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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Engaging but unsatisfying...?, 24 Sep 2004
This review is from: The Fog Of War [DVD] [2004] (DVD)
Errol Morris's biopic of Robert S. McNamara focuses on his time as US Secretary of Defence during the Vietnam conflict, having intially been hand-picked by JFK for the post pre-war despite having no prior experience of politics.
McNamara's earlier life of academic and commercial achievement is also touched upon (including the surprising fact that McNamara invented car seatbelts...), as is his later role as President of the World Bank - a tenure which lasted 13 years.
However, the crux of the documentary concerns McNamara's handling of the Vietnam War, and attempts to elicit understanding of the motivations of both J.F.K. and subsequently L.B.J. regarding the USA's miltary involvement.
Although McNamara is an extremely articulate and genial interviewee, his repeated point-blank refusal to answer Errol Morris's more incisive questions regarding the politics behind the conflict begin to jar. The purpose of the film appears purely to be a method of catharsis for McNamara, as he is clearly a an altruistic man upon whose shoulders rests much guilt concerning the abhorrent loss of life in Vietnam. He freely admits many mistakes were made, both by himself and in particular L.B.J. and his Chiefs of Staff. However, it's unfortunate that McNamara repeatedly shies away from any overtly controversial criticism of the ex-president - despite the fact LBJ apparently sacked McNamara solely for his anti-war stance.
Nevertheless, his account of the political machinations of both administrations under which he served are frequently fascinating, particularly his chilling account of the Cuban missile crisis and how close the world came to all-out nuclear war. Unfortunately, it's also rather unsatisfying in revealing any new insights into the unwinnable war in Vietnam which still exists as an open wound in America's history.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 29 Apr 2013 02:28:04 BDT
nobby clark says:
No he did not invent seat belts.They were in fact invented by Sir George Cayley a prolific English inventor,however the first patent was given to Edward J Claghorn of New York. Nils Bohlen(Swedish) for Volvo, designed the first effective 3 point seat belt. They were fitted as an option to some models(Fords) from 1955 under an initiative by a rising executive named Robert McNamara.That is where you have made your error in fact.
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