Good Night, and Good Luck. is set in 1953, during the early days of television broadcast journalism. Edward R. Murrow (David Strathairn) and his dedicated staff—headed by his co-producer Fred Friendly (George Clooney) and reporter Joseph Wershba (Robert Downey, Jr.) in the CBS newsroom—defy corporate and sponsorship pressures, and discredit the tactics used by Joseph McCarthy during his crusade to root out Communist elements within the government. Murrow first defends Milo Radulovich, who is facing separation from the U.S. Air Force because of his sister's political leanings and because his father is subscribed to a Serbian newspaper. Murrow makes a show on McCarthy attacking him. A very public feud develops when McCarthy responds by accusing Murrow of being a communist. Murrow is accused of having been a member of the leftist union Industrial Workers of the World, which Murrow claimed was false. In this climate of fear and reprisal, the CBS crew carries on and their tenacity ultimately strikes a historic blow against McCarthy. Historical footage also shows the questioning of Annie Lee Moss, a Pentagon communication worker accused of being a communist based on her name appearing on a list seen by an FBI infiltrator of the American Communist Party. The film's subplots feature Joseph and Shirley Wershba, recently married staffers, having to hide their marriage to save their jobs at CBS as well as the suicide of Don Hollenbeck (Ray Wise) who had been accused in print of being a Communist. The film is framed by performance of the speech given by Murrow to the Radio and Television News Directors Association in 1958, in which Murrow harshly admonishes his audience not to squander the potential of television to inform and educate the public. -------------------------------------------------
"Good Night, And Good Luck." takes place during the early days of broadcast journalism in 1950's America. It chronicles the real-life conflict between television newsman Edward R. Murrow and Senator Joseph McCarthy and the Permanent Sub-committee on Investigations (Government Operations Committee). With a desire to report the facts and enlighten the public, Murrow, and his dedicated staff - headed by his producer Fred Friendly and Joe Wershba in the CBS newsroom - defy corporate and sponsorship pressures to examine the lies and scaremongering tactics perpetrated by McCarthy during his communist 'witch-hunts'. A very public feud develops when the Senator responds by accusing the anchor of being a communist. In this climate of fear and reprisal, the CBS crew carries on and their tenacity will prove historic and
Good Night and Good Luck
by Chris Huntley
Good Night and Good Luck is a dramatic recreation of real life events in the early 1950’s between television journalist Edward R. Morrow and Senator Joseph McCarthy. Lovingly shot in black and white, the film explores the on-air showdown between Morrow and McCarthy that began the end of the “McCarthy era.” The movie’s pedigree, production qualities, and performances are impeccable. Its critical acclaim and box office prowess (a budget of $7M and box office grosses of $31.5M in five months not counting DVD sales) are obvious. There’s only one thing that it seems to lack—a grand argument story. So why is it so popular? SPOILERS AHEAD…Sort of.
I’m not going to talk too much about Good Night and Good Luck’s story, so there’s not much I can spoil. Once I cover the little story stuff of interest, I want to suggest why this film is popular IN SPITE of the fact it isn’t a grand argument story. That should be fun! About the Story—Good Night and Good Luck is all about the Overall Story throughline. Period. Though there are many candidates for Main Character, the filmmakers seem to have intentionally kept the audience at arm’s length from identifying with any of them on a personal level. Edward R. Morrow and Fred Friendly are the likeliest candidates for Main Character and Influence...
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