February 22, 2024 | Rome, Italy

Good Night, and Good Luck

By |2018-03-21T18:22:21+01:00June 1st, 2006|Reviews|


Date: 2005

Director: George Clooney

Starring: David Strathairn, Frank Langella, George Clooney


ven if you know nothing of Ed Murrow, Fred Friendly, and their ample American TV legacy, the hues of the 1950s leave a smoky imprint on George Clooney’s classic black-and-white narrative. Chain-smoker Murrow was a TV news pioneer who liked doing things his way, with producer Friendly as a co-conspirator. Television’s power to influence was a rumor until Murrow clashed with Red-baiting Sen. Joe McCarthy, which marked the beginning of the end for McCarthy.

Clooney is less interested in filling in historical blanks — he doesn’t, in fact — than portraying pre-consensus journalism: vain, erudite, highly personal, and often deeply loyal. David Strathairn is deft and dutiful as Murrow, while Clooney underplays Friendly. Frank Langella is particularly good as William Paly, the CBS chairman caught between politics, corporate pressure, and a sense — still strong — of right and wrong. There are no wrong notes here. See this as a double feature with “Network.”

About the Author:

A military brat, Marcia Yarrow was born in Hamburg, Germany but grew up in Germany, Spain, and Provo, Utah. She's been writing for the magazine since its creation in 2004.