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Charlie Wilson's War (2007)

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A drama based on a Texas congressman Charlie Wilson's covert dealings in Afghanistan, where his efforts to assist rebels in their war with the Soviets have some unforeseen and long-reaching effects.

Director:

Mike Nichols

Writers:

Aaron Sorkin (screenplay), George Crile (book)
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Popularity
1,420 ( 156)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 5 wins & 22 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tom Hanks ... Charlie Wilson
Amy Adams ... Bonnie Bach
Julia Roberts ... Joanne Herring
Philip Seymour Hoffman ... Gust Avrakotos
Terry Bozeman ... CIA Award Presenter
Brian Markinson ... Paul Brown
Jud Tylor ... Crystal Lee
Hilary Angelo ... Kelly
Cyia Batten ... Stacey
Kirby Mitchell ... Stoned Guy
Ed Regine ... Limo Driver
Daniel Eric Gold ... Donnelly
Emily Blunt ... Jane Liddle
Peter Gerety ... Larry Liddle
Wynn Everett ... Receptionist - Charlie's Angels
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Storyline

In the early 1980s, Charlie Wilson is a womanizing US congressional representative from Texas who seemed to be in the minor leagues, except for the fact that he is a member of two major foreign policy and covert-ops committees. However, prodded by his major conservative supporter, Houston Socialite Joanne Herring, Wilson learns about the plight the people are suffering in the brutal Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. With the help of the maverick CIA agent, Gustav "Gust" Avrakotos, Wilson dedicates his canny political efforts to supply the Afghan mujahideen with the weapons and support to defeat the Soviet Union. However, Charlie Wilson eventually learns that while military victory can be had, there are other consequences and prices to that fight that are ignored to everyone's sorrow. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (kchishol@rogers.com)

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

When the world wasn't watching, they changed it forever. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong language, nudity/sexual content and some drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | Germany

Language:

English | Dari | Russian | Urdu | Hebrew | Arabic

Release Date:

21 December 2007 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Charlie Wilson's War See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$75,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$9,656,250, 23 December 2007

Gross USA:

$66,661,095

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$119,483,446
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

SDDS | DTS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In one scene, Joanne (played by Julia Roberts) mentions that the campaign film she presented to Charlie wasn't a quality film to be submitted to the Golden Globes. Coincidentally, this film managed to get nominated in five categories at the Globes. See more »

Goofs

The clips showing the downing of Soviet aircraft include the distinctive silhouettes of a McDonnell-Douglas F-4 and Bell UH-1. These primarily US manufactured models were not available in Afghanistan in the period covered. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
CIA Award Presenter: The defeat and break up of the Soviet empire, culminating in the crumbing of the Berlin wall, is one of the great events of world history. There were many heroes in this battle but to Charlie Wilson must go this special recognition. Just thirteen years ago the Soviet army appeared to be invincible. But Charlie, undeterred, engineered a lethal body blow that weakened the communist empire. Without Charlie, history would be hugely and sadly different. And so for the first time a ...
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Crazy Credits

This film is carbon neutral with NativeEnergy See more »

Connections

Referenced in The O'Reilly Factor: Episode dated 23 January 2008 (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

And He Shall Purify
(uncredited)
from The Messiah
Written by George Frideric Handel
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A Sly, Sophisticated Piece of Film-making
26 December 2007 | by colinbarnard-1See all my reviews

I like Tom Hanks, and he is one of few actors who will draw me into the theatre regardless of any misgivings I may have concerning the film. I worried about Mr. Hanks return to "light comedy" as this is the arena where he made the transition from TV to film- remember "Big"? Well, "Charlie Wilson's War" is not light comedy. It is political satire, and extremely well-written political satire at that. The script is the star of this film, and the word-smithing by Aaron Sorkin is some of the best on offer this year.

Mike Nicols holds the entire escapade together, delivering a film that zips along in a very quick 90 minutes (timing is everything in comedy, and nothing is ever funny if it drags). Nicols' choice in sets and lighting are also very reminiscent of '70's and '80's TV, a move used deliberately to root the piece in period.

The return to the use of model work and stock photography over digital special effects also enhances the retro look and believability. Note to the production designers in your choice of stock footage: I know the difference between an F-16 and a MiG, and a Bell and a Hind. But that may have been part of the joke, too.

I saw this film in Philadelphia. It was interesting to watch and listen to the audience NOT get the historical references to their own history. History tends to repeat because the recidivists have forgotten what happened the first time around.

Kudos to both Mr. Hanks and that chameleon Phillip Seymore Hoffman. Sorkin's script is brought to life by these actors, and the entire production team is on the top of their game.

Heartily recommended.


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