As a longtime journalist, I love a good movie about the Fourth Estate. Over the years, there have been some fabulous films about news gathering. Below are some of my favorites about journalists who work in newspapers, book publishing, magazines, blogs, and TV. Hopefully, you'll find something here that you can enjoy during your next movie night!
"All the President's Men"
Starring Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman
This film is a testament to the tenacity of newspaper reporters who tackle the stories that hold government and companies accountable like no other news outlets can. As the movie outlines the events surrounding the incredibly complex Watergate scandal, Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein follow lead after lead to get to the real story behind the break-in at Democratic Headquarter in 1972. With anonymous sources, tapped phones, and covert operations that ultimately bring down a president, this movie has it all.
Starring Richard Gere
Writer Clifford Irving is the perpetrator of a great big lie. He's conning his publisher into thinking that he's co-writing Howard Hughes' autobiography. Since the famous billionaire is such a reclusive eccentric, Irving thinks he can prevent his boss from contacting Hughes. He then takes the millions in advance money meant for Hughes and puts it away for himself. However, he soon becomes delusional and paranoid as his world begins to fall apart.
"The Life of David Gale"
Starring Kevin Spacey and Kate Winslet
A man sits on death row for a crime he says he did not commit. Magazine reporter Bitsey Bloom is called to the prison by the inmate where she pays for his final interview. Did he do it? Bitsey starts digging around, but the clock is ticking. The killer (who, ironically, is a well known advocate against the death penalty) only has three days left until his execution. Her interviews and reenactments seem to prove that he's innocent. But can she prove it in time to save him from the lethal injection?
"Julie & Julia"
Starring Meryl Streep and Amy Adams
Admittedly, there's not any real competition in this category since Hollywood isn't clambering to make movies about bloggers (not yet anyway!). However, this film provides an interesting look at how Julie Powell started a 365 day challenge to blog her way through Julia Child's famous "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" cookbook. Her blog eventually gains momentum, a fierce following, and ultimately her foray into blogging turns into a book and movie deal!
Starring Faye Dunaway, Robert Duvall, and Peter Finch
This iconic film about TV news is a must-see. Longtime news anchor Howard Beale is being fired due to low ratings. In a fit of rage, he tells his viewers, live on the air, that he's going to commit suicide during the next broadcast. Later, Beale launches an on-air rant that has everyone in the country poking their heads out their windows to scream, "I'm as mad as hell and I'm not gonna take this anymore!" Instead of killing himself, Beale ends up turning his angry man tirade into a TV show.
These films are just a few of my favorites that highlight the challenges of news gathering and story telling. What are your favorite movies about journalists?