Path to War

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Path to War
Genre Biographical television film
Written by Daniel Giat
Directed by John Frankenheimer
Starring (first billed only)
Michael Gambon
Donald Sutherland
Alec Baldwin
Bruce McGill
James Frain
Felicity Huffman
Frederic Forrest
John Aylward
Philip Baker Hall
Tom Skerritt
Diana Scarwid
Sarah Paulson
Gerry Becker
Peter Jacobson
Theme music composer Gary Chang
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
Producer(s) Cary Brokaw
Howard Dratch
John Frankenheimer
Guy Riedel
Edgar J. Scherick
Editor(s) Richard Francis-Bruce
Cinematography Stephen Goldblatt
Nancy Schreiber
Running time 165 minutes
Original network HBO
Original release May 18, 2002May 18, 2002

Path to War is a 2002 American biographical television film, produced by HBO and directed by John Frankenheimer that deals directly with the Vietnam War as seen through the eyes of United States President Lyndon B. Johnson and his cabinet members. It was the final film (theatrical or made-for-TV) that was directed by Frankenheimer, who died seven weeks after the film debuted on HBO.

The film stars Michael Gambon as President Johnson, Alec Baldwin as Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara and Donald Sutherland as presidential advisor Clark M. Clifford, who succeeds McNamara as Secretary of Defense.


Lyndon B. Johnson wins the 1964 U.S. presidential election by a landslide. His administration strives to advance civil rights and do other good work, but the Vietnam War consumes it. Johnson's civilian and military leaders persuade him to take America's involvement in Vietnam deeper and deeper, against the advice of the President's trusted adviser, Clark Clifford, who opposes the strategy of the Cabinet's Secretary of Defense, Robert McNamara.

Featured cast[edit]

Actor Role
Michael Gambon Lyndon B. Johnson
Donald Sutherland Clark M. Clifford
Alec Baldwin Robert McNamara
Bruce McGill George Ball
James Frain Richard N. Goodwin
Felicity Huffman Lady Bird Johnson
Frederic Forrest Earle Wheeler
John Aylward Dean Rusk
Philip Baker Hall Everett Dirksen
Gary Sinise George C. Wallace
Tom Skerritt William Westmoreland
Cliff De Young McGeorge Bundy
Chris Eigeman Bill Moyers
John Valenti Jack Valenti
Gerry Becker Walt Rostow
Sarah Paulson Luci Baines Johnson
Francis Guinan Nicholas Katzenbach
Curtis L. McClarin Martin Luther King, Jr.
Randy Oglesby John Stennis
Patricia Kalember Margaret Craig McNamara
Diana Scarwid Marny Clifford
Madison Mason John McCone


Academic usage[edit]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]