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Good Night, and Good Luck is a 2005 black and white film directed by George Clooney and written by Clooney and Grant Heslov. It stars Clooney, David Strathairn, Jeff Daniels, Robert Downey, Jr., Patricia Clarkson, Frank Langella and Senator Joseph McCarthy.
It is a dramatization of the conflict between Senator Joseph McCarthy and broadcaster Edward R. Murrow during the height of The Fifties Red Scare in the United States. The film is known for not having any actor play Joseph McCarthy instead relying entirely on archival footage, giving it an edge of historical accuracy. The themes of the movie focus on the responsibility of television, not just the news, to go beyond just entertainment, and inform and voice dissent.
The film was nominated for 6 Academy Awards including Best Picture.
- Catch Phrase: The title was Murrow's catchphrases, both in Real Life and the film. Also counts as a Title Drop.
- Deadpan Snarker: Apparently, a number of them worked for CBS.
- Denied Parody: This is definitely NOT about Post-9/11 America and the restrictions on civil rights that led to. *Cough*
- Driven to Suicide: Don Hollenbeck
- Everybody Smokes: Fun fact; Murrow's producer Fred W. Friendly didn't smoke in Real Life. He lived to age 82. Andy Rooney, not in the movie but he worked at CBS News in Murrow's era, never smoked. He died in 2011, living to age 92.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Murrow and Co. are very careful in their attacks on McCarthy, using footage of the man and his own words to demonstrate just how ridiculous he is.
- Intrepid Reporter: Murrow
- Reality Is Unrealistic/Your Costume Needs Work: Some of this film's detractors complain that the actor playing Senator McCarthy hammed the role up too much. Historians are not amused by this.
- And Lord have mercy if you attempt to defend McCarthy (or claim he was right) within earshot of a history teacher or prof.
- Red Scare
- Retraux/Deliberately Monochrome: Filmed in black and white to enhance the period feeling.
- And because the only usable footage of Senator McCarthy is all in black-and-white.
- Secret Relationship: Joe and Shirley Wershba can't reveal their marriage or they will be fired.
- Open Secret: Everyone in the office knows anyway, they just don't mention it.
- Stock Footage: All of the scenes involving Joseph McCarthy are actually him speaking in the House. As noted in Reality Is Unrealistic, many people were not aware of this.