The Post (2017)

  • Gist: In 1971, the decision to publish a large chunk of The Pentagon Papers falls on Kay Graham, owner of the Washington Post.
  • Production: Spielberg in the chair, Kaminski behind the camera. If there’s a flaw, I missed it.
  • Character and acting: Oh, good grief! Watching Streep and Hanks IS a master class. Script balances their characters against each other in complement and counterpoint.
  • Theme: As the free press is essential to government by and for the People, equality and respect for women are essential to a free and just society.
  • Sexism: The higher in power circles men are, the more dismissive they are of women. (I nearly cheered aloud when Kay finally tells a man to wait his turn!)
  • Historical accuracy: High. Sidelines the role played by NY Times, but this is the story of Kay Graham, not the full story of the Pentagon Papers. 

Conclusion: See it for amazing acting, a poignant moment in recent history, and a look at how women get treated by men. 

PENTAGON PAPERS FUN FACTS:

  • Truman, Eisenhower, JFK, LBJ, and Nixon all lied to Congress and the public about US involvement in Vietnam.
  • It was known that Vietnam was an unwinnable quagmire years before my Dad was drafted and sent there, before the bulk of the 57,000 died and hundreds of thousands were wounded or scarred.
  • If a copy hadn’t been stolen, we likely still wouldn’t know. 
  • The Supreme Court had to protect Freedom of the Press from the President and Attorney General. 
  • The President (1 from each party) claimed the media was disloyal to America and had it in for him, personally.