Most Dangerous Man in America

The Most Dangerous Man in America

5.0 1
Director: Judith Ehrlich, Rick Goldsmith

Cast: Judith Ehrlich, Rick Goldsmith, Daniel Ellsberg, Patricia Marx Ellsberg

     
 

In 1971, Daniel Ellsberg, a top military strategist working for the RAND Corporation, leaked a 7,000 page document known as the Pentagon Papers to the New York Times. Disenchanted with the nation's conduct in Vietnam, Ellsberg believed the release of the top secret paper -- which outlined the "secret history" of the war -- was crucial to educating the public about the…  See more details below

Overview

In 1971, Daniel Ellsberg, a top military strategist working for the RAND Corporation, leaked a 7,000 page document known as the Pentagon Papers to the New York Times. Disenchanted with the nation's conduct in Vietnam, Ellsberg believed the release of the top secret paper -- which outlined the "secret history" of the war -- was crucial to educating the public about the government's lies and misdeeds. This documentary chronicles the media and political frenzy that Ellsberg unleashed, and traces the effect of the leak on public perception of both the war and the White House. ~ Carly Wray

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Perry Seibert
Daniel Ellsberg changed the course of American history, or so the filmmakers responsible for The Most Dangerous Man in America would have us believe. The thing is, they make a rather compelling case. Tracing the brilliant young Pentagon analyst from his early days -- when he helped find evidence that would convince President Johnson to escalate troop levels in Vietnam -- to his eventual transformation into a selfless peace activist, the movie works as both a history lesson and a character study. In 1971, Daniel Ellsberg became arguably the most hated man in Richard Nixon's White House after leaking to The New York Times what became known as "The Pentagon Papers" -- a top-secret study he co-authored that explained how American involvement in Vietnam grew from the Truman administration through the late '60s. Ellsberg, a former Marine, began his transformation from hawk to dove after visiting the front lines of the war, and becoming convinced by everything he saw that it was unwinnable. Few American military wars have been documented as thoroughly, and memorably, as Vietnam, so, instead of fighting against 50 years of iconic imagery, the directors offer a concise but complete explanation of how every president from Truman to Nixon lied to the country about military activities in Southeast Asia. By offering this thorough picture of history, the film paints Ellsberg as an even more heroic figure -- it's not just Nixon he exposed by leaking the Pentagon Papers, but 30-plus years of American culpability. However, it's Ellsberg's personal story that makes for the more compelling moments in the film. He willingly sat for extensive interviews with the filmmakers and his intelligence, as well as his candor, is appealing -- he is as moved today by a sense of righteousness as he was when he made the fateful decision to leak such sensitive information. When Ellsberg sits down with the one-time anti-war demonstrator whose speech decades earlier moved him to take action, he chokes up with the force of his emotions. It's a small moment, but one that resonates because it makes plain that fighting the system requires a massive amount of confidence and decisiveness. Regardless of your political stance, it's hard not to admire the passion and brains Ellsberg displays. If you know or lived through this period of history, it's doubtful The Most Dangerous Man in America will teach you anything you didn't already know, but as a portrait of how one man's bravery and personal convictions can change the world, it's a compelling experience.

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Product Details

Release Date:
07/20/2010
UPC:
0720229914383
Original Release:
2009
Rating:
NR
Source:
First Run Features
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Time:
1:34:00
Sales rank:
42,073

Special Features

Closed Caption; The Nixon tapes (audio highlightings from the oval office); Woody Harrelson & Naomi Wolf on Ellsberg

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Daniel Ellsberg Narrator
Patricia Marx Ellsberg Participant
Richard Falk Participant
Thomas Schelling Participant
Thomas Oliphant Participant
Mort Halperin Participant
Janaki Natajaran Tschannerl Participant
Randy Kehler Participant
Anthony Russo Participant
Robert Ellsberg Participant
Pete McCloskey Participant
Howard Zinn Participant
Hedrick Smith Participant
Max Frankel Participant
James Goodale Actor
Ben Bagdikian Participant
Mike Gravel Participant
Anne Beeson Participant
John Dean Participant
Egil "Bud" Krogh Actor
Leonard Weinglass Participant
Lawrence Lerew Narrator
Michael Chandler Narrator
Judith Ehrlich Narrator
Rick Goldsmith Narrator

Technical Credits
Judith Ehrlich Director,Producer,Screenwriter
Rick Goldsmith Director,Editor,Producer,Screenwriter
Lynn Adler Associate Producer
Michael Chandler Editor,Screenwriter
Jodie Evans Executive Producer
Jo Sally Fifer Executive Producer
Vicente Franco Cinematographer
Dan Krauss Cinematographer
James LeBrecht Sound/Sound Designer
Lawrence Lerew Editor,Screenwriter
Blake Leyh Score Composer
Eli Noyes Animator

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers
1. Gulf of Tonkin [7:19]
2. "I Need Blood!" [5:57]
3. Vietnam, 1965 [7:49]
4. Asleep at the Wheel [6:08]
5. Secrets [5:47]
6. "My Life Split In Two" [4:50]
7. Tony Russo [4:49]
8. Xeroxing [4:23]
9. The Leak [4:42]
10. The New York Times [5:38]
11. Pentagon Papers Revealed [4:58]
12. Senator Mike Gravel [5:14]
13. "Wouldn't You Go to Prison?" [4:04]
14. Nixon and His Plumbers [5:11]
15. No One Is Listening [4:50]
16. The Trial [3:59]
17. Aftermath [4:35]
18. End Credits [3:19]

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The Most Dangerous Man in America 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago