Film: Good Night, And Good Luck
Cast includes: David Stratharin (Limbo), George Clooney (Ocean’s), Frank Langella (Frost/Nixon), Robert Downey Jr. (The Soloist), Patricia Clarkson (The Station Agent), Jeff Daniels (State of Play)
Direction and screenplay: George Clooney
Genre: Historic based drama (2005)
In brief: As the film opens, the camera moves through a wonderfully glamorous party of CBS News celebrities and exclusivities. The year is 1958. We hear the clinking of glasses, a little bit of chatter. There’s an instrumental rendition of a familiar song playing in the background. Ah, the words are starting to come back… “When I fall in love… it will be… forever…” The occasion is to honor a special CBS newsman, Edward R. Murrow. When the introductions are made, Murrow finally comes to the microphone. And in an instant, the mood changes from fantasy to reality as Murrow admonishes the whole news industry for not doing enough to take up the challenge of fighting complacency in America.
In a flash back to 1953, we see the beginning of Murrow’s conflict with Senator Joseph McCarthy. Murrow decides to do a controversial program about Lieutenant Redulovitch, who was expelled from the Air Force, based on evidence contained in a sealed envelope… all because his Serbian immigrant father was seen reading a Serbian-language newspaper. From there, things heat up and William Paley along with network sponsors have to decide what price they are willing to pay for Murrow to challenge complacency.
Director/writer, George Clooney grew up in a family of newscasters… his father was a news anchor and his mother worked in broadcast news. His parents kept this era alive for him. He worked on this film for over 5 years and put great effort into getting the details right. That in itself makes this an unusual historical drama, as most historical films seem to play very fast and loose with the details. Clooney’s presentation of the drama is very evocative of the era… the use of black and white film rather than color, the use of actual historical film footage and the wonderful music.
How many times have you heard that the 50s was a decade of innocence… that lovely decade when nothing much happened in this country? This film shows us the contrast between the fantasy 50s and the real 50s. We see how they coexisted and why so many people remember it as a time of innocence. (WARNING: If you’re trying to give up smoking, you’ll need an extra nicotine patch to watch this one.)
4 popped kernels
Popped kernels for the beautiful production, excellent story, good historic interest... they really captured the era, excellent acting and wonderful music.