A group of professional bank robbers start to feel the heat from police when they unknowingly leave a clue at their latest heist, while both sides attempt to find balance between their personal and their professional lives.
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
On three separate occasions the same Yellow Taxi is occupied by Bergman or greeted by Bergman when he met Charlie from the Wall Street Journal, the numbers on the roof and door are the "1T80". The odds of this happening are slight, since there are 11,787 Yellow cabs in New York. See more »
I'm Lowell Bergman, I'm from 60 Minutes. You know, you take the 60 Minutes out of that sentence, nobody returns your phone call.
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I'll make this simple for you with short attention spans: Al Pacino's best
performance of the 90s. Russell Crowe's best work on par with LA
Confidential (if not better) and a gripping shot by Christopher Plummer as
60 Minutes anchor Mike Wallace.
For those who can handle it, read on:
Jeffrey Wigand (Russell Crowe) has been fired from his job. He has to break
the news to his wife (Diane Venora, who I believe should go on to be one of
the best actresses of all time) that their beautiful home, swank cars and
health care plan (their oldest daughter is athsmatic) are about to go down
the tubes. He's been given a severance package but that's about to fall
apart as well.
Enter Lowell Bergman (Pacino), producer for CBS Television News' bastion of
journalistic integrity, 60 Minutes. Bergman's doing a report on fires that
were started by careless smokers and has been given a report so huge and
full of technical jargon he can't make heads or tales of it. Through a
friend he is put in touch with Wigand in the hopes of finding a translator.
Wigand thinks Lowell is coming after him because of what he knows about his
former employers, a major tobacco company.
It is at this moment that director Michael Mann institutes a trick, the
likes of which hasn't been seen since All The President's Men. The two
exchange a cat-and-mouse conversation via fax. Bergman finally calls
Wigand's bluff by daring him to meet him the next day. He
What does Wigand know? Well, its all over the papers these days about how
the tobacco industry lied about manipulating the leaves to make them more
habit forming. We have Wigand to thank for that. But that isn't where the
story ends. This is a two-fold tale; on one hand you have the
self-destruction of a man who put everything on the line just so he could
the right thing. On the other, you have a television producer who so
believes in the integrity of himself, the network, and his show that he is
willing to risk everything he has to fight for the protection of his
I haven't seen this much commitment outside of Woodward and Berstein's
staunch protection of "Deep Throat."
The trump card of this film though comes in the form of Christopher Plummer
playing one of the most visible news figures of the past 25 years, Mike
Wallace. Wallace teeters on the edge of looking like a foul-mouthed,
celebrity hungry, media hound who's only thought is about ratings. However,
before its over, he evokes the "integrity of Edward R. Murrow," a line that
gave me chills and made me pray for an Oscar Nomination.
Director Michael Mann is known chiefly for his Action/Thrillers. This 155
minute film is slow paced but gripping for ever second it is on the screen.
A lot of people have complained over the past 7-8 years about Pacino's
"staccato" performances, suddenly shouting at the slightest provocation.
This film returns him to his prime form, a style he hasn't walked in since
Dog Day Afternoon, ...And Justice For All and Serpico.
Anybody got a light?
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