Winchell (1998)

TV Movie  |  R  |   |  Biography, Drama, History  |  21 November 1998 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 463 users  
Reviews: 11 user | 7 critic

The true story of the influential and controversial columnist, Walter Winchell.



(book), (teleplay)
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Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 6 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Dallas Wayne
Melvin Diamond
Sam Hague
Harry the Doorman (as John O'Donohue)
Michael Greene ...
Jonathan Aaron ...
Rabbi (as Rabbi Jonathan Aaron)
Vaudeville Magician
Sean Michael Allen ...
Mirror Reporter (as Sean Barnes)


Biopic of the controversial muckraking journalist Walter Winchell. After spending 12 years in vaudeville, Winchell began writing a column in the New York Mirror. Part gossip, part half-truths, the reporting focused on well-known or prominent individuals and their dalliances. Winchell grew in popularity, particularly when he started his weekly Sunday night radio show. His reporting became more political in the late 1930s when he railed against Hitler. His star began to fall in the 1950's when Josephine Baker was refused service at the Stork Club and Winchell allegedly refused to do anything about it. The end came with his support of Sen. Joseph McCarthy and his own rabid anti-communism. Following McCarthy's style, Winchell accused anyone who stood in his way of being a communist. Soon, he found himself facing lawsuits, a failed attempt at a television show and eventually, the cancellation of his radio show. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


He didn't report the news ... he made it. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and a scene of strong sexuality | See all certifications »




Release Date:

21 November 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

O Poder da Notícia  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
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Technical Specs


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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The character of Dallas Wayne is a fictionalized version of real-life Winchell confidante and speakeasy owner Texas Guinan. See more »


When Winchell does a Las Vegas nightclub act in 1958, a sign can be seen advertising a show starring Seigfried and Roy - who didn't become headliners until years after Winchell's death. See more »


Walter Winchell: Hitler hates me. He hates me!
Newstand Operator: Yeah, well, Joe Stalin hasn't sent me a Christmas card either.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Richard Kent Green was Stanley Tucci's stand-in for both the Central Park scenes in New York and the photo shoot for the poster. See more »


Featured in The 56th Annual Golden Globe Awards (1999) See more »


I'm Confessin' (That I Love You)
Written by Ellis Reynolds, A.J. Neiberg (as Al J. Neiburg) and Doc Dougherty
Performed by Victoria Platt
Arranged and Produced by Jim Jacobsen
See more »

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User Reviews

Better Than Average Biopic
7 October 2000 | by (Houston, Texas) – See all my reviews

Stanley Tucci leads a super ensemble cast, in this HBO movie biography of Walter Winchell. His knack for sensationalism, gossip mongering and trademark rapid fire bark zoomed him to a pinnacle of media influence. His heavy handed approach brought the news to many, and the ire of many, as well. His tirade over the differences over FDR, as opposed to Harry Truman, really nailed home the notion of Winchell's megalomania. His ghost writers (who did an inordinate amount of the work he claimed) argued the resulting event was the same. Winchell rattled on about the difference in "finesse."

Mr. Tucci makes his subject a sympathetic, zealous and outrageous character. An excellent perormance. The supporting cast is above par, with Glenne Heady, Christopher Plummer and Kevin Tighe as W.R. Hearst (who could use a biopic of his own...oh, that's right...a movie HAS been made about him! *wink, wink*). The stand out is truly Paul Giamatti, as the talented and much-abused Herman Klurfeld, whose book was the basis for this movie.

The only detractions is that some other characters are not well developed, and seem to suffice as only background setting. The business relationship between Winchell and FBI Chief Hoover would've been interesting to delve into. Also, Winchell's family life and the tragedy of his son, would've been interesting to explore. Of course, with that said, this movie is still very interesting, and well worth your time.

8 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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