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Winchell (1998)

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

Director:

Paul Mazursky

Writers:

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

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Stanley Tucci ... Walter Winchell
Glenne Headly ... Dallas Wayne
Paul Giamatti ... Herman Kurfeld
Christopher Plummer ... Franklin D. Roosevelt
Xander Berkeley ... Gavreau
Kevin Tighe ... William Randolph Hearst
Frank Medrano ... Melvin Diamond
Vic Polizos ... Sam Hague
John F. O'Donohue ... Harry the Doorman (as John O'Donohue)
Michael Greene ... Bellamy
Rod McCary ... Emcee
Victoria Gabrielle Platt ... Josephine Baker
Jonathan Aaron Jonathan Aaron ... Rabbi (as Rabbi Jonathan Aaron)
Pat Asanti ... Vaudeville Magician
Sean Michael Allen Sean Michael Allen ... Mirror Reporter (as Sean Barnes)
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Storyline

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 1950s 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

Taglines:

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 »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 November 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

O Poder da Notícia See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

HBO Films, Fried Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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

Goofs

Near the end of the film there is a shot of two newspaper headlines: one saying Winchell lost his radio show and the other that the Stork Club was closing. The articles under the headlines do not refer to either subject, and most of the wording in one article is repeated exactly in the other. See more »

Quotes

Herman Klurfeld: But he's HITLER! You're only Walter Winchell.
Walter Winchell: That's where you're wrong. I'm Walter Winchell, he's only Hitler.
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 »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Rain
Written by Eugene Ford, Carey Morgan and Arthur Swanstrom
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User Reviews

The name alone is enough.
13 April 1999 | by Doctor_BombaySee all my reviews

Being a child of television. The legacy of Walter Winchell to me previously consisted of bits and pieces. ITEMS as it may.

This recent in a series of HBO bio-pics gives loving attention to Winchell, the man, his inventiveness, dedication and ultimately, his power. It seems complete enough in the spectrum with which we view the man. There is suggestion that his influence may have rivaled FDR himself, and he shows William Randolph Hearst to be no match mano-a-mano.

Paul Mazursky is perfectly suited to direct this and gives us everything we need on the screen. Stanley Tucci earns a well-deserved Golden Globe in the title role. Paul Giamatti is superb as Winchell's ghost, Klurfeld (who's book sourced this film), only Glenne Headley, who's work tends to be spotty at times, seems a bit overmatched as WINCHELL's southern-fried moll, Dallas.

I left with renewed respect, for the man.


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