The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers ()

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"The Most Dangerous Man in America" is the story of what happens when a former Pentagon insider, armed only with his conscience, steadfast determination, and a file cabinet full of classified documents, decides to challenge an "Imperial"... See more »

  • Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 5 wins & 3 nominations.
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Photos and Videos


Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Peter Arnett ...
Self - Associated Press Correspondent (archiveFootage)
Ben Bagdikian ...
Self - Editor, Washington Post
Ann Beeson ...
Self - Associate Legal Director, ACLU
Self - White House Counsel to President Nixon
Self / Narraror
Patricia Ellsberg ...
Robert Ellsberg ...
Self - Daniel's Son
Richard Falk ...
Self - Professor of International Law
Max Frankel ...
Self - Washington Bureau Chief, New York Times
Self - Chair Foreign Relations Committee (archiveFootage)
James Goodale ...
Self - General Counsel, New York Times
Mike Gravel ...
Self - Senator (D-Alaska)
Self - Supervisor, Vietnam War Study (as Mort Halperin)
Self - President (archiveFootage) (as Lyndon Johnson)
Randy Kehler ...
Self - Draft Resister
Bud Krogh ...
Self - Director, 'Plumbers' Unit - Nixon White House (as Egil Krogh)
Self - Representative, California
Self (archiveFootage)
Wayne Morse ...
Self - Senator, Oregon (archiveFootage)
Self - President (archiveFootage)
Thomas Oliphant ...
Self - Reporter, Boston Globe (as Tom Oliphant)
Self - Reporter (archiveFootage)
Tony Russo ...
Self - RAND Analyst
Self - RAND Analyst / Nobel Laureate
Hedrick Smith ...
Self - Reporter, New York Times
Janaki Tschannerl ...
Self - Peace Activist
Leonard Weinglass ...
Self - Russo Defense Attorney
Self - Historian

Directed by

Judith Ehrlich
Rick Goldsmith

Written by

Lawrence Lerew ... (written by) &
Rick Goldsmith ... (written by) &
Judith Ehrlich ... (written by) &
Michael Chandler ... (written by)

Produced by

Lynn Adler ... associate producer
Judith Ehrlich ... producer
Jodie Evans ... executive producer
Jannat Gargi ... Imaging Producer
Rick Goldsmith ... producer
Max Good ... assistant producer
Claire Greensfelder ... consulting producer
Karen Payne ... consulting producer

Music by

Blake Leyh

Cinematography by

Vicente Franco
Dan Krauss

Film Editing by

Michael Chandler
Rick Goldsmith
Lawrence Lerew

Editorial Department

Michael Chandler ... consulting editor
Jesse Spencer ... on-line editor / post-production coordinator
Stephen Vittoria ... editor: Theatrical Trailer

Production Management

Jorge Trelles ... production manager

Sound Department

Nick Bertoni ... sound recordist
James Lebrecht ... supervising sound editor
Alex Wilmer ... sound designer

Animation Department

Eli Noyes ... animation director
R. Brad Yarhouse ... animator: scenes deleted
Tom Rubalcava ... layout artist (uncredited)

Additional Crew

Lisa Callif ... clearance counsel
Thomas A. Cohen ... legal services
Michael Donaldson ... clearance counsel
Kenn Rabin ... archival consultant
Roger Strother ... archival researcher

Production Companies




Special Effects


Other Companies



Plot Summary

"The Most Dangerous Man in America" is the story of what happens when a former Pentagon insider, armed only with his conscience, steadfast determination, and a file cabinet full of classified documents, decides to challenge an "Imperial" Presidency-answerable to neither Congress, the press, nor the people-in order to help end the Vietnam War. In 1971, Daniel Ellsberg shook America to its foundations when he smuggled a top-secret Pentagon study to the New York Times that showed how five Presidents consistently lied to the American people about the Vietnam War that was killing millions and tearing America apart. President Nixon's National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger called Ellsberg "the most dangerous man in America," who "had to be stopped at all costs." But Ellsberg wasn't stopped. Facing 115 years in prison on espionage and conspiracy charges, he fought back. Ensuing events surrounding the so-called Pentagon Papers led directly to Watergate and the downfall of President Nixon, and hastened the end of the Vietnam War. Ellsberg's relentless telling of truth to power, which exposed the secret deeds of an "Imperial Presidency," inspired Americans of all walks of life to forever question the previously-unchallenged pronouncements of its leaders. "The Most Dangerous Man in America" tells the inside story, for the first time on film, of this pivotal event that changed history and transformed our nation's political discourse. It is told largely by the players of that dramatic episode-Ellsberg, his colleagues, family and critics; Pentagon Papers authors and government officials; Vietnam veterans and anti-war activists; Watergate principals, attorneys and the journalists who both covered the story and were an integral part of it; and finally-through White House audiotapes-President Nixon and his inner circle of advisors. Written by Anonymous

Plot Keywords
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Additional Details

Also Known As
  • The Most Dangerous Man in America (World-wide, English title)
  • Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers (World-wide, English title)
  • Daniel Ellsberg & the Pentagon Papers (World-wide, English title)
  • L'homme qui a fait tomber Nixon (France)
  • Der gefährlichste Mann in Amerika - Daniel Ellsberg und die Pentagon-Papiere (Germany)
  • See more »
  • 92 min
Official Sites

Box Office

Opening Weekend United States $1,114, 31 Jan 2010

Did You Know?

Goofs (at around 1h 19 mins) Three Black Hawk helicopters are shown disembarking combat-equipped soldiers, ostensibly in Viet Nam. While the first YUH-60 did in fact fly before the fall of Saigon, it was 1976 before three of them had been produced. Production aircraft were not delivered until 1978. See more »
Movie Connections Edited into The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers (2010). See more »
Quotes Daniel Ellsberg: ...and that was a conscious lie. We all knew that inside the government and not one of us told the press or the public or the electorate during that election. It was a well kept secret by thousands and thousands of people, including me.
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