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Path to War (2002)

Not Rated | | Biography, Drama, War | TV Movie 18 May 2002
In the mid 1960s, President Lyndon B. Johnson (Sir Michael Gambon) 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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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 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 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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Did You Know?

Trivia

The cast includes one Oscar winner: J.K. Simmons; and five Oscar nominees: Diana Scarwid, Alec Baldwin, Frederic Forrest, Gary Sinise, and Felicity Huffman. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Walt Rostow: 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.
See more »

Connections

References Goldfinger (1964) See more »

Soundtracks

Taps
(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 »

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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Details

Official Sites:

HBO Films [United States]

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 May 2002 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Path to War 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
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