|Good Night, And Good Luck (2006, HD-DVD/DVD Combination Format) Brand NEW!|
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|Leading Role:||David Strathairn, Robert Downey Jr., Patricia Clarkson, Robert John Burke, Alex Borstein, Rose Abdoo|
Average review score based on 24 user reviews
of customers recommend this product
I really wanted to love "Good Night and Good Luck," the movie about the battle between Edward R Murrow and Joe McCarthy. I wish I could say I was blown away by it, that it was a Deluxe "Network" redux, an Ouroboros commentary that is singularly appropriate for our times. But the truth is, it was an airy, dry set piece about chain smoking. Glengarry Glen Ross had more energy.
Ironically, the main downfall of this movie about someone who took a beating for reporting the truth is that it simply reported the events that took place in the CBS studio at certain points during the Murrow/McCarthy scrum. And in a movie that described the evils of politicians who used irrelevancies to distract people, the standout detail of the movie was the importance of smoking. Not one scene took place without someone making a point to light a cigarette, pose with one, or talk about them. I can't for the life of me figure out if there is even any symbolism attached to this.
The movie was not only shot in monochrome, but written and directed in it as well. The characters were flat, blase mannequins. Morrow=good. McCarthy = Bad. Friendly = um, friendly. The subplots were inconsequential tangets with only token relevance. Even the tragedy of a fellow reporter being driven to suicide was reduced to a sidbar story of a submissive dork who was left by the wayside as the movie trudged on.
It struck me that in a movie where most of the characters sat the whole time, even getting up at a right moment couild have attracted some chi. But the closest it could come to a dramatic pause only made me expect the movie to cut to a commercial.
In "Network," there is a scene where Howard Beale meets with the CEO to be set straight about the nature of the world and those who report on it. It's one of the greatest movie scenes ever, and contains one of the best soliliquies in 20th century drama: "You have meddled with the primal forces of nature! And You! Will! Atone!"
The corresponding scene in this modern, Network-esque flick is a brief, forgettable talk that has very little to say of any importance at all.
The dark prophecy of Network has sadly come true in these days ... every bit of it. A movie that can carry the torch, or drive home the point, is badly needed. Moreover, Edward R. Murrow is a great American, an icon of a breed of journalist that is long extinct: a man who is after the truth, and is not afraid to go get it. And bring it home. And then tell it.
More journalists have died uin Iraq than in any other war, including World War II -- Murrow's war. But Murrow risked his life as well, then came home and told us what he learned. And America listened.
Now, no reporter can tell us what they learn. The administration in charge of this war lacks any of the integrity of the US during World War II. The media -- having become far worse that Chayefsky's caricature, thanks largely to Ronald Reagan -- squanders the lives of those journalists who give their last full measure in search of the truth in favor of their profits and in favor of gratifying a blase, greedy, and selfish America who is largely unaware that we are at war.
The legacy of Murrow and Chayefsky deserve better than this movie, and the brave stand the movie pretends to take deserves to be taken by a much stronger, more meaningful statement. Or failing that, it coould at least distract me with another two hours of shallow, entertaining fantasy to make me forget it all. This movie does neither.
This very well-written, well-produced and amazingly well acted film instantly became one of my personal favorites. The picture itself is visually stunning, made in original black and white on vintage cameras and film – giving it an emotion that could just not be conveyed in “modern” color. It literally takes the viewer back to that era of early broadcasting and beautifully illustrates how news television has become info-tainment instead of simple, ethical, un-biased journalism.
Brilliantly conveys the conflict between network execs (commerce, pandering to special interests & government), and moral journalists (to tell the truth). No one did it as well as Murrow, and no one probably ever will. He was one of a kind – a visionary, a seeker of the REAL truth, and an honest man who was always in a moral dilemma between his ideals and his job “duties”. I’m too young to have seen original TV broadcasts of Murrow, but have seen old clips of his work and was instantly intrigued by not only his rare intellect, but also his unique style of presentation and pattern of speech. He was the king of news; and David Strathairn (portraying Murrow) brings him to life brilliantly. I was absolutely astounded at how well he became Murrow. At the end of the film I had to remind myself that it was actually an actor and not the man himself.
Needless to say, I’m a big fan (of Murrow). The only modern-day version that even came close was Peter Jennings (who was also very mindful of “telling the truth”). The way that networks are so easily and obviously “paid off” these days I fear that the quality of journalism will only be getting worse.
Clooney and his production team do an excellent job of making a beautiful, insightful tribute to a great man, but also send out a not-so-subtle warning to the media-obsessed masses in the process: be warned of what you are consuming and where the truth actually lies. History does tend to repeat itself (will we ever learn?) and the filmmakers are definitely “commenting” on the current administration. The parallels between McCarthyism and Bushism are staggering, but so many are too young to know about McCarthy, or too ignorant to see the blatant similarities. Hopefully this positive sample of “info-tainment” will enlighten, educate, and inspire the viewers to learn more about this important time in history; and the genius Murrow.
Hollywood doesn't make movies like this very often. This kind of movie is insightful, topical, and critical to informing the public of how excatly this time of our recent past reflects on our present political environment. The contagious indeliable malignancy of McCarthyism left his tragic mark on our national psyche. Our present political climate is not at all inviting, neighborly, or understanding but more, devisive, corrupt, and outwardly hostile. George Clooney knew he would be heavily criticized by both those in politics today, older Americans that remember those days, and people who enjoy going to movies for various other reasons. He also knew this is the kind of movie that he knows is important to make, a story that is important to tell, but is not likely to be a monstrous finacial success. His financial support, belief in the script, and attaching his name, reputation, and box office appeal to the project was the main reason studio executives gave the film the greenlight. He tells the story in what seems more like a documentary undercover investigation style You would expect more from either a A&E, History Channel, or Discovery Times retrospective or a current PrimeTime Live, Dateline NBC type expose'. Clooney makes the audience an omnicient fly-on-the-wall who gets to see American history made for all of America to see. Only when Edward R. Murrow challenged McCarthy not unlike a schoolboy hero challenging the bully on the proverbial schoolyard, America only saw the discussion that aired on television when it was still an innovative, emerging, and pioneering medium. The average American didn't see the ferocious, strategic, and calculated behind-the-scenes boardroom and studio decisions that allowed and encouraged a more educated, spirited, and respectful discussion on the issues that stirred our national passions. Murrow the era's unequivocal spokesman for the truth provided the gallant lone voice of dissent in a poisonous spiteful atmosphere in which nobody was spared. Clooney may be asking for someone to speak some inspired words today to dissent for this generation. The McCarthy-like panic has returned and Clooney made Good Night and Good Luck to demonstrate how a concise, brilliant, insightful, trusted, and, charasmatic public speaker can influence Americans to listen to reason rather than spin, trust someone who desrves respect, and can stop the proliferation of mental illness as a social disease. Clooney has his Academy Award, and I hope Good Night and Good Luck inspires more Journalists and Leaders for the better for many generations to come.
There is no fiction here. None needed. There is a dramatic series of climactic moments. Great movies need those. And there is a message which hurts a little but satisfies more. This movies needed to have those.
In the end, there is a sense that no matter how dark events may be, trhe people of America have and WILL come through them better and stronger and with hope. And THAT we all have great need to know and remember.
While reason sleep, American's by the millions followed the "red scare" line of thinking espoused by men like Joseph McCarthy, the Wisconsin Senator who destroyed lives with regularity with his use of the word "Communist." This film focuses on the work of a fiew real people who were at CBS news and wer dedicated to showing an accurate and fair picture of McCarthy to the country.
As the film vivedly depicts, their brave insistance on staying with their work on the story did bring that information to the people. When the people saw and heard the truth, they rejected what McCarthy was.
One cannot review that period without considering that "it can happen here."
This movie is one of the very rare films that is truely "needed."
"Good Night, and Good Luck" was a very well done portrait of American television news in the 1950's as Senator McCarthy terrorized anyone who didn't goose step to the beat of his drum. The film is well written, acted and directed. My problem was that if you hadn't lived during that time or studied it (as I did in journalism school), you missed the boat. My husband fell asleep early into the film. If you are fascinated by 20th century history and the courageous stand Murrow and the others took, by all means get this movie. It's a fine addition to my DVD library. However, my husband won't be watching it any time soon.