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The Insider (1999)

R  |   |  Biography, Drama, Thriller  |  5 November 1999 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 127,949 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


Warning: Exposing the Truth May Be Hazardous 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
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Did You Know?


Jeffrey Wigand, the anti-smoking subject of this movie, requested a ban on cigarettes in the film. However, cigarettes are smoked in the movie at least thrice: (1) by a woman in the background as Wigand enters the airport, shortly before served with a restraining order, (2) by a Muslim soldier seen briefly while Bergman is being transported to the Hezbollah meeting site, and (3) by a photographer with whom Bergman converses briefly about what might be going on inside the courtroom. See more »


The driver's window changes from open to closed to open again when Wigand tells his wife he's been fired and then drives off. See more »


Mike Wallace: Am I missing something?
John Harris: What do you mean, Mike?
Mike Wallace: I mean, he's got a corporate secrecy agreement - give me a break! I mean, this is a public health issue! Like an unsafe airframe on a passenger jet or some company dumping cyanide into the East River, issues like that! He can talk, we can air it! They've got no right to hide behind a "corporate agreement"! Pass the milk.
See more »


References The Negotiator (1998) See more »


Written by Blixa Bargeld (B. Bargeld) and Mark Chung (as M. Chung), Alexander Hacke (as A. Hacke) and Mark Chung (as M. Chung),
J. Caffery and Mark Chung (as M. Chung), F.M. Strauss and Mark Chung (as M. Chung),
, Andrew Chudy (as A. Chudy) and Mark Chung (as M. Chung)
Performed by Einstürzende Neubauten
Courtesy of Some Bizarre Records UK/Thirsty Ear Recordings USA
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A Great Movie, Very Underrated, Due To Poor Marketing
22 March 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Russell Crowe at his best as a Kentucky tobacco executive in Eric Roth and Michael Mann's masterpiece, "The Insider," is one of the most underrated American films ever. Not only is it important historically for its political implications - not about tobacco, but about conflicts of commercial interest that control freedom of speech along the airwaves in the U.S.- it is a great story and it is true. Disney had no idea how to market "The Insider" and essentially sold it as tobacco movie and it is so much more. Pacino gives a grand A plus performance as a Long Island Jewish producer and halfway through the movie I forgot he was Al Pacino. Even better Christopher Plummer masterfully captures the full essence of Mike Wallace. Gina Gershon could turn lust from a stone as always. Michael Mann seems to always pull strong performances from his actors, and Eric Roth who brilliantly adapted "Forrest Gump" did the same here with Mann. Though long, "The Insider" is never boring and a movie all Americans should see twice to make sure they fully comprehend regardless of how you feel about the tobacco debate.

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