Clifford (Donald Sutherland), 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
Lyndon B. Johnson was a native Texan. However, Michael Gambon's native British accent occasionally slips in, particularly in the pronunciation of some words ("taught", "fought", "should" or "heart") and the use of some terms that a would be unfamiliar to an American, such as "goobledygook". See more »
Mr. President, the Stennis committee is up in arms over our holding back on these bombing targets! Bob's testimony is coming up, and it'll take some heat off him if some of these could be cleared up before his appearance.
Robert McNamara, Secretary of Defense:
I think I can take the heat without padding my resume with more bombing missions.
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(aka "Butterfield's Lullaby" and "Day Is Done") (uncredited)
Composed by Brigadier General Daniel Butterfield (1862 arrangement of earlier melody "Scott Tattoo")
Played during necrology of Vietnam dead on TV. See more »
Another excellent historical docudrama from HBO...
...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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