Thursday, November 10, 2005
"Good Night, and Good Luck" - a George Clooney movie
First of all, I need to take my anti-hypocrite pill and say what I wish so many other "reviewers" would: "This write-up may contain spoilers." I'll keep the beginning spoiler-free, though and warn you when the spoilers are a-comin'.
This movie, directed and partially written by George Clooney, is about CBS/Edward R. Murrow's eventual response and reaction to Senator McCarthy's communist witch-hunts. I must confess ignorance - a LOT of ignorance, when it comes to this topic. I'm very glad that someone cared enough to make this movie and to make it this well. I hope today's high schoolers have textbooks which focus on this period and these... *champions* a heckuva a lot more than mine did.
Great movie, imo.
It's a black and white movie, btw, with the following credits:
* Alex Borstein .... Natalie
* Robert John Burke .... Charlie Mack
* Patricia Clarkson .... Jenny Darmondy
* George Clooney .... Fred Friendly
* Jeff Daniels .... Frank Stanton
* Reed Diamond .... John Aaron
* Tate Donovan .... Jesse Zousmer
* Robert Downey Junior .... Jimmy Darmondy
* Frank Langella .... William Paley
* Thomas McCarthy .... Palmer Williams
* Glenn Morshower .... Colonel Anderson
* Matt Ross .... Eddie Scott
* David Strathairn .... Edward R Murrow
* Ray Wise .... Hollenbeck
* Grant Heslov .... Screenwriter
* George Clooney .... Screenwriter, Director
Credits sourced: Here.
*SPOILER WARNING* Anything after this point, maybe even comments, may spoil the story. Of course, the fact that it's based on actual events may make this a non-issue for some, but as I said earlier, this situation was one I was only vaguely familiar with before having seen this movie.
There are some very obvious parallels between the tactics and dynamics of the McCarthy era and those of today - at least, in my opinion. My girlfriend and I picked up on them, ourselves. I didn't see Clooney making the rounds to "hype the movie" by pulling parallels out of thin air, so my opinion's certainly not based on that.
The ones that most readily come to-mind:
* Creating, perpetuating, and/or taking advantage of a climate of fear.
* Accusation without authentication.
* Blindly and broadly questioning the patriotism of everyone who happens to disagree.
The movie was like a documentary-plus, in my eyes. It seemed to be all about the facts and delivery and tone and circumstance of the actual events, as witnessed by many Americans, but it also shows (or depicts) what went on behind-the-scenes.
-Murrow's fear of the consequences of his actions
-the marriage that's kept under-wraps for most of the movie and why
-the battles Murrow was and wasn't willing to fight simultaneously and what that cost him and others
-Gotta mention the wicked amount of smoking going on in this film. Dayum.
There's a lot to mention and I'm sure I'm not doing it justice, but I never claimed to be a great movie reviewer. I'm just a great movie watcher who happens to enjoy talking about them.
If I think of more to add later, I'll edit it in or respond, if there should be any comments.