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Official Secrets (2019)

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2:13 | Trailer
The true story of a British whistleblower who leaked information to the press about an illegal NSA spy operation designed to push the UN Security Council into sanctioning the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

Director:

Gavin Hood

Writers:

Gregory Bernstein (screenplay), Sara Bernstein (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
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Popularity
215 ( 16)
4 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Keira Knightley ... Katharine Gun
Matthew Goode ... Peter Beaumont
MyAnna Buring ... Jasmine
Matt Smith ... Martin Bright
Ralph Fiennes ... Ben Emmerson
Indira Varma ... Shami Chakrabarti
Rhys Ifans ... Ed Vulliamy
Jeremy Northam ... Ken MacDonald
Conleth Hill ... Roger Alton
Katherine Kelly ... Jacqueline Jones
Tamsin Greig ... Elizabeth Wilmshurst
Hattie Morahan ... Yvonne Ridley
Shaun Dooley ... John
Kenneth Cranham ... Judge Hyam
Jack Farthing ... Andy Dumfries
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Storyline

A morality tale for the 21st century, Official Secrets tells the true story of British Intelligence whistle-blower Katharine Gun who, during the immediate run-up to the 2003 Iraq invasion, leaked a top secret NSA memo exposing a joint US-UK illegal spying operation against members of the UN Security Council. The memo proposed blackmailing smaller, undecided member states into voting for war. At great personal and professional risk, journalist Martin Bright published the leaked document in The Observer newspaper in London, and the story made headlines around the world. Members of the Security Council were outraged and any chance of a UN resolution in favour of war collapsed. But within days, Bush declared he no longer needed UN backing and invaded anyway. As Iraq descended into chaos, Katharine was arrested and charged with breaching the Official Secrets Act. Martin faced potential charges too. Their legal battles exposed the highest levels of government in both London and Washington ...

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Truth is Always the First Casualty of War See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site | See more »

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English | Mandarin

Release Date:

30 August 2019 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Official Secrets See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$64,965, 1 September 2019

Gross USA:

$1,988,546

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$6,863,154
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

16 : 9
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Secretary of State Colin Powell learned that he the information he was given for his presentation to the United Nations was false and intentionally misleading, he was so disgusted that he resigned from office. For one example the false evidence that he presented included photographs of some metal tubes. Photographic analysis showed that the tube walls were far too thin to be used as suggested and were quite ordinary. See more »

Goofs

When Katharine enters the office at the office at 04:10 she places a pastry onto some sort of equipment. She then gives some to her colleague and puts it back on the equipment. From there it just vanishes and appears at 05:10. See more »

Quotes

Tony Blair: [on TV] What we know, is that Saddam has this material.
Katharine Gun: You don't know that. I mean, he just keeps repeating the lie. Just because you're the Prime Minister, it doesn't mean you get to make up your own facts.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Good Morning Britain: Episode dated 11 October 2019 (2019) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Understated but edge-of-the-seat stuff
26 October 2019 | by jeremy-dent-627-314416See all my reviews

Beautifully-crafted production with great performances from the cast. It seems pointless regurgitating the plot because it is factual and well-known and, despite any real surprises, the director keeps the tension going. It just shows you can craft thoroughly enjoyable films taking the high moral ground without the ridiculous violence and coy sexuality of most Hollywood offerings. The core of the film is the ethical question of whether state employees act for the people or the government and the latter's privileged cronies and backers. Catherine Gun calls this into question and, despite the UK Government rephrasing the Official Secrets Act, she triumphs because of the duplicity of the then UK Prime Minister, Tony Blair, and the obvious willingness of the USA to prosecute a patently illegal war with Iraq whatever the United Nations votes or does. The door to neo-liberalism creaks open a bit but then we all know what is behind it.


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