Blu-ray, DVD Release: The War Room

Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: March 20, 2012
Price: DVD $29.95, Blu-ray $39.95
Studio: Criterion


The War Room movie scene

James Carville campaigns in The War Room.

Directed by renowned cinema verité filmmakers D. A. Pennebaker (Monterey Pop) and Chris Hegedus (Kings of Pastry), the 1993 documentary film The War Room focuses on  Bill Clinton’s successful 1992 presidential campaign.

The 1992 presidential election was a triumph not only for Clinton but also for the new breed of strategists who guided him to the White House and changed the face of politics in the process. In their behind-closed-doors account of the campaign, Pennebaker and Hegedus follow the brainstorming and bull sessions of Clinton’s crack team of consultants — especially the folksy James Carville and the preppy George Stephanopoulos, who became media stars in their own right as they injected a fresh spirit and spontaneity into the process of campaigning.

Criterion’s DVD and Blu-ray editions of the acclaimed movie are highlighted by a restored high-definition digital transfer, approved by the directors, with a 2.0 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition.

The DVD and Blu-ray contain the following special features:

  • Return of the War Room, a 2008 documentary in which advisers James Carville, George Stephanopoulos and Paul Begala and others reflect on the effect the Clinton war room had on the way campaigns are run
  • Making “The War Room,” a conversation between the filmmakers about the difficulties of shooting in the campaign’s fast-paced environment
  • panel discussion hosted by the William J. Clinton Foundation and featuring Carville, Clinton adviser Vernon Jordan, journalist Ron Brownstein and surprise guest Bill Clinton
  • interview with strategist Stanley Greenberg on the increasing importance of polling
  • booklet featuring an essay by writer Louis Menand
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About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.