December 5, 2007

Charlie Wilson's War

Charlie Wilson's War is the true story of how a playboy congressman, a renegade CIA agent and a beautiful Houston socialite joined forces to lead the largest and most successful covert operation in history. Their efforts contributed to the fall of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War, with consequences that reverberate throughout the world today.

Charlie Wilson (Hanks) was a bachelor congressman from Texas who had a habit of showing up in hot tubs with strippers and cocaine. His "Good Time Charlie" exterior, however, masked an extraordinary mind, a deep sense of patriotism and a passion for the underdog, and in the early 1980s the underdog was Afghanistan - which had just been brutally invaded by the Russians.

Charlie's long time friend and patron and sometime lover was Joanne Herring (Roberts), one of the wealthiest women in Texas and a virulent anti-communist. Believing the American response to the Russian invasion was anemic at best, she prods Charlie into doing more for the Mujahideen (Afghan freedom fighters).

Charlie's partner in this uphill endeavor is CIA Agent Gust Avrakotos (Hoffman), a blue-collar operative in a company of Ivy League blue bloods. Together, the three of them - Charlie, Joanne and Gust - travel the world to form unlikely alliances among the Pakistanis, Israelis, Egyptians, arms dealers, law makers and a belly dancer.

Their success was remarkable. Funding for covert operations against the Soviets went from $5 million to $1 billion annually. The Red Army retreated out of Afghanistan. When asked how a group of peasants was able to deliver such a decisive blow to the army of a superpower, Pakistani President Mohammad Zia ul-Haq responded simply, "Charlie did it."

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Release Date: December 21, 2007
Genre: Drama, Adaptation, Biopic and War
Running Time: 97 min.
Distributor(s): Universal Pictures Distribution
Tagline: A stiff drink. A little mascara. A lot of nerve. Who said they couldn't bring down the Soviet empire.
MPAA Rating:

Mike Nichols

Aaron Sorkin - Screenplay (adaptation)
Aaron Sorkin - Screenplay
George Crile - Source Material (from book: "Charlie Wilson's War: The Extraordinary Story of the Largest Covert Operation in History")

Celia D. Costas - Executive Producer
Ryan Kavanaugh - Executive Producer
Jeff Skoll - Executive Producer
Tom Hanks - Producer
Gary Goetzman - Producer
Michael Haley - Co-Producer
Mary Bailey - Associate Producer

Movie Casts:
Amy Adams - Bonnie
Audrey Alison - Congressional Staffer
Hilary Angelo - Kelly
Shiri Appleby - Jailbait
Erick Avari - Avi Perlman
Yousuf Azami - Relief worker
Anthony Azizi - Refugee
Mary Bonner Baker - Marla
Paul Bartholomew - Date
Cyia Batten - Stacy
Ned Beatty - Doc Long
Jehangir Behzadizadeh - Wounded man
Emily Blunt - Jane Liddle
Nazanin Boniadi - Refugee Woman
P.J. Byrne - Jim Van Wagenen
Celestina - Dancer
Kara Clem - Trophy Wife
Kevin Cooney - Kane
Walter Delmar - Lobbyist
Christopher Denham - Mike Vickers
Jon Donahue - Stu
François Duhamel - French News Photographer
Russell Edge - Mike Wells
Wynn Everett - Charlie's Receptionist
Ron Fassler - Mario
Daniel Findlay - Airport Passenger
Takayo Fischer - Party Guest
Spencer Garrett - Congressman Davis
Peter Gerety - Larry Liddle
Geoffrey Gould - Homeless Vietnam Vet
Tom Hanks - Charlie Wilson
Philip Seymour Hoffman - Gust Avrakotos
Edward Hunt - Embassy Marine
Mallory Jameson - Sariah
Jody Jaress - Party Guest #1
Daston Kalili
Ashkan Kashanchi - Widow's Son
Mary Page Keller - Mrs. Wilson
Igor Korosec - Russian Pilot 1
Alexander Lvovsky - USSR Gunner 1
Pavel Lychnikoff
Dorothy Macdonald - Nurse Without Borders
Rizwan Manji - Mr. Mahmood
Brian Markinson - Paul Brown
Mozhan Marnò - Woman Translator
Anthony Martins - Afghanastan Refugee
Michael McCafferty - Party Guest #2
David Mehl - Congressional Staffer
Adam Meir - David
Ambria Miscia - Vegas Showgirl
Navid Negahban
David Newham - Edsel
Rachel Nichols - Suzanne
Tom Ohmer - Party Guest
Soraya Omar - (voice)
Ron Ostrow - Congressman #5
Maulik Pancholy - Hassan
Mary Linda Phillips - Party Guest #2
Om Puri - General Zia-Ul-Haq
Wali Razaqi - Ahmad
Carly Reeves - Slave Girl
Alexandra Rieger - Striking Village girl
John Robert - Congressman
Julia Roberts - Joanne Herring
Tricia Rockman - Nurse Without Borders
Kelly Ryan - Staff Photographer
Sam Sako - Egyptian BodyGuard
Mehrdad Sarlak - Egyptian Bodyguard #2
David Schroeder - Fundraiser
Lorna Scott - Female Party Guest
Sammy Sheik - Stinger
Cynthia Silver - Charlie's Party Guest #1
John Slattery
Cassidy Smith - Refugee Girl
Michael Spellman - Agent Patrick
Rachel Style
Jackie Swanson - Maddy
Teresa Swift - Indian
Faran Tahir - Rashid
William Tempel - Congressman
Tracy Thorpe - Party Guest
Shaun Toub - Hassan
Jud Tylor - Crystal Lee
Dawson Van Pelt - Texas
Luke Van Pelt - Houston
Ilia Volokh
Nathalie Walker - Jane's friend
Tommy Wilson-O'Brien - Congressman
Moneer Yaqubi - Stinger #1

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