Monday, December 19, 2005

Good Night And Good Luck: A Film Review

Remember a time when the U.S. Government was not playing fair, arresting people without presenting charges, trying people without showing the evidence, claiming national security trumped civil liberties considerations? Good Night, and Good Luck is about such a time.

Good Night, and Good Luck, which recreates the televised clash between Edward R. Murrow and Senator Joseph McCarthy, looks like a documentary. The dramatized scenes are shot in slightly soft black and white, and David Strathairn is made to look very much like Murrow. Old CBS studios are effectively recreated, and period jazz helps establish a 1950s mood. Worked into the film is restored footage of Congressional hearings, old commercials, and newscasts. Joseph McCarthy looks like Joseph McCarthy because he is Joseph McCarthy. The same goes for President Eisenhower and Liberace. The scene of Murrow interviewing Liberace is worth the price of admission itself.

George Clooney directed and co-wrote the script, using many of Murrow's own words. The result is a very quotable film that should become a classic. The audience of aging baby boomers attending the film Friday night laughed, sneered, and cheered. No one fell asleep during this relatively short but powerful film.

David Strathairn and George Clooney should be commended and nominated for Oscars. Aaron should consider this film for his film discussion series when the DVD is available. It should be added to most library collections.

One further thought - the warning about the future of television that Murrow delivered at a banquet honoring him in 1958 was not heeded.

1 comment:

Dan Trabue said...

Haven't seen it yet, but it's on my schedule to eventually. Sounds like a timely and great movie.