Path to War

Overview

Inspired by author Robert A. Caro's massive biography of President Lyndon Baines Johnson, the made-for-cable Path to War retraces the world-shaking events occurring between LBJ's jubilant inaugural in 1965 and his tired, dispirited decision not to seek another presidential term in 1968. At the crux of these tumultuous three years is the war in Vietnam, which forces Johnson (here played by Michael Gambon) to shunt his proposed "Great Society" to the back burner. Though famous in political circles as a wrangler and...
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Overview

Inspired by author Robert A. Caro's massive biography of President Lyndon Baines Johnson, the made-for-cable Path to War retraces the world-shaking events occurring between LBJ's jubilant inaugural in 1965 and his tired, dispirited decision not to seek another presidential term in 1968. At the crux of these tumultuous three years is the war in Vietnam, which forces Johnson (here played by Michael Gambon) to shunt his proposed "Great Society" to the back burner. Though famous in political circles as a wrangler and compromiser, LBJ cannot seem to do anything right in pursuing the war; nor are his chief advisors, the hawkish Robert McNamara (Alec Baldwin) and the dove-ish Clark Clifford (Donald Sutherland), able to forge a permanent policy agreement. As Clifford warns Johnson that "escalation will ruin you, and all the great good you want to do," McNamara presses for a continuation of the war lest America lose face and Vietnam fall to the Communists. The story unfolds with the inexorability of a Shakespearean tragedy, with Johnson as a modern-day Macbeth, Richard III, and King Lear rolled into one. Of interest to non-history buffs is the appearance of two original cast members of the 1969 film M*A*S*H: Donald Sutherland as Clark Clifford and Tom Skerritt as William Westmoreland. Directed by political-movie veteran John Frankenheimer, Path to War made its HBO cable network debut on May 18, 2002.
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Special Features

Closed Caption; Featurette plus cast and director interviews; Time magazine special features, including LBJ slideshow; DVD-ROM features include timeline and interactive strategy simulator; Extensive historical background articles; Text interviews with director and cast
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/25/2003
  • UPC: 026359191121
  • Original Release: 2002
  • Rating:

  • Source: Hbo Home Video
  • Region Code: 1
  • Presentation: Wide Screen
  • Sound: Dolby Surround
  • Language: English, Español, Français
  • Time: 2:44:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Michael Gambon Lyndon B. Johnson
Alec Baldwin Robert McNamara
Donald Sutherland Clark Clifford
Tom Skerritt William Westmoreland
Technical Credits
John Frankenheimer Director, Executive Producer
Cary Brokaw Executive Producer
Gary Chang Score Composer
Howard B. Dratch Executive Producer
Richard Francis-Bruce Editor
Daniel Giat Screenwriter
Stephen Goldblatt Cinematographer
Waldemar Kalinowski Production Designer
Scott Meehan Art Director
Guy Riedel Producer
Edgar J. Scherick Executive Producer
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Inaugural Ball [9:52]
2. Vietnam Predicament [8:23]
3. Response to Aggression [12:25]
4. Marching for the Vote [8:38]
5. "We Shall Overcome" [6:50]
6. One Million Men [12:16]
7. Footprint of America [13:30]
8. "Retreat Does Not Bring Safety" [12:02]
9. Pause in Bombing [4:57]
10. Targeting Oil Reserves [5:56]
11. Strike on Hanoi [6:40]
12. Over Budget [10:55]
13. Visit to Vietnam [6:23]
14. Divided [3:34]
15. Change of Secretary [10:51]
16. Drop in Polls [6:29]
17. Move to Peace [9:12]
18. "My Fellow Americans..."/End Credits [6:49]
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Play Movie
   Chapters
   Special Features
      Bonus Video Features
         Behind-the-Scenes Featurette
         "Path to War" Cast Interviews
         "Path to War" Director Interview
      Cast/Crew Bios
         Michael Gambon as Lyndon B. Johnson
         Donald Sutherland as Clark Clifford
         Alec Baldwin as Robert S. McNamara
         Directed by John Frankenheimer
         Writen by Daniel Giat
      Exclusive DVD-ROM Features
      Time Classroom Special Features
         Milestones on the Path to War
         Path to War: Verbatim
         Vietnam by the Numbers
         L.B.J. and Vietnam: Public Opinion
         L.B.J. Slideshow
         Q&A With John Frankenheimer
   Audio
      English Dolby Surround
      Spanish Stereo
      French Stereo
   Subtitles
      English
      Spanish/Español
      French/Français
      None
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