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Look out for more coverage of
Good Night, and Good Luck in our magazines

THE MOVIE: Good Night, and Good Luck

THE STARS:
David Strathairn • George Clooney • Robert Downey Jr
DIRECTOR: George Clooney

David Strathairn as Edward R Murrow THE CONCEPT:
Shot in black and white, the movie chronicles the real-life conflict between television newsman Edward R Murrow (Strathairn) and Senator Joseph McCarthy and the House on Un-American Activities Committee in the Fifties.

U.S. RELEASE: October 7, Limited
October 14, Nationwide • Rated: PG

THE COMMENTS:

GEORGE CLOONEY (Fred Friendly, Murrow’s producer):
“This incident and time has been a passion of mine because it is one of the few times you could point to where broadcast journalism actually changed the world and people’s minds. McCarthy was untouchable until Murrow stepped up. It was one of those great moments where you really had to be brave.”

DAVID STRATHAIRN:
“I did a lot of listening and watching [Murrow], looked at a lot of photographs, and it was great the production gave me a lot of the on-air confrontations with McCarthy. There are certain things in his life that I was glad to become aware of, to try and get a sense of where the integrity was grounded, where the courage came from.”

CLOONEY:
“Murrow was someone who always [looked like] he had the weight of the world on his shoulders. That’s not something you can act. Either you have that quality or you don’t. David was the first person I thought of. He actually looked a lot like Murrow when he did it, and I thought he was the perfect actor. If you can take a camera and stick it on somebody for five minutes and not move it, then that’s a good actor. That’s the difference for me.”

STRAHAIRN:
“Smoking is part of the history that this picture tells. None of us were smokers, so we all had to figure out what we were going to do because we had to smoke cigarettes all day long. I put out that last cigarette on the last day of shooting, it was also the last scene in the film, and I’ve only had to have one since then, just to see what that was like – I put it right out.”

CLOONEY:
“Since we made the decision to go with [old footage] of McCarthy, that informed everything else that we did. The film had to be in black and white, or it would be just too far fetched. And the other reason was because I’ve never seen Joe McCarthy or Ed Murrow in color in my life. I’ve only seen them in black and white, and I think it would have thrown me off to do it in color.”

STRATHAIRN:
“I love the black and white. I think one of the great things about this film is how beautiful it is. It helps to frame poetically the black and white issue that the film is about.”

CLOONEY:
“We tested the film in Pasadena [California], and 20% of the audience asked us who the actor playing Joe McCarthy was. So we think we should take out one of those ‘For Your Consideration’ ads in the trades for Best Supporting Actor, Joe McCarthy as himself in a stunning portrayal.”

Written by Judy Sloane. Back to top

Visit the official Good Night, and Good Luck site
Images above © Warner Independent Pictures
Feature © 2005 Visual Imagination.
Not for reproduction.

Film Review, #662, October 2005 cover

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