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

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Released 2009

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Director:
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Released:
2009
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The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers is a 2009 documentary that explores the landmark case that exposed dark secrets of the Vietnam War to the American public. In 1971, military advisor and former Marine Ellsberg faced 115 years in prison after he leaked classified information from the Pentagon to the New York Times. Directors Judith Ehrlich and Rick Goldsmith recreate the dramatic unfolding of this pivotal case that went to the Supreme Court and helped turn the tide of public opinion against the controversial war. The film uses news and war footage, along with interviews with Ellsberg's family members, the reporters involved in the story, and peace activists as well as recordings of the White House administration discussing the case in private to provide a compelling and thorough overview of the case. Professors Howard Zinn and Richard Falk also discuss the long-term impact on the government, journalism and public perception.

Metacritic Score

  • 80

    Los Angeles Times

    The gripping story of how hawk-turned-dove Ellsberg's explosive actions circuitously led to the impeachment of Richard Nixon and, in turn, an end to the Vietnam War is comprehensiv...

  • 70

    The New York Times

    On the spectrum from heroic patriot to craven traitor, this detailed, clearly told and persuasive film, directed by Judith Ehrlich and Rick Goldsmith, is firmly on the side of heroic.

  • 70

    Variety Ronnie Scheib

    Crams a wealth of material into 90 minutes without losing clarity or momentum.

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Categories

Documentary

Themes

Politics, Profile, Biography, Crime & Conspiracy, History