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The Insider (1999)

R  |   |  Biography, Drama, Thriller  |  5 November 1999 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 127,950 users   Metascore: 84/100
Reviews: 517 user | 205 critic | 34 from Metacritic.com

A research chemist comes under personal and professional attack when he decides to appear in a "60 Minutes" expose on Big Tobacco.



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Nominated for 7 Oscars. Another 22 wins & 48 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Eric Kluster


Balls-out "60 Minutes" producer Lowell Bergman sniffs a story when a former research biologist for Brown & Williamson, Jeff Wigand, won't talk to him. When the company leans hard on Wigand to honor a confidentiality agreement, he gets his back up. Trusting Bergman and despite a crumbling marriage, he goes on camera for a Mike Wallace interview and risks arrest for contempt of court. Westinghouse is negotiating to buy CBS, so CBS attorneys advise CBS News to shelve the interview and avoid a lawsuit. "60 Minutes" and CBS News bosses cave, Wigand is hung out to dry, Bergman is compromised, and the CEOs of Big Tobacco may get away with perjury. Will the truth out? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Two men driven to tell the truth... whatever the cost. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





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Release Date:

5 November 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

60 Minutes  »

Box Office


$90,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$6,712,361 (USA) (5 November 1999)


$28,965,197 (USA) (21 April 2000)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The script is based on a Vanity Fair article. See more »


When Lowell Bergman has an argument with Jeffrey Wigand outside of his house in the rain, the amount of wetness on the back of Wigand's suit jacket varies from soaked to almost completely dry. See more »


Tobacco Lawyer: Mr Motley, we have rights here.
Ron Motley: Oh you have rights, and lefts, ups, downs and middles. So what?
See more »


References Ever After: A Cinderella Story (1998) See more »


Smokey Mountain Waltz
Written and Performed by Richard Gilks
Courtesy of Associated Production Music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Smart film making.
30 May 2000 | by (Las Vegas, Nevada) – See all my reviews

"The Insider" in many ways reflects the golden days of American cinematography, where every scene serves a purpose, dialogue is sharp and poignant, and characters and events remain true to their emotions and nature.

The film presents certain questions throughout its duration that are intended to invoke thought in the viewer, and at the same time explores them to unprecedented depths which are by no means native to the film industry. The story is of a quick-paced nature, and demands that the viewer pay the utmost attention to every single line and image presented; it flabbergasts in its unparallelled structure of continuity and coherence to those sentient enough.

After watching this film, it became apparent why Crowe was so reluctant to play the role of Maximus in "Gladiator" after acting the part of Jeffrey Wigand. It appears more or less as if Crowe had been this character in reality, and it really inspires to see that such a talented actor is finally beginning to enjoy the prominence that he deserves.

In the past decades, there has been a progressive decline in the number of intelligent films making it onto the market, but the success of "The Insider" will hopefully serve as a shout-out to all the film companies and directors reluctant to tread on such sensitive ground. This movie could not receive a higher recommendation!

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