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The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers (2009)

Not Rated
92 min | Documentary

"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"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 See less
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Opening weekend
$1,114
Gross (US & Canada)
$453,993
Gross (World)
$453,993
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Release date
Oct 17, 2009 (United States)

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Cast

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28 cast members
Name STARmeter Known for
Peter Arnett
Himself - Associated Press Correspondent (archive footage) Himself - Associated Press Correspondent (archive footage)   See fewer
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Ben Bagdikian
Himself - Editor, Washington Post Himself - Editor, Washington Post   See fewer
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Ann Beeson
Herself - Associate Legal Director, ACLU Herself - Associate Legal Director, ACLU   See fewer
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John Dean
Himself - White House Counsel to President Nixon Himself - White House Counsel to President Nixon   See fewer
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Daniel Ellsberg
Himself / Narraror Himself / Narraror   See fewer
Members only
Members only
Robert Ellsberg
Himself - Daniel's Son Himself - Daniel's Son   See fewer
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Richard Falk
Himself - Professor of International Law Himself - Professor of International Law   See fewer
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Max Frankel
Himself - Washington Bureau Chief, New York Times Himself - Washington Bureau Chief, New York Times   See fewer
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J. William Fulbright
Himself - Chair Foreign Relations Committee (archive footage) Himself - Chair Foreign Relations Committee (archive footage)   See fewer
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James Goodale
Himself - General Counsel, New York Times Himself - General Counsel, New York Times   See fewer
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Mike Gravel
Himself - Senator (D-Alaska) Himself - Senator (D-Alaska)   See fewer
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Morton Halperin
Himself - Supervisor, Vietnam War Study (as Mort Halperin) Himself - Supervisor, Vietnam War Study (as Mort Halperin)   See fewer
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Lyndon Baines Johnson
Himself - President (archive footage) (as Lyndon Johnson) Himself - President (archive footage) (as Lyndon Johnson)   See fewer
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Randy Kehler
Himself - Draft Resister Himself - Draft Resister   See fewer
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Bud Krogh
Himself - Director, 'Plumbers' Unit - Nixon White House (as Egil Krogh) Himself - Director, 'Plumbers' Unit - Nixon White House (as Egil Krogh)   See fewer
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Pete McCloskey
Himself - Representative, California Himself - Representative, California   See fewer
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Robert McNamara
Himself (archive footage) Himself (archive footage)   See fewer
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Wayne Morse
Himself - Senator, Oregon (archive footage) Himself - Senator, Oregon (archive footage)   See fewer
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Richard Nixon
Himself - President (archive footage) Himself - President (archive footage)   See fewer
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Thomas Oliphant
Himself - Reporter, Boston Globe (as Tom Oliphant) Himself - Reporter, Boston Globe (as Tom Oliphant)   See fewer
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Dan Rather
Himself - Reporter (archive footage) Himself - Reporter (archive footage)   See fewer
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Tony Russo
Himself - RAND Analyst Himself - RAND Analyst   See fewer
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Thomas Schelling
Himself - RAND Analyst / Nobel Laureate Himself - RAND Analyst / Nobel Laureate   See fewer
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Hedrick Smith
Himself - Reporter, New York Times Himself - Reporter, New York Times   See fewer
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Janaki Tschannerl
Herself - Peace Activist Herself - Peace Activist   See fewer
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Leonard Weinglass
Himself - Russo Defense Attorney Himself - Russo Defense Attorney   See fewer
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Howard Zinn
Himself - Historian Himself - Historian   See fewer
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Ratings Breakdown

7.7 / 10 | 2,180 votes