As the latest production of Top Secret nears its March 2010 opening at New York Theatre Workshop, another retelling of the Pentagon Papers story is also hitting theaters.Â The Most Dangerous Man in America, which opened at select theaters in January 2010, is a documentary focused on the story of Daniel Ellsberg, the former high-level Defense Department analyst and consultant who leaked the Pentagon Papers to newspapers around the country.
The documentary, narrated by Ellsberg, traces his personal journey from as a Marine and Vietnam strategist who becomes convinced, in part because of the material he read in the Pentagon Papers, that the Vietnam War was a mistake.Â As he says in the film, Ellsberg at first felt “half a radical,” but soon realized that his special access to secret documents placed him in a unique position to act on his sense of responsibility to help end the war.
By telling the Pentagon Papers story from Ellsberg’s perspective, The Most Dangerous Man in America provides an excellent complement to Top Secret which dramatizes aspects of the same story from the perspective of the Washington Post.
On Tuesday, February 2, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced the film’s nomination for Best Documentary Feature. Those seeing the New York Theatre Workshop production of Top Secret, can catch the film at Cinema Village, 22 East 12th Street, New York, NY.