Winchell (1998)

TV Movie  |  R  |   |  Biography, Drama, History  |  21 November 1998 (USA)
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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 shape public opinion. 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


Sound Mix:


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 »


Franklin D. Roosevelt: The face of fear is coming. And when it comes, Walter, you'll answer to no one, not even me.
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 »


School Days
Written by Gus Edwards and Will D. Cobb (as Will Cobb)
Performed by The Moylin Sisters
Courtesy of MCA Records
Under License from Universal Music Special Markets
See more »

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User Reviews

many aspects
7 April 2007 | by (Portland, Oregon, USA) – See all my reviews

I had never heard of Walter Winchell before Paul Mazursky's movie came out. I was pretty impressed by his movie. We see Winchell's beginnings and rise to mild gossip (where he started ratting on philandering politicians) until he became a major part of the political discourse. But there came a major split. While Winchell befriended Franklin Roosevelt and tried to make the Nazis' actions known to Americans - and went so far as to oppose the bombing of Hiroshima because Harry Truman "didn't do it right" - after WWII he sided with Joe McCarthy and started red-baiting people. When a former girlfriend got blacklisted, he didn't come to her aid. I'm not surprised that few people attended his funeral.

Stanley Tucci does a really neat job bringing Winchell to life. You gotta love how he reports on the issues of the day, even if it was sort of a forerunner to infotainment. Christopher Plummer looks almost exactly like FDR, and Paul Giamatti makes Winchell's promoter Herman Klurfeld really something. Also starring is Glenne Headly as the former girlfriend.

Overall, I recommend "Winchell". It shows that Paul Mazursky is in fact a capable director, even if a few of his movies haven't been masterpieces.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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