Path to War
|Path to War|
|Written by||Daniel Giat|
|Directed by||John Frankenheimer|
Philip Baker Hall
|Music by||Gary Chang|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Executive producers||Cary Brokaw|
Edgar J. Scherick
|Running time||165 minutes|
|Production companies||Avenue Pictures|
Edgar J. Scherick Associates
Path to War is a 2002 American biographical television film, produced by HBO and directed by John Frankenheimer. It was the final film directed by Frankenheimer, who died seven weeks after the film debuted on HBO. It was also the last film produced by Edgar J. Scherick during his lifetime—he died seven months after its initial airing on HBO.
The film deals directly with the Vietnam War as seen through the eyes of United States President Lyndon B. Johnson and his cabinet members. The starting events portrayed begin in January 1965 with LBJ at the Inaugural Ball and ends on March 31, 1968, when he announces to the nation that he will not run for re-election.
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. Gary Sinise reprised his role as George Wallace from Frankenheimer's 1997 biopic of Wallace.
Television critic Matt Zoller Seitz in his 2016 book co-written with Alan Sepinwall titled TV (The Book) named Path to War as the 6th greatest American TV-movie of all time, writing: "This nearly three-hour epic plays like the greatest political drama that Oliver Stone never made.... This is easily the greatest of Frankenheimer's late-period TV work, which equals his finest work from the 1960s".
According to The Washington Post: "Gambon is entirely up to the task of making a larger-than-life icon seem painfully -- and in the end, helplessly -- human. It is a performance of fire and brimstone".
- Sutherland won a 2002 Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television Film for his performance as Clifford.
- Levesque, John (May 19, 2002). "LBJ's vile realities pave HBO's 'Path to War'". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved December 6, 2020.
- Sepinwall, Alan; Seitz, Matt Zoller (September 2016). TV (The Book): Two Experts Pick the Greatest American Shows of All Time (1st ed.). New York, NY: Grand Central Publishing. p. 372. ISBN 9781455588190.
- "HBO's Powerful 'Path to War': The Drama That Was LBJ".
- Official site
- Path to War in HBO
- Path to War at IMDb
- Path to War at AllMovie
- Path to War at Rotten Tomatoes
- TELEVISION/RADIO; A Vietnam War Film Takes On a Sudden Resonance by Bernard Weinraub, 9 December 2001, The New York Times.
- LBJ's tortured 'Path to War' / HBO movie shows two sides of Johnson in Vietnam era, by Jonathan Curiel, San Francisco Chronicle, Saturday, 18 May 2002.
- Path to War, by Lesley Smith, PopMatters, 10 June 2002.