The Man Nobody Knew

DVD - 2012
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
The Man Nobody Knew
As powerful and riveting as a John Le Carre thriller, The Man Nobody Knew uncovers the hidden life of legendary CIA spymaster William Colby. The consummate American soldier-spy, Colby took on the government's dirtiest assignments without question, until the day he defied presidential orders and revealed to Congress the CIA's 'family jewels' - their darkest, deepest secrets. Told by his son Carl Colby, William Colby's story unmasks the lies, truths, sacrifices, and casualties of a covert spy.

Published: [United States] : First Run Features, 2012.
Branch Call Number: DVD 327.1273 MAN
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (104 min.) :,sd., col. ;,4 3/4 in.


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Aug 20, 2013
  • akirakato rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

During World War II, William Colby served with the Office of Strategic Services.
After the war he joined the newly created CIA.
Before and during the Vietnam War, Colby served as chief of station in Saigon, chief of the CIA's Far East Division, and took charge of the Phoenix Program, which was designed to identify and "neutralize" the infrastructure of Viet Cong.
This program focused on civilians, not soldiers.
The major two components of the program were Provincial Reconnaissance Units (PRUs) and regional interrogation centers.
PRUs would kill and capture suspected Viet Cong.
They would also capture civilians who were thought to have information on Viet Cong activities.
Many of these civilians were then taken to the interrogation centers where some were tortured in an attempt to gain intelligence on Viet Cong activities.
The information extracted at the centers was then given to military commanders, who would use it to task the PRU with further capture and assassination missions.
The film depicts part of the Phoenix Program, which reminds me of the activities of the Guantanamo Bay detention camp, where, during the Bush Administration,
Islamic people were detained for interrogation as part of the Global War on Terror.
So, it seems that history repeats itself.
Although I detest the activities of the Phoenix Program, William Colby himself seems like a devoted father and devoted civil servant.

Feb 15, 2013
  • kevfarley rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

An overview of the recent ( post- WW2, Cold War, Nam, etc. ) unfortunate history of our government's misuse of power, and of the official lies and classified 'secrecy' to cover it up. It's good background to help in the understanding of our current experience of the same. But nothing new. ( P.S. Kev's PICkS : For a true 'profile in courage' about a Vietnam warrior vet... see "The Most Dangeriuos Man In America",. about Daniel Ellsberg and the Petagon Papers.)

Oct 02, 2012
  • phoebewarren rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

This movie is a son's account of his father, with input from his mother, and others who knew the father. It is a documentary infused with strong feelings, and remarkable insights into the failures of US foreign policy in Vietnam. The conclusions are straighforward, but the path to those conclusions is full of the mystery and confusion of a son and wife growing up at the perimeter of a secret, powerful life.

Aug 08, 2012

For a man that nobody knew, there sure were an awful lot of people who did know him and knew him very well!
There are interesting interviews with high level officials - KGB even! So it is well worth watching.

Jul 30, 2012
  • aaa5756 rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

It was O.K for a home TV movie. I was entertained and interesting. But it was NOT worth the long library wait or the price to rent from a Red Box. "I fast forwarded a lot but not all the way.”

Jul 14, 2012
  • Glencoe_Mike rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

This doesn't offer much to say about Colby and is more of a primer on Vietnam. Just not a very in-depth or interesting documentary.


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