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.
"Detailed, clearly told, persuasive"
"A great teaching tool! The Pentagon Papers controversy remains the key test of press freedom vs. national security and this film brilliantly lays out the competing claims with a rare combination of objectivity and passion."
"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."
"A Must-See! Crams a wealth of material into 90 minutes without losing clarity or momentum... A unique fusion of personal and social drama."
"A riveting history of one man's mission to expose the misdeeds of five U.S. Presidents."
"The gripping story of how hawk-turned-dove Ellsberg's explosive actions circuitously led to the impeachment of Richard Nixon and, in turn, an end to the Vietnam War is comprehensively detailed in Judith Ehrlich and Rick Goldsmith's evocative documentary.."
"The most exciting thriller I've seen in a while.... as powerful as anything Hollywood can throw at us."
"Riveting! A straight-ahead, enthralling story of moral courage. This story changed the world. The movie offers one revelatory interview after another. CRITICS' PICK!"
"When I screened the film in my freshman seminar last year, I could almost actually see the scales falling from the eyes of several students. Some students audibly gasped during the Nixon scenes. After the film, at least a couple of speechless souls appeared to be in a state of shock. One of the more dismaying aspects of contemporary higher education in the United States is the increasing conformity of curricula to the pressures of US empire and neoliberalism. One of the valuable services provided by Ehrlich and Goldsmith is the support they give to critically-minded educators who wish to undo the baleful effects of these ideologies. The film gets students to think with increasing disillusionment about the most important questions of the day: What is power and how is it exercised? How do the representations in popular culture and political discourse of other cultures and other places relate to power? Is there a difference between official US rhetorics of freedom, democracy, and stability, on the one side, and the effects on the ground of US hegemony? What is our responsibility as citizens?"