Review: Good Night, and Good Luck (2005)

David Strathairn as Edward R. Murrow

George Clooney’s second directorial attempt is a must see. Eloqeuntly filmed in black and white, Good Night, and Good Luck is the story of broadcast journalist Edward R. Murrow and his historical fight with Senator Joseph McCarthy during the 1950’s Red Scare.

David Strathairn stars as the legendary Murrow in a performance that is sure to win him an Academy Award nomination. He makes the chain-smoking Murrow seem fallible, noble, funny, and huiman, while making you forget that Murrow is a legend.

The film also stars Clooney as Fred Friendly, producer and Murrow’s main confidant. Robert Downey Jr. plays Joe Wershba, a reporter who must hide his marriage to a fellow staffer (played by Patrica Clarkson), and Frank Langella (as Bill Paley, CBS network boss).

Good Night, and Good Luck opens at a 1958 banquet, honoring Murrow for his landmark broadcasting career. Murrow’s acceptance speech frames Clooney’s masterpiece.

Then came Edward R. Murrow, who believed that if television must be used for anything, it must be used to educate people and benefit society. Along with Friendly, he decides to use his CBS news show See it Now to challenge McCarthy. In the process, he loses his sponsers and almost his job. But the risk, pays off as the collapse of McCarthy’s power soon follows.

Clooney’s film is indeed a work of art, that excites, intrigues, and terrifies you all at once. Most of all, Good Night, and Good Luck makes journalistic integrity look appealing and frankly, sexy. Overall, the movie is funny, inspiring, and well worth theater ticket prices.

As Murrow once said, “We will not be driven by fear into an age of unreason.” With that, good night and good luck.

5 thoughts on “Review: Good Night, and Good Luck (2005)”

  1. Now you’ve seen it, tell me: is this a highly liberal slash to McCarthy, or just a good movie? Or maybe both?

  2. It is not a liberal attack against McCarthy at all. There is nothing liberal about this movie (except for George Clooney directing it.

    It presents McCarthy in a fair light, considering all he did. (I personally don’t think he was the worst guy, maybe just a little extreme.)

    If it was really a slam against McCarthy 1)a real actor would’ve played him. 2) there would’ve been more obviously politcal attachments 3) If you saw “The Aviator”,… there would’ve been recreations of all the senate committee hearings regarding McCarthy, to really make you hate the man.

    The movie is in fact an excellent picture. Its not about McCarthy, like I said in the review. It is about Edward R. Murrow and how he created something called journalist inegrity, when people actually trusted journalists.

    I say see it, no matter your politcal views, because you would be missing out. And make your opinion. You may enjoy seeing a different perspective on the McCarthy issue.

    As a history buff, Austin, you should like the fact that Clooney made the decision to use archival footage and not recreations. In one of the clips, you can catch a glimpse of Robert Kennedy.

    It is an excellent movie and go see it.

  3. I don’t think it will be playing anywhere near me, but I do appreciate your insight into the moive, and I would consider seeing it if it was playing here.

  4. That is the benefit of living so close to NYC. I can see any movie I want. If you can’t see it in the theaters (or decide against it), rent it. It is an excellent movie.

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