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The Insider (1999)

R  |   |  Biography, Drama, Thriller  |  5 November 1999 (USA)
7.9
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 124,043 users   Metascore: 84/100
Reviews: 516 user | 202 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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Title: The Insider (1999)

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Nominated for 7 Oscars. Another 30 wins & 40 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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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 out? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

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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Details

Country:

Language:

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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)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Toward the end of the film, Mike Wallace shows Lowell Bergman an unflattering article and editorial about CBS in the latest New York Times. The article and editorial are clearly from different sections of the paper. This would seem to be a goof, since the Times' op-ed pieces usually appear in the back of the main news section. The real-life pieces to which this scene refers, however, were published on a Sunday (12 November 1995), which means that the news and editorials would in fact have appeared in separate sections, just one more example of director Michael Mann's eye for detail. See more »

Goofs

When Dr. Wigand comes home, there is a van parked in the driveway. The phone number on the van is 1-800-CLOCK, which doesn't have enough digits to be a real phone number. See more »

Quotes

Richard Scruggs: I'd be lying to you if I did not tell you how important it was in a court of public opinion.
Lowell Bergman: And I'd be lying if I did not tell, I'm about out of moves, Dick.
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Soundtracks

Hot Shots
Written and Performed by Curt Sobel
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Just Great Film-making......Period
24 February 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Not always, but usually a Michael Mann-directed film means good things for movie buffs, and this is no exception.

Tremendous acting highlights this movie about a behind-the-scenes look at a "60 Minutes" story of a man who blows the whistle on a tobacco company. Al Pacino, as the TV show producer "Lowell Bergman," Russell Crowe as the whistle-blower and tobacco scientist "Dr. Jeffrey Wiegand," and Christopher Plummer as "Mike Wallace" all are riveting in their performances. They are intense characters, as are many of the supporting characters in this involving film.

There is little action in here but a ton of tension in the first hour of this long (158 min.) film. The story held my interest even when the tension left, thanks to the acting, the great cinematography, involving music score....well, just about everything. It's simply a well-done movie, similar to Mann's "Heat," except without the violence.

The only negative was the obvious Liberal bias, but that's not surprising being it's about "60 Minutes." I wasn't surprised when Ken Starr got a cheap shot, for example. This film bias could have been a lot more blatant so I'm not complaining. Obviously, they went a overboard in their stand against the tobacco industry, repeating the same damaging scenes over and over. However, I appreciated they didn't shrink from pointing out how the network was covering its own behind even though it was hurting its most successful program.

Photographer Dante Spinelli did an incredible job making this look fantastic despite the fact that there was no great scenery or exotic sets. As mentioned, this is just great film-making. What else can you say?


56 of 73 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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