RR Films: Journalism

It’s Good News Week….is the top title listed in RRSA Journalism. Unfortunately that seems rarely to be the case at the moment, or maybe it’s that journalism doesn’t look very far from the obvious anymore. (I may have to look for a news story for a topic in future, rather than vice-versa.)

Plenty of films about hacks and noble truth-seekers to pick from. I’ll go for a classic, Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell (et al) whipping each other with their sharp tongues in His Girl Friday.

What films about journalism would you recommend?

22 thoughts on “RR Films: Journalism

  1. More​ about journalists than journalism:
    * Bang Bang Club. Set in apartheid South Africa.
    * Killing Fields – a very impressive movie.

  2. Rich pickings for this topic and some great films. Having a bit of trouble avoiding the obvious ones, ones already mentioned often for other topics, and many i actually haven’t seen. So while my obvious picks would be Network or Foreign Correspondent, i’ll go for the The Big Clock.

  3. His Girl Friday was my first thought, so instead I’ll nom The Front Page . The original was made in 1931 but I prefer the 1974 remake with Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau, because most head-to-head comedies seem to work better with those two in them together.

  4. Megadonds for His Girl Friday, one of the funniest films ever made, and Foreign Correspondent. I will go with Defence of the Realm, which is also a political thriller, from 1985 starring Gabriel Byrne in probably his best performance as a journalist who stumbles on a nuclear near accident in East Anglia. His end is all one would expect in a Western democracy !

  5. It would have to be “The Day the Earth Caught Fire” (1961), ” … both an engaging period piece, because it views the grim news from the Fleet Street office of the Daily Express (where the hacks bash away at manual typewriters), and topical because it anticipates global warming.” (The Guardian).

    I saw this on TV at the Hotel de Novo in Felixstowe, on 26 July 1968, with my Auntie Rosemarie and cousin Debbie. They were over from South Africa for my oldest brother’s wedding the following day, and I was allowed to play with Debbie, but we got told off for running round the corridors (we were both about nine years old). Anyway, we went and sat with my auntie, who was watching this film on TV and it was really scary.

      • Well, I know the date, ‘cos it was Ian’s wedding and I was a bridesmaid. And I hadn’t stayed in a hotel before. And I didn’t see my cousin and aunt very often, because they lived in South Africa. And I didn’t get told off very often, ‘cos it was usually just me and I didn’t have exciting cousins to play with. And I certainly wasn’t allowed to see scary films like “The Day the Earth Caught Fire”. So it was a BIG THING. 😉

      • me either! Which is why it wasn’t my Captain obvious pick. Saw The Third Man, Touch of Evil, but never did see thatone.

      • Amy/Sev: I can make up for both of you, I quit counting after seeing it 55 times! I was in a graduate seminar on Kane at UCLA film school where we saw it every week with a guest from the production, then I taught a class on it at my university, those two combined came to well over 30 and there’s been numerous others plus it’s fairly often on TV. I can recite along with large sections of the dialog. I have my own DVD copy plus I also have a copy of the script/screenplay, quite a rarity since Welles only handed single sheets to actors for that days shooting which had to be returned; he was very paranoid about it, there were only 4 copies printed. I came close to having a research paper on Kane included in Pauline Kael’s epic Kane book.

  6. Zodiac – journalist obsessed with finding the serial killer

    TV – State Of Play. Americanised film version was ok, but it didn’t have Bill Nighy’s performance as the Editor

  7. I have a few I’ll recommend but don’t know if they’ve been suggested for other topics.
    The Killing Fields is pretty brutal and has stayed with me since I saw it many years ago – I seem to remember my parents having the soundtrack too.
    Good Night and Good Luck is about the McCarthy era – shot in black and white but from only 2005, it’s really quite tense in places.
    Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas – based on the novel by Hunter S Thompson, it’s about a journo and his lawyer on a drug fuelled road trip to write about a motorcycle race. The book coined the term gonzo journalism – a subjective blend of fact and fiction…book great and funny, film alright.
    I won’t add my more tongue in cheek one (hint; it includes jazz flute)

      • Sarah: Re Kane details, there’s one memorable one.
        There’s an early scene where Kane is a child, it’s a rural snow scene inside a house. The adults are talking at the back of the room and young Kane is playing in the snow. The camera is on a dolly and it begins to move towards the window,the shot cuts to a reverse angle and you see that there’s a table blocking the path where the dolly has just come from; that’s impossible! Except if you look very closely you can see a flower in a vase on the table that’s shaking very slightly. As the dolly traversed the room the table was swiftly slid into position and the crew got out of the way very quickly. No one would ever notice this , it was pointed out to me by the assistant cinematographer.

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