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Almost certain it's a TV series, although it could have been a movie. 1980s. (Could be early 90s.)

A character, I believe a male in his 30s, manages to meet President Lyndon Johnson, offers proof he's a time traveler, Johnson believes him. He shows him how badly the war ends, urges him to withdraw early to avoid a disaster. But Johnson's take on the information is not what the traveler hoped.

Next we see him holding a newspaper with the headline "HANOI BOMBED -- MILLIONS DEAD" and arguing with... a woman, I think. She scolds him.

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    FWIW, King's 11/22/63 has an alternate history in which the U.S. nukes Hanoi to end the Vietnam war, but it was Wallace (not L.B.J.) who used nukes, and I don't know if that made it into the T.V. adaptation. Obviously from completely the wrong year, but an interesting parallel.
    – DavidW
    Dec 28, 2020 at 15:07

1 Answer 1

10

Running Against Time (1990)

A learned history professor goes back in time to attempt to save his older brother's life. Unfortunately, the attempt to save President Kennedy's life backfires, and the savior becomes the accused in the assassination. A rescue attempt by his girlfriend similarly backfires. By showing the new president a film documentary of the ongoing conflict, instead of convincing LBJ that the Vietnam War is a loosing proposition, he instead decides to escalate the war. The lesson is that sometimes the best of intentions cause the very thing we are trying to prevent. Although the dilemmas are resolved, we are left with the moral quandary of whether we should ever attempt to correct history.

Found with a search for site:imdb.com "time travel" vietnam johnson, which brought me to this review:

This TV movie is much like the 'The Butterfly Effect'. Our hero wants to go back into time and stop the war in vietnam so that his brother can live. To this end, he believes stopping the JFK assassination will stop the vietnam war ever being conducted (as well as concluding the cold war 30 years early!).

But as ever, if you change the past something will happen to make things worse for the future. For some reason, Lyndon Johnson decides to nuke Vietnam as well as send in more troops. Heck, why don't you just use the fabled 'neutron bomb' whilst your at it.

Trailer

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  • Was going nowhere, probably because I failed to focus the search to IMDb. Thanks!
    – JCCyC
    Dec 30, 2020 at 16:40

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