- Good Night, and Good Luck.
name = Good Night, and Good Luck.
caption = Theatrical Poster
George Clooney Grant Heslov
David Strathairn George Clooney Robert Downey, Jr. Patricia Clarkson Frank Langella Jeff Daniels Tate Donovan Ray Wise
distributor = flagicon|USA
Warner Independent Picturesflagicon|Canada TVA Films
released = flagicon|USA
October 7, 2005flagicon|UK February 17, 2006
runtime = 90 minutes
country = United States
language = English
budget = $7,000,000
amg_id = 1:317061
imdb_id = 0433383
"Good Night, and Good Luck" is a 2005 film directed by
George Clooneyand written by Clooney and Grant Heslovthat portrays the conflict between veteran radio and television journalist Edward R. Murrowand U.S. Senator Joseph McCarthyof Wisconsin, especially relating to the anti-Communist Senator's actions with the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations.
The movie, although released in black and white, was filmed on color
film stockbut on a grayscaleset, and was later color corrected to black and white during post-production. It focuses on the theme of media responsibility, and also addresses what occurs when the media offer a voice of dissent against the government. The movie takes its title from the line with which Murrow routinely closed his broadcasts.
The film was rated PG by the Motion Picture Association of America rating system for mild thematic elements and brief language.
The film was nominated for six
David Strathairnas Edward R. Murrow, journalist and host of the CBS television program " See It Now"
George Clooneyas Fred Friendly, coproducer with Murrow of "See It Now"
Robert Downey, Jr.as Joseph Wershba, writer, editor, and correspondent for CBS News
Patricia Clarksonas Shirley Wershba
Frank Langellaas William Paley, chief executive of CBS
Jeff Danielsas Sig Mickelson
Tate Donovanas Jesse Zousmer
Ray Wiseas Don Hollenbeck, journalist for CBS News; accused in the press of being a " pinko"
Alex Borsteinas Natalie
Reed Diamondas John Aaron
Matt Rossas Eddie Scott
"Good Night, and Good Luck." takes place during the early days of
broadcast journalismin the 1950s. Edward R. Murrow, and his dedicated staff—headed by his co-producer Fred Friendly and reporter Joseph Wershbain the CBSnewsroom—defy corporate and sponsorship pressures, and discredit the tactics used by Joseph McCarthyduring his crusade to root out communist elements within the government.
Murrow first defends
Milo Radulovich, who was facing separation from the U.S. Air Force because of his sister's political leanings and because his father subscribed to a Serbian newspaper. A very public feud develops when the Senator responds by accusing the anchor of being a communist. Murrow is accused of having been a member of the leftist union Industrial Workers of the World, which Murrow claimed was false.
In this climate of fear and reprisal, the CBS crew carries on and their tenacity ultimately strikes a historic blow against McCarthy and his methods. Historical footage also shows the questioning of
Annie Lee Moss, a Pentagon communication worker accused of being a communist based on her name appearing on a list seen by an FBI infiltrator of the American Communist Party. The film's subplots feature Wershba and his wife, recently married staffers, having to hide their marriage to save their jobs at CBS; and the suicide of Don Hollenbeck, who was accused of being a Communist. The film is framed by a speech to the Radio and Television News Directors Association, in which Murrow harshly admonishes his audience not to squander the potential of televisionto inform and educate the public.
In September 2005, Clooney explained his interest in the story to an audience at the
New York Film Festival: "I thought it was a good time to raise the idea of using fear to stifle political debate." [ [http://www.indiewire.com/ots/2005/09/george_clooney.html Brooks, Brian] . "indieWIRE," "Clooney Speaks Out About Journalism and Filmmaking As NYFF Opens." Retrieved: April 24, 2007.] Having majored in journalism in college, Clooney was well-versed in the subject matter. His father, Nick Clooney, was a television journalist for many years, appearing as an anchorman in Cincinnati, Ohio, and Buffalo, New York. The elder Clooney also ran for congress in 2004.
George Clooney has been paid $1 each for writing, directing, and acting in "Good Night, and Good Luck", which cost $7.5 million to make. Due to an injury he received on the set of "
Syriana" a few months earlier, Clooney couldn't pass the tests to be insured. He then proposed to mortgage his own home in order to make the film. Dallas Mavericksowner Mark Cubanand former eBaypresident Jeff Skollinvested money in the project as executive producers. [ [http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,170531,00.html Friedman, Roger] . "Fox News.com," "Clooney Bets House on New Film," September 27, 2005. Retrieved: December 30, 2007.]
The CBS offices and studios seen in the movie were all sets on a
soundstage. To accomplish a pair of scenes showing characters going up an elevator, different "floors" of the building were laid out perpendicularto one another. The "elevator" was actually built on a large turntable at the intersection of the two floor sets, and rotated once the doors were closed. When the doors reopened, the actors appeared to be in a different location. Production designerJames Bissell used the 3D computer graphics softwareprogram SketchUpto model the entire studio set including all sets and camera angles. [cite web
title =SketchUp case studies
accessdate = ] Clooney and producer Grant Heslov decided to use only archival footage of Joseph McCarthy in his depiction. As all of that footage was black-and-white, that determined the color scheme of the film. [Brooks, Brian. "indieWIRE," ibid.] Young Robert Kennedy is also shown in the movie during McCarthy's hearing sessions. He was then a staff member on the Senate subcommittee chaired by McCarthy.
A small jazz combo starring jazz singer
Dianne Reeveswas hired to record the soundtrack to the movie. This combo was featured in the movie in several scenes, for example, in one scene the newsmen pass a studio where she is recording with the rest of the band. The CD is Dianne Reeves's second featuring jazz standards, and it won the Grammy Awardin 2005 for best jazz vocal performance.
The film received generally glowing reviews. It was named "Best Reviewed Film of 2005 in Limited Release" by
Rotten Tomatoes, where it achieved a 94% positive review rating. The movie received six Academy Awardnominations, including Best Picture, Director, and Actor. Jack Shafer, a columnist for the online magazine "Slate", accused the film of continuing what he characterizes as the hagiographyof Murrow. [ [http://www.slate.com/id/2127595/ Shafer, Jack] . Slate.com., "Edward R. Movie — Good Night, and Good Luck and bad history." Retrieved: March 1, 2006.] Roger Ebert, in his " Chicago Sun-Times" review, contends that "the movie is not really about the abuses of McCarthy, but about the process by which Murrow and his team eventually brought about his downfall (some would say his self-destruction). It is like a morality play, from which we learn how journalists should behave. It shows Murrow as fearless, but not flawless." [ [http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20051020/REVIEWS/51005004/1023 Ebert, Roger] . " Chicago Sun-Times," film review, "Good Night, and Good Luck"." " Chicago Sun-Times". Retrieved: April 23, 2007.]
The movie was criticized for using
Helveticafor the "CBS News" signs, even though the story took place before the release of the font. [ [http://www.nytimes.com/2006/01/01/movies/01edidin.html Good Film, Shame About the Helvetica] ] However, after invesigation, the actual font used on the set was Akzidenz-Grotesk. [ [http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/02/24/AR2006022400355.html For 'Good Night' Art Director, The Challenge Was Black-and-White] ]
Awards and nominations
American Film Institute(AFI) award:
**Top Ten Movie of 2005
*2006 Academy Awards nominations:
**Best Motion Picture of the Year
**Best Director, George Clooney
**Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role, David Strathairn
**Best Original Screenplay
**Best Achievement in Art Direction
**Best Achievement in Cinematography
*2006 BAFTA nominations:
**Best Direction, George Clooney
**Best Actor in a Leading Role, David Strathairn
**Best Actor in a Supporting Role, George Clooney
**Best Original Screenplay, George Clooney and Grant Heslov
**Best Editing, Stephen Mirrione
*2006 Golden Globe Awards nominations:
**Best Motion Picture (Drama category)
**Best Director (Motion Picture category), George Clooney
**Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture (Drama category), David Strathairn
**Best Screenplay (Motion Picture category), George Clooney and Grant Heslov
*2005 Screen Actors Guild Awards nominations:
**Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role (Motion Picture category), David Strathairn
**Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
Allmovierating|4|5 [http://www.allmovie.com/cg/avg.dll?p=avg&sql=1:317061~T0 link]
*"Empire" rating|4|5 [http://www.empireonline.com/reviews/review.asp?DVDID=117312 link]
* [http://filmcritic.com Filmcritic.com] rating|4|5 [http://filmcritic.com/misc/emporium.nsf/84dbbfa4d710144986256c290016f76e/b84b939d5c5b6b788825708b008320be?OpenDocument link]
Rolling Stone" rating|3.5|4
* [http://wip.warnerbros.com/goodnightgoodluck/ "Good Night, and Good Luck."] Official Site.
* [http://www.jacknilan.com/senatorjoe McCarthyism and the Movies] .
* [http://www.script-o-rama.com/movie_scripts/g/good-night-and-good-luck-script.html "Good Night, And Good Luck."] script.
* [http://www.americanrhetoric.com/moviespeeches.htm Good Night, and Good Luck."] at AmericanRhetoric.com.
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