Release dateMay 30, 1998 (1998-05-30) WriterNeil Sheehan (book), Terry George (teleplay) CastBill Paxton (John Paul Vann), Amy Madigan (Mary Jane Vann), Donal Logue (Steven Burnett), Vivian Wu (Lee), Eric Bogosian (Doug Elders) Similar moviesApocalypse Now, The Deer Hunter, Good Morning, Vietnam, Casualties of War, Hamburger Hill, Missing in Action 2: The Beginning
TaglineIn war as in life, the difference between truth and deception is what a man allows himself to believe.
A bright shining lie trailer 1998
A Bright Shining Lie is an 1998 American made-for-television war drama film based on Neil Sheehan's book of the same name and the true story of John Paul Vann's experience in the Vietnam War. It stars Bill Paxton, Amy Madigan, Vivian Wu, Donal Logue, Eric Bogosian and Kurtwood Smith and is written and directed by Terry George, and produced by Greg Ricketson.
Eric Bogosian as Doug Elders, a composite character not in the book melding elements of real-life people in the book Daniel Ellsberg and Douglas Ramsey, who both worked with Vann; Ellsberg and reporter David Halberstam had asked that their names be removed from the production after reading an early draft of the screenplay
James Rebhorn as Ambassador Bunker
Les J.N. Mau as Colonel Dinh
David Warshofsky as Terry Pike
Thanh Nguyen as ARVN Translator
Pichariva Narakbunchai as Annie
Kris von Habsburg as a US soldier
In 1998, the film was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Made for Television Movie. In 1999, Bill Paxton was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for his performance in the film.