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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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3,238 ( 27)
Nominated for 7 Oscars. Another 23 wins & 50 nominations. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
John Scanlon
Mrs. Williams


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


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


$68,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$6,712,361, 7 November 1999, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$28,965,197, 23 April 2000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$60,289,912, 31 December 2000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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Did You Know?


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


When Bergman and Wigand first meet in the hotel, Bergman places two documents on the table for him to read; the thinner document being placed on top of the thicker one. When Wigand picks them up the thicker document is on top. See more »


Jeffrey Wigand: I can't seem to find the criteria to decide. It's too big a decision to make without being resolved in my own mind.
Lowell Bergman: Maybe things have changed.
Jeffrey Wigand: What's changed?
Lowell Bergman: You mean since this morning?
Jeffrey Wigand: No, I mean since whenever.
See more »


Referenced in Eli Stone: One More Try (2008) See more »


Two or Three Things
Written by David Darling and Manfred Eicher
Performed by David Darling
Courtesy of ECM Records
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

An absorbing film-drama
27 September 2000 | by See all my reviews

From scene one, this film delivers a long slow burn as the tale of power and corruption unfolds. There is little action, but the film is steeped in an atmosphere of tension and high drama. The direction by Michael Mann is masterful, an object lesson in how to frame shots and let silence, as well as words - and music - work for the story. Al Pacino is once more the great actor of early films such as 'Scarecrow', instead of the theatrical performer of recent films. Russell Crowe shows his solid 'ordinary guy'character as more tortured through losing his family than any of the macho scenes he portrayed in 'Gladiator.' A superb film.

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