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
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 (November 12, 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 »
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 »
And do you wish you hadn't come forward? Do you wish you hadn't blown the whistle?
There are times when I wish I hadn't done it. There are times when I feel com... compelled to do it. If you asked me, would I do it again, do I think it's worth it? Yeah I think its worth it.
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The TV version is actually longer than the theatrical version and was extended over two nights. The edit was supervised by director Michael Mann. See more »
A Great Movie, Very Underrated, Due To Poor Marketing
Russell Crowe at his best as a Kentucky tobacco executive in Eric Roth and Michael Mann's masterpiece, "The Insider," is one of the most underrated American films ever. Not only is it important historically for its political implications - not about tobacco, but about conflicts of commercial interest that control freedom of speech along the airwaves in the U.S.- it is a great story and it is true. Disney had no idea how to market "The Insider" and essentially sold it as tobacco movie and it is so much more. Pacino gives a grand A plus performance as a Long Island Jewish producer and halfway through the movie I forgot he was Al Pacino. Even better Christopher Plummer masterfully captures the full essence of Mike Wallace. Gina Gershon could turn lust from a stone as always. Michael Mann seems to always pull strong performances from his actors, and Eric Roth who brilliantly adapted "Forrest Gump" did the same here with Mann. Though long, "The Insider" is never boring and a movie all Americans should see twice to make sure they fully comprehend regardless of how you feel about the tobacco debate.
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