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The Insider is a 1999 film starring Russell Crowe, Al Pacino and Christopher Plummer. It tells the true story of Jeffrey Weigand, a researcher at Brown & Williamson tobacco company. After Weigand is fired from B&W he goes to 60 Minutes and producer Lowell Bergman to spill the secrets he knows about the tobacco industry. Weigand's and Bergman's attempts to reveal the truth about Big Tobacco lead to resistance from B&W--and, surprisingly, from their own network.
Nominated for seven Oscars but didn't win any. Mike Wallace of 60 Minutes, who didn't like Plummer's unflattering portrayal of him, took some pleasure in that.
This film contains examples of:
- Based on a True Story: Broadly accurate. Some have suggested Weigand exaggerated his persecution at the hands of Brown & Williamson. The scene with a creepy guy stalking Weigand at a golf range is definitely fictional. Mike Wallace, as noted above, felt that the film lionized Bergman unfairly at his expense.
- But Now I Must Go: Bergman quits at the end, believing that what went wrong at CBS can't be fixed.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: Thomas Sandefur.
- Deadpan Snarker: Bergman is this occasionally.
- Dyeing for Your Art: Crowe gained weight and shaved his head for a wig.
- Executive Meddling: In-universe. One of the main themes of the movie.
- Fake American: Australian Russell Crowe, Canadian Christopher Plummer, and Brit Michael Gambon (as B&W boss Thomas Sandefur).
- Heroic BSOD: Wigand has a pretty memorable one when the abridged 60 Minutes program airs.
- Bergman has one of his own when he finds out Wallace is siding with the bosses about not airing the story.
- Honest Corporate Executive: Weigand.
- Intrepid Reporter: Bergman.
- Off the Record
- One-Scene Wonder: Bruce McGill as a lawyer suing Big Tobacco. "WIPE THAT SMIRK OFF YOUR FACE!"
- Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Gambon, playing Weigand's boss, struggles.
- His accent only slipped during the delivery of one line: "It's spooky how he can concentrate!" He sounds English on "spooky" especially, but otherwise sounds like he's from Georgia, where his character is supposed to be from.
- Playing Against Type: Russell Crowe, who is best known for playing heroic, violent badasses, as a timid and uncharismatic scientist.
- Precision F-Strike: "Fuck it. Let's go to court."
- Bergman uses one to get Wigand on the phone during Wigand's Heroic BSOD:
Bergman: (to hotel manager) I want you to tell him, in this - in these words: "Get on the fucking phone!"
Hotel manager: I can't say that.
Bergman: No, you can. Tell him to get on the fucking phone!
Hotel manager: He told me to tell you to "Get on the...fucking phone!"
(Wigand grabs the phone)
- 60 Minutes
- The Stool Pigeon: Of the "Whistleblower Wilson" type.
- Strawman News Media: Type 1
- With or Without You: "We're doing this with or without you, Lowell."