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Good Night, and Good Luck. (2005)

PG  |   |  Drama  |  4 November 2005 (USA)
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 80,933 users   Metascore: 80/100
Reviews: 523 user | 349 critic | 41 from Metacritic.com

Broadcast journalist Edward R. Murrow looks to bring down Senator Joseph McCarthy.

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Title: Good Night, and Good Luck. (2005)

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Nominated for 6 Oscars. Another 51 wins & 87 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Natalie
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Dianne Reeves ...
Jazz Singer
Peter Martin ...
Pianist
Christoph Luty ...
Bassist
Jeff Hamilton ...
Drummer
Matt Catingub ...
Saxophonist
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Jesse Zousmer
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John Aaron
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Eddie Scott
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Storyline

In the early 1950's, the threat of Communism created an air of paranoia in the United States and exploiting those fears was Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin. However, CBS reporter Edward R. Murrow and his producer Fred W. Friendly decided to take a stand and challenge McCarthy and expose him for the fear monger he was. However, their actions took a great personal toll on both men, but they stood by their convictions and helped to bring down one of the most controversial senators in American history. Written by Brian Washington <Sargebri@att.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

fear | reporter | paranoia | expose | cbs | See All (259) »

Taglines:

They Took On The Government With Nothing But The Truth See more »

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for mild thematic elements and brief language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

| | |

Language:

Release Date:

4 November 2005 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Buenas noches, y buena suerte.  »

Box Office

Budget:

$7,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$421,446 (USA) (7 October 2005)

Gross:

£2,088,488 (UK) (17 March 2006)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

During the DVD commentary for this film, George Clooney says that about 20% of the test audiences had never heard of Joseph McCarthy before and wanted to know the identity of the "actor" playing him. McCarthy, of course, was played by actual footage of the real McCarthy: Joseph Raymond McCarthy (1908-1957), who was the Republican Junior Senator from Wisconsin from 1947 to 1957, when he died in office. See more »

Goofs

Mr. Paley calls Murrow to offer front row seats to the Knickerbocker game just before See It Now goes on the air that night. While the New York Knickerbockers did have a game on March 9, 1954, the night of the broadcast, the game was played in Indianapolis, Indiana, not New York City. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Sig Mickelson: In 1935, Ed Murrow began his career with CBS. When World War II broke out, it was his voice that brought the Battle of Britain home to us, through his "This Is London" radio series. He started with us all, many of us here tonight, when television was in its infancy, with the news documentary show, "See It Now." He threw stones at giants. Segregation, exploitation of migrant workers, apartheid, J. Edgar Hoover, not the least of which, his historical fight with Senator McCarthy. He ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

Even the rating band at the tail of the film is in black and white. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Cleanflix (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

How High the Moon
(1940)
Music by Morgan Lewis
Lyrics by Nancy Hamilton
Performed by Dianne Reeves
Produced by Allen Sviridoff
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
When Things Were Black and White
13 November 2005 | by (N Syracuse NY) – See all my reviews

I've had the "Edward R. Murrow" Collection from CBS for years and have enjoyed watching it's biography of Murrow, the complete Milo Radulovich, McCarthy and Annie Lee Moss shows many times. I'm sure George Clooney must have these as well as he used the actual footage extensively in his fine drama "Good Night and Good Luck". As a previous poster said, by concentrating on what was actually presented, Clooney is able to focus on the ethical issues that were the real substance of the broadcasts, rather than the tragicomic personalities involved. He wants us to see that the same issues are in our lives today, (Clooney has had his own battles with would-be modern McCarthys like Bill O'Reilly), but he isn't going to force the issue. He's doing exactly what Murrow and Friendly did with the McCarthy broadcast: using the actual record to tell the story.

There are minor, but significant embellishments, mostly an impressive cast of actors who can tell us more with one look than an entire speech. Leading the way is David Straithairn as Murrow. Except for possessing a higher pitched voice than the original, he's got his man down cold. I would pick Frank Langella as William Paley, here presented as a man with ideals but who is rooted in the realities of business, the sort of guy who has to make the tough decisions the idealists like Murrow don't have to or want to deal with. Then there is Ray Wise as the vulnerable Don Hollenbeck, who was one of the co-creators of "You Are There", a program this film somewhat resembles. He wound up being "there" when he didn't really want to be.

What really enhances the show is the black and white photography, (actually, according to the notes, it was "The film was shot on color film on a grayscale set, then color-corrected in post" – whatever that means). Not only does it heighten the drama, (magazine photographers, in the days when they had a choice, said "black and white for drama, color for excitement"), but the tremendous resolution seems to bring out each furrow and poor on each person's face, allowing the viewer to see into their souls.


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