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

by Rick Goldsmith and Judith Ehrlich

An act of conscience that shocked the world

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In 1971, Daniel Ellsberg, a high-level Pentagon official and Vietnam War strategist, concludes that the war is based on decades of lies and leaks 7,000 pages of top secret documents to The New York Times, making headlines around the world.

THE MOST DANGEROUS MAN IN AMERICA is a riveting story of how one man’s profound change of heart created a landmark struggle involving America’s newspapers, president and Supreme Court-- a political thriller whose events led directly to Watergate, Nixon’s resignation and the end of the Vietnam War. 

Now with "extras" such as the secret Nixon White House audiotapes, Spanish sub-title option, closed captioning, filmmaker bios, curriculum guide, excerpts from "Secrets" by Daniel Ellsberg, and more.

  "A great teaching tool!  The Pentagon Papers controversy remains the key test case of press freedom vs. national security and this film brilliantly lays out the competing claims with a rare combination of objectivity and passion."    -- Robert Scheer, Journalist and professor of Communications, University of Southern California

 “Riveting! A straight-ahead, enthralling story of moral courage. This story changed the world.  The movie offers one revelatory interview after another. CRITICS’ PICK!”  – David Edelstein, New York Magazine

“Detailed, clearly told, persuasive” – Mike Hale, The New York Times

 “A Must-See! Crams a wealth of material into 90 minutes without losing clarity or momentum.   Focuses on (Ellsberg’s) moral turnaround, which directly impacted history. A unique fusion of personal and social drama.”  – Ronnie Scheib, Variety


ACADEMY AWARD Nominee- Best Documentary Feature

George Foster Peabody Award (for POV broadcast on PBS)

Official selection - "Documentary Showcase" - US State Department film tour

quoteDetailed, clearly told, persuasive
Mike Hale
The New York Times
full review

quoteA Must-See! Crams a wealth of material into 90 minutes without losing clarity or momentum.... A unique fusion of personal and social drama.
Ronnie Scheib
Variety
full review

quote"The essential new documentary."
Joshua Rothkopf
Time Out New York
full review

quote"Earnest, smart documentary.... the filmmakers do an astounding job relating how Ellsberg brought the Pentagon Papers (which laid out in plain language how the Pentagon and White House had been lying through their teeth to the public about the war) to light...a thrilling journalistic drama, easily the equal of Deep Throat."
Chris Barsanti
The Hollywood Reporter
full review

Gary Goldstein
Los Angeles Times
full review

More Reviews

AWARDS & SCREENINGS:

  • Academy Award Nominee- Best Documentary Feature

  • George Foster Peabody Award (for POV broadcast on PBS)

  • Official selection - Documentary Showcase - US State Department film tour

  • John O'Connor Film Award - American Historical Association        

  • Erik Barnouw Award - Organization of American Historians

  • Freedom of Expression Award - National Board of Review

  • Official selection - Toronto International Film Festival

  • Special Jury Award  - International Documentary Film Festival, Amsterdam (IDFA)

Resource Web Sites

appleCurriculum guide for high school and college students--

How to stimulate discussion and get the most out of The Most Dangerous Man in America

appleDaniel Ellsberg website

appleThe Pentagon Papers, Gravel edition--

The complete 47 volumes of text of the Pentagon Papers

appleTheatrical playdates

Resources to Download

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Visit the official website for The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers

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

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Appropriate for: High School College/University

Special Features:

  • Nixon secret White House audiotapes
  • Curriculum guide
  • Spanish sub-titles
  • Excerpts from Ellsberg's "Secrets"
  • Directors bios and trailers from other films
  • "Ellsberg today"
  • Closed captioning

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