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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.

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(screenplay), (book)
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2,439 ( 139)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 5 wins & 22 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Charlie Wilson
... Bonnie Bach
... Joanne Herring
... Gust Avrakotos
... CIA Award Presenter
... Paul Brown
... Crystal Lee
... Kelly
... Stacey
... Stoned Guy
... Limo Driver
... Donnelly
... Jane Liddle
... Larry Liddle
... 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:

Based On The Outrageous True Story. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

21 December 2007 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Juego de poder  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$75,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$15,952,430, 23 December 2007, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$66,661,095

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$119,000,410
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The movie makes a point of citing Charlie Wilson's close ties to the Israelis, including his contact with a Mossad agent who helps arrange the Stinger transfers with Pakistan, but an early draft of the script had a sequence taken directly from Joseph Crile's book, in which Charlie suspends working with Israel for a long time over his anger and disgust over events in the 1982 Lebanon War. The script dropped this, because Wilson and the Israelis got back to the point of working closely together, and it was decided the 1982-set subplot was unnecessary. See more »

Goofs

In one of the opening scenes where Charlie Wilson is receiving the award, Joanne Herring is shown clapping in close up, wearing black gloves. In the subsequent wide shots showing the entire audience, she is gloveless. 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

Opening statement: The following is based on a true story. See more »


Soundtracks

This Little Light of Mine
Written by Harry Dixon Loes
Arranged by Ry Cooder
Performed by Mavis Staples
Courtesy of Anti, a division of Epitaph
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
I did not like this film, unlike many uncritical viewers
19 May 2012 | by See all my reviews

This film is unbelievably biased. It is pure anti-Soviet cold-war drivel and it is historically inaccurate. Robert Gates says that the CIA began giving aid to Islamic fighters in Afghanistan months **before** the Soviet invasion. Jimmy Carter signed an order on July 3, 1979 to give aid to the Mujahedeen. It had the effect of drawing the Russians into the Afghan trap. "The day that the Soviets officially crossed the border," Zbigniew wrote to President Carter, ...we gave to the USSR its Vietnam War". Charlie Wilson's importance is wildly blown way out of proportion. The real-life Wilson had always been a right wing government good-old-boy who liked war. He was a commie-hating cold-war warrior. In the film we are lead to think that Wilson was simply a good time loving, womanizing, good old boy Congressman that never really grew up until he saw in person poor Afghan refugees: themselves poorly drawn caricatures of Afghan citizens. At this moment in the film Wilson changed and found a righteous cause. Born again Charlie!! Pure Hollywood nonsense! The real Wilson was not a nice guy. He was a friend of Nicaraguan tyrant Anastasio Samoza. Wilson's buddy in the movie (Philip Seymour Hoffman's character) is based on the CIA operative Gust Avrakotos. Army colonels led a coup in Greece in the 1960s; Avrakotos was the CIA main contact with the totally horrible fascist regime. Avrakotos fled Greece in the late 70s, with a very nasty reputation. The consequences of this cold war game are ignored by this crappy Hollywood movie. The weapons the U.S. supplied the Mujahedeen were used to wage a lengthy, bloody civil war in Afghanistan. Reagan's claim that the Afghan fighters were the moral equivalent of America's founding fathers is absurd. More brainless propaganda. Half the CIA money went to the monster Gulbaddin Hekmatyar, who in his youth threw acid in the face of an unveiled women. The CIA and US government would ally with anybody against the USSR. The terrorists received Stinger missiles, US Army training, and lots of money. The Taliban and the group that came to be known as Al-Qaida came from the Afghan civil war and were taught by the USA how to fight. There was little real concern for the fate of Afghanistan and its people. Washington never cared about the Afghan people in the first place ... and they still don't care. They are just pawns in The Great Game. The movie is a formulaic cliché, with it's warped fixation on the importance of the individual and its disregard for facts. Most Americans -- and reviewers here -- apparently take movies like this seriously, but this kind of crap makes the USA a joke to the rest of the world.


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