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)
Philip Baker Hall
|Theme music composer||Gary Chang|
|Country of origin||United States|
Edgar J. Scherick
|Running time||165 minutes|
|Original release||May 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.
- Sutherland won a 2002 Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television Film for his performance as Clifford.
- Dominic Houlder, an adjunct professor of strategic and international management at the London Business School at the University of London in London, England, uses excerpts from the film for the Capstone course as part of the school's master of business administration program.
- Gerald Wetlaufer, professor of law at the University of Iowa, uses excerpts of the film in his course on Negotiations.
- At the University of Tennessee, Dr. Anne D. Smith has used Path to War as an exercise in decision making, Groupthink, and perceived power, within the management department of the Haslam College of Business.
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