Steven Spielberg’s new movie The Post explores the crusading efforts of the American newspaper The Washington Post in publishing the controversial Pentagon Papers in 1971. The documents contained classified, and damning, information about America’s political and military involvement in Vietnam between 1945 and 1967. The documents were initially published in the New York Times and then in the Post.
The plot concerns the negotiations between Post editor Ben Bradlee (Tom Hanks) and publisher Katharine Graham (Meryl Streep) that led to the publication of the documents. “We will lose and the country will lose,” Hanks says in the trailer of The Post, effectively making a decision that established The Washington Post was one of America’s leading examples of investigative journalism. The Pentagon Papers expose came ahead of the Watergate scandal, uncovered by Post journalists Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein.
The Post will have a limited release on December 22 and a worldwide release on January 12.