I saw this movie last night in preparation for this blog and I gotta admit, I like this movie more than I did twenty-years ago when I saw it for the first time. Back then I guess I was under the impression that this movie was simply about the relationship of President Richard Nixon and his top foreign policy and national security adviser Henry Kissinger. And I guess that would’ve been interesting enough, but this movie is much deeper than that. They cover most of 1972 and the Nixon Administration trying to end the Vietnam War one way or another that year. And before Election Night 1972 if all possible.
This movie is basically about the last days of the Vietnam War. When the end of that war was declared and when both countries were officially no longer at war. And after the war was officially over in late 1972 or early 73, the last two years became about how to successfully get all American personal out of Vietnam and prepare for our next relationship with the new Communist Republic of Vietnam. And Henry Kissinger who at this point was President Nixon’s National Security Director the head of the National Security Council and not Secretary of State yet, was in charge of these negotiations.
This movie also covers the personal and professional relationship of Nixon and Kissinger. How Nixon being the paranoid man that he was and how jealous of all the good publicity that Kissinger was getting. While the American press was never a fan of Dick Nixon and him becoming President of the United States didn’t help the press in how they felt about him. According to this movie the Nixon White House wanted to use Kissinger and take advantage of what they brought to the White House, but at the same time make it look like Kissinger was just taking orders. And not actually running foreign policy. This is a very good, but unfortunately short movie about two of the most fascinating and brilliant people to ever serve in the U.S. Government.