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The Insider (1999)

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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 23 wins & 50 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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Barbara Wigand (as Hallie Eisenberg)
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Storyline

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 come out? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Warning: Exposing the Truth May Be Hazardous See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

5 November 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

60 Minutes  »

Box Office

Budget:

$90,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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

Gross:

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

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The original title for this film was "Man Of The People". That was the working title when scenes were filmed in Israel. See more »

Goofs

When Wigand is in the Seelbach Hotel on the phone with Bergman, Wigand says that he "can see them (Brown & Williamson) across the street." This would have been impossible since the (now former) B&W Tower is located one block north of the hotel (the building across the street from the Seelbach is the National City building). See more »

Quotes

Lowell Bergman: This news division has been *villified* by the New York Times! In print, on television, for *caving* to corporate interests!
Don Hewitt: New York Times ran a blow by blow of what we talked about behind closed doors! You fucked us!
Lowell Bergman: No, you fucked you! Don't invert stuff! Big Tobacco tried to smear Wigand, you bought it. The Wall Street Journal, here: not exactly a bastion of anti-capitalist sentiment, refutes Big Tobacco's smear campaign as the lowest form of character assassination! And now, even now, when...
[...]
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Connections

References Faust (1926) See more »

Soundtracks

Rites
Written and Performed by Jan Garbarek
Courtesy of ECM Records
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Riveting from start to finish
18 July 2006 | by (CT) – See all my reviews

This is a movie that I was on the fence about seeing, simply because it seemed like just another movie about a whistle blower. It is so much more than that, and it is a movie worth watching time and again because of its complexity. It is about journalistic integrity, corporate greed, good vs. evil, and standing up for what you believe in, no matter what the cost. It pulls no punches about how far the tobacco industry would go to hide the truth from the American public about cigarettes, but it never seems propagandized.

Russell Crowe gives a top-notch performance of Everyman scientist Jeffrey Wigand that meets Al Pacino and Christopher Plummer's portrayals of 60 Minutes Hotshots Lowell Bergman and Mike Wallace frame by frame. These three actors have the perfect blend of chemistry and timing, and fit their characters like a glove. They completely inhabit their roles and at times it seems more like a documentary than a fictional story.

From beginning to end, it has the kind of edge of your seat tension that keeps one glued to the screen. Despite being a fairly lengthy film, it moves at a quick pace, and is absolutely riveting. The direction is superb, the camera angles are fast and furious, and it is a delight to watch.


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