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The Post: A Star-Studded Tale of Government Secrets

The+cast+of+The+Post+in+a+critical+scene+of+the+movie
The cast of The Post in a critical scene of the movie

The cast of The Post in a critical scene of the movie

Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox

Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox

The cast of The Post in a critical scene of the movie


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The Post depicts the real life story of the Washington Post’s coverage of a top secret government report on the US involvement in the Vietnam War over the span of over two decades, later known as the Pentagon Papers.  

The movie was directed and produced by Steven Spielberg and features stars like Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks in its major roles. The political thriller has been widely recognized by critics and the academy for the outstanding performances presented by Streep and Hanks, as well as the overall storyline and production of the film.

The motion picture covers the initial involvement of State Dept. military analyst Daniel Ellsberg in his reporting of the war’s progress in his designated region for Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara. On the plane ride home Ellsberg adds his input in a conversation between McNamara and President Lyndon Johnson and explains how the state of the war has not improved.

This intel only solidified McNamara’s argument to the president that the US was fighting a war they couldn’t win. Shortly after that conference, McNamara steps off the plane and gives a statement the press that the prospects in the war were promising. This contradiction in private affairs and what’s being told to the public catalyzes actions on part of Ellsberg. He started the process of copying a government report titled United States – Vietnam Relations, 1945–1967: A Study Prepared by the Department of Defense

The report detailed the history of the United Statespolitical-military involvement in Vietnam from 1945 to 1967 and contained critical information that had been hidden from the public eye. The report centers around the government’s knowledge of bleak prospects of the war, but continued deployment of men and utilization of American Resources. After Ellsberg leaks these documents to reporters at the New York Times, the initial article published in the Times starts a fire storm of civilian protests and government retaliation to the leaked insight. President Nixon presumes to sue the Times and reporters at the Washington Post take advantage of the legal predicament of their rival to contact the source and begin publishing their own coverage of the Pentagon Papers.

The film focuses heavily on how vital the press is as a check on the government, as well as the role it serves as a window for the public into the happenings of government. The movie also covers themes such as freedom of the press, women’s struggles as leaders in big corporations, and the fine line between government secrecy for the good of the people, and the implications of the lack of transparency from the governors to the governed.

The inspiring story of the reporters and the thrilling world of investigative journalism is intriguing to wide range of onlookers and the movie provides a perfect mix of excitement, shock, and emotional interest appeals to many. The comprehensive look on a key event in US history, the superb acting and production, and pressing relation of the themes presented in comparison to our current political state, all make The Post a “must watch”

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The Post: A Star-Studded Tale of Government Secrets